December 22, 2011

Miron, Dan Silver_nugget
[MDES W3542] Intro to Israeli Literature

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

I'd highly recommend taking this class if you have an interest in Israel or Israeli literature. Half literature class, half history class about Israel in the 20th century, you will learn *so much* from this man--he is close friends with most of the authors we read, and translates many of the works we read himself. I was often star-struck by him and how much he's read/translated/done in his life.

Miron speaks for the entirety of every lecture. You leave class every day with approximately seven pages of notes. It's a strange teaching style, kind of like he's trying to bestow upon us some of the knowledge he's accumulated over the years. Do not take this class if you want a discussion-based class--there is zero discussion involved. However, he is receptive to questions, and will often pause his lecture to ask if there are any questions. He doesn't really like when you critique his ideas, but rarely did anyone in my class feel that we knew enough in comparison to him to do so.

It's a good class. He's spent many years thinking about this class and how to best structure it in order to give students an understanding of the context of the works you read, and it shows--I could not have understood the works we read in the same way had I not read them with him.

Workload:

Very light. Weekly readings that are really interesting but not necessary to do, one paper that he allows you to hand in a rough draft for to receive comments before getting graded, and a take-home final that is basically an essay. He likes people to do well in his class, so he's really willing to help you along.