Review Comment

[CLME W4031] Sociology of Middle Eastern Cinema

March 12, 2003

Dabashi, Hamid
[CLME W4031] Sociology of Middle Eastern Cinema

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

What a good guy. He's at the protests, at the boycotts, writing letters to the spec - always standing up for what he should. the class is interesting and the films entertaining. I like it a lot. The tas are great too.

Workload:

not bad. not simple though

October 25, 2002

Dabashi, Hamid
[CLME W4031] Sociology of Middle Eastern Cinema

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Awful. Awful. Awful. Dabashi is a classic example of a professor so assured of his brilliance that he ignores his responsibility to impart that brilliance to others. Anyone hoping to learn something about the films or the cultural contexts in which they were produced will be sorely disappointed. Dabashi's lectures are unresearched, unsubstantive, and largely free-associative; often, a student will ask a question and change the course of the entire lecture. Topics covered include Kant, Sartre (neither of whom is on the syllabus), Hamid Dabashi's Traffic Light Theory, Hamid Dabashi's Gas Station Theory, Hamid Dabashi's Amir's Falafel Theory, and Hamid Dabashi's Knife and Fork Theory of Civilization, which states that humans were able to establish civilizations because, unlike cats, they have opposable thumbs. He'll occasionally mention one of the films you've watched, usually only to proclaim that it is a masterpiece and leave it at that. He never brings up the reading, much of which ("Sites of Vision," for instance) is on the syllabus for reasons only he can understand. It may not be hard, but the class is a painful and frustrating time-waster. Avoid it at all costs.

Workload:

Two 4-6 page papers, a pointless and unhelpful discussion section, a screening section, and a good deal of unnecessary and often incoherent reading. (Viola Shafiq's book "Arab Cinema," Ella Shohat's book "Israeli Cinema," and Dabashi's own book "Close Up" are pretty good, but he never talks about them.) Good luck figuring out what the paper topics are -- Dabashi and the TAs often seemed at odds when it came to both the assignments and the due dates. I will undoubtedly be pegged as a vindictive student, but I got an A.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
MELC / CLME MELC CLME W4031: Sociol of Middle Eastrn Cinema Hamid Dabashi 2003 Spring W / 11:00-12:50 PM 1
MELC / CLME MELC CLME W4031: Sociol of Middle Eastrn Cinema Hamid Dabashi 2002 Spring W / 11:00-12:50 PM 1