Review Comment

Age of the Enlightenment

December 06, 2005

Weber, Caroline Silver_nugget
Age of the Enlightenment

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

Creme de la creme! This year, which was her first, there were only 4 people in the class, so one couldn't help but prepare and participate extra thoroughly (which is not to say I wouldn't want to if there were 20 or 30 because she provokes so much thought). But Professor Weber still took the time to review a lot of 18th century history and philosophy to make the class even more fulfilling - she knows each work inside out! Whoever avoided the class because she was new is really missing a great and dedicated professor. She cracks jokes all the time and is often quite explicit - throwing to the wind any kind of proper academic conventions and making it a true learning experience (how appropriate for the Enlightenment) and often going on tangents with stories about her husband to illustrate a point. She is also extremely accepting, and almost to a fault, of anybody who wants to make a comment in English, often taking the time to explain something in English herself to be extra clear to everybody. Nonetheless, your French will improve, and you're going to read great works that are generally not taught in other classes on the period. She is consistently encouraging and complementary to students (although not excessively), which makes it even more enjoyable to being in the course.

Workload:

One work per week, a 20-minute presentation on one work (which, for a few people, ended up being two full class periods long), a midterm, and a final. Grading is extremely fair, although she will give lengthy written critiques of anything you submit - which are very helpful and show how into it she is.

December 02, 2005

Weber, Caroline Silver_nugget
Age of the Enlightenment

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

Professor Weber is brilliant and engaging. Somehow, she manages to make old fuddy-duddies like Rousseau, Diderot and d'Alembert interesting--which isn't to say that's all we read. We read some great epistolary novels (think a la Liaisons Dangereuses) and some scandalously-steamy texts about nuns-gone-wild. She's head-over-heels about the eighteenth century so she knows the material inside and out. With every new text we read, she prefaced it with super-interesting factoids about the fashions and vogues of the decade, and author's quirky idiosyncrasies to draw us in. She wants to hear your opinions, but she will let you be if you don't want to give them. She's really funny, too.

Workload:

About what you can expect from a Barnard/Columbia Lit course. About a text or article a week, a midterm, a 6-8 page paper and a final.

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