April 02, 2004

Dabashi, Hamid
[CLME W4031] Cinema and Society in Asia and Africa

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

Professor Dabashi is hardly a brilliant thinker and rarely a good professor. Before enrolling in this course, i heard alot of positive hype surrounding Professor Dabashi. Most of it however seems to be associated with his controversial political views. The course itself, while offering an excellent screening list, is inadequate to provide students with the necessary analytical tools for critiquing film.

Professor Dabashi is indeed colorful and dramatic and the course is from afar, a good idea, but his syllabus needs to be revamped and so do his lecture notes. It didn't help that he decided to take three whole weeks off and let his TAs, who did their best to substitute for him, run the course.

I was put off by his personality (very haughty) and by his sweeping generalizations about american and european films. i will admit that he did (twice) deliver excellent lectures, but these were exceptions, and when he is in a good mood (again, hardly a trend) he can be approachable and even supportive.

Workload:

three main books (Sights of Vision; Close-Up; Subversive Pleasures; some short papers; recitation attendance; final paper