Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Research Topic

The Song of Songs in Israeli Culture: Agnon's Somnambulist Lovers


Ilana Pardes is the Katharine Cornell Professor of Comparative Literature and the director of the Center for Literary Studies, both at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She researches the nexus of Bible, literature, and culture as well as aesthetics and hermeneutics.

Pardes received her PhD from the University of California. She has previously held fellowships at the Katz Center and the Mandel Scholion Research Center, and she has taught at Princeton University, Harvard University, and UC Berkeley.

Selected publications

  • The Song of Songs: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2019)
  • The Biography of Ancient Israel: National Narratives in the Bible (University of California Press, 2000)
  • Countertraditions in the Bible: A Feminist Approach (Harvard University Press, 1992)



Devoted to the home, and seeking to advance research that will shed light on this most formative and intimate of contexts for Jewish life. 


Exploring aspects of internal life that lie beyond reason—emotions and feelings, the unconscious, sensation, imagination, impulse, intuition, and the nonrational dimensions of reason itself.


Applying an interdisciplinary approach to the richness and diversity of travel writing.


Engaging in a critical analysis of secularization, the secular, and secularism, and their effects on religious, intellectual, and political life.