Review Comment

Eloquent Animals

May 14, 2018

Zingesser, Eliza
Eloquent Animals

Unless you are Eliza Zingesser, you probably will not enjoy this class. Readings are sometimes interesting, yet the discussion always centered on the least interesting aspects of them. She approaches literature like a robot, even sometimes making excel spreadsheets to 'analyze the data' in the text. During one class, we spent a good 20 minutes counting animal appearances in a text, without ever addressing the central themes. And she wondered why people weren't engaged in the discussion.

She is a tough grader, and will give you zero help with your papers except shooting down whatever ideas you have come up with. She expects an esoteric thesis to your papers, ie one that says the text is making an argument totally unrelated to the central themes of the text, and paradoxically expects you to support your argument as well as a normal thesis.

Would not at all recommend classes with Zingesser. You can do much better at Columbia.


Too much reading, mostly in french, paper lengths are reasonable. One 5 page midterm paper and one 10 page final paper in English.

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