May 20, 2002

Saliba, George
[ASCM V2008] Contemporary Islamic Civilization

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

This was the biggest waste of a class I have taken at Columbia. Professor Saliba has an amazing ability to speak all class and say NOTHING of substance. He is a good speaker and he has a fair sense of humor, but he literally says stuff like "the poet uses words to convey things." He doesn't use any evidence beyond surface points and even when he does refer to the texts (which is rarer than it shoud be), he doesn't say which author he's referring to. Most of the time, he just repeats statements like "colonialism will make you lose your identity" without backing them up at all. Our only exposure to anything culturally significant was during the periods that he showed us videos or played music, which in itself is a testament to his laziness, since I could have bought a boxed set of Islamic Cd's for what I'm sure I payed for each class period. This is honestly the first class in which I have felt insulted by a professor's inability to teach. He is so proud of his good delivery that he doesn't worry that he's not saying anything. I literally think that I would have learned just as much if I didn't show up at all.

Workload:

2 7-10 page papers on anything at all relating to islamic civ (we don't need to have covered it in class) and a final that was so easy, it was embarrasing (the essay topics were: choose any movie we've seen and talk about why you liked it and choose any 3 texts we've read and talk about how they discuss islamic civilization).