Tau News
Tel Aviv University News, Winter-1996-97

From Russia with Hate
A Mission to Rescue
Zionism Then and Now
Skull Find Helps Solve Evolutionary Puzzle
Children's Books Gain Major Attention

Children's Books Gain Major Attention

Prof. Zohar Shavit of TAU's Shirley and Leslie Porter School of Cultural Studies, the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, together with Prof. Hans Heino Ewers of Frankfurt University, has received a substantial research grant totalling up to DM 1 million, from the DFG - The Institute for Research of Children's Literature, University of Frankfurt. The five-year grant is for research into the role of children's literature in shaping modern concepts among Jews in 19th century Germany (see TAU News Winter 1996). This is the first time that an Israeli researcher has received a grant of this kind from the DFG.

The point of departure of the research is the idea that children's literature plays a major role in shaping and reflecting societal values since it expresses these values in the clearest and most unambiguous manner. According to the researchers, children's literature is a vehicle for criticizing existing society, disseminating knowledge and values, and shaping future models of society.

The two researchers will develop a theoretical model according to which each will examine three different historical case studies. Prof. Shavit's research will focus on attempts made by writers of children's literature to modernize Jewish society. One case study concerns an attempt to change the traditional structure of Jewish society, first in Germany and later in Eastern Europe, while another example attempts to shape a new national identity in Eretz Israel.