Review Comment

Hindu Goddesses

January 21, 2009

McDermott, Rachel Silver_nugget
Hindu Goddesses

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

I have taken Hindu Goddesses with Professor McDermott, and she is also my adviser and thesis adviser. I just have to write a glowing review for her before I graduate, even though she already has an excellent reputation. She is an excellent lecturer and seminar leader. The readings she assigns are relevant and thought-provoking, and she makes sure there is enough structure in the seminar to stimulate interesting discussion, rather than allowing aimless student commentary to dominate. The course itself was excellent, and I would recommend taking anything she teaches. She is a respected scholar but extremely humble. In addition to being brilliant, she cares a great deal for her students. She is the most devoted and thoughtful professor I have had at Barnard. I just can't say enough good things about her! If you are at all interested in South Asia, don't leave without taking a class with her.

Workload:

I think she has a reputation for being a hard grader, but she is fair--put thought into your work. For Hindu Goddesses, we had weekly graded responses, a presentation, and a 15-ish page seminar paper. Reading was manageable and interesting.

May 17, 2004

McDermott, Rachel Silver_nugget
Hindu Goddesses

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

This has been said so many times before, but it needs reiteration. You should not leave Columbia without taking a class with Prof McDermott. Her lectures are engaging and well-organized. She is more demanding than many other professors but it's worth it, you will learn so much. I recommend taking this seminar if you have a fear of tough exams. It's mostly reading, writing, and talking. This class was absolutely one of the best classes I have taken in four years. Professor McDermott is also insanely dedicated to her students and doesn't do anything half-assed. Take Hindu Goddesses, you will not be disappointing. Everyone comes to the class from different perspectives so the discussions are usually pretty interested.

Workload:

Seminar amount of reading (quite heavy but always interesting), 2-page weekly response papers, 15-20 page research paper, and one presentation.

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