Review Comment

[W3503] CULTURL STUDIES I: Enlightenment/Counter-Enlightenment

May 13, 2014

Stalnaker, Joanna Silver_nugget
[W3503] CULTURL STUDIES I: Enlightenment/Counter-Enlightenment

This class was great. I'm a French major, and I put it off until my very last semester because the subject was of not particular interest to me, but I enjoyed it a lot.

First things first: Prof. Stalnaker is great. I cannot stress this enough. She clarified the objectives and the themes of the class, as well as her expectations, since the first day of class. I thought that she was very helpful. I was one of the few students whose field of interest was not related to the subject matter (and an undergrad no less) yet I never felt isolated or lost. I think that was because Prof. Stalnaker always addressed our questions and comments, and because she did not limit our analysis by imposing only one angle of study. Quite the contrary, she was open to all our opinions and let us take the class to whatever direction we thought important. I think that made us take an active role in the process.

I also appreciated how she stimulated our curiosity in very subtle manners - unlike most professors, she never flat out pointed to a student and ordered them to answer a question. She always had the right phrasing that provoked us into discussions.

I think it's also worth mentioning that most of us read some of these texts before (in CC) but I didn't feel that the class was redundant. In my opinion, this class not only makes up for the many flaws CC unfortunately has, but it goes beyond CC because of the level of analysis (of the texts).

On another note, Prof. Stalnaker always had a positive attitude in class. She would walk into class smiling and she didn't shy away from interacting with her students. She clearly cared about her students and about teaching the class. And her enthusiasm was contagious.

As I said, we were told everything there was to know about the assignments and readings on the first day of class. Prof. Stalnaker grades fairly and, more importantly, she provides each of us with long and detailed feedback. I think this is helpful because, it's not very helpful to get an A- and be told that it was fine and you can do better. It's much more beneficial, to be told HOW you can do better. And Prof. Stalnaker definitely did that well for the papers as well as for the midterm.

I didn't know much about les Lumières before this class - only what I came across in CC and in Major French texts after 1800s. So I learned a lot here. I'm not going to switch specialties or anything, but it was an interesting ride.

Other than Prof. Stalnaker's excellent teaching method, I think that having a class with undergrads and grad students is great. I benefited a lot from the grad students, and they were very open and sharing.


chronologically: 1 midterm (2 essays, in class), 1st paper (5-7 pgs, choose 1 out of 2 prompts), 2nd paper (same as first), final (2 essays, in class)

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
FRRP / FREN FRRP FREN W3503: Cultural Studies I: Enlightment/Counter Enlightmnt Joanna Stalnaker 2009 Fall TR / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1