I hated it. He expects too much and gives too little. He is not focused, and he does not listen to questions. He could use refreshment from recent scholarship, and more respect to gender and class issues.
I was just going through the list of History profs on Culpa, planning for next fall, and I am shocked and upet by the negative reviews of Prof. Stanislawski, with whom I am now taking Modern Jewish History. This is a great class, his lectures are crystal clear and well organized, and he is very nice to students. So I don't understand why he has so many negative reviews in the past. In any event, I rate this course and professor a straight A and recommend him highly to everyone.
I had low expectations becasue of past reviews. I was proven right. I don't think he cares much about students. He craves attention and gratification. He was prepared, but not focused. The assumption is that you know the basics, but he does not offer a lot of insights.
Stanislawski is much better in seminar than in lecture. He uses his time effectively and gets through material more efficiently. More enjoyable & engaging in smaller format.
I'm writing to counter the last terrible review that totally misrepresented one of Columbia's great professors-- Prof. Stan actually won of the Great Teachers Awards and totally deserved it! I'm afraid some other students will read the stupid negative comments and miss out on this great prof! It's true he often does spend alot of time on the first part of his lecture, but that's only to tell us how historians work, and is often the most important thing he can teach us. His lectures are always well organized and clear, and his book on Zioniosm is brilliant (the student who said it was mostly in French is just plain wrong--obviously he or she never read it!!!!) Stan is also a kind and conscientious professor who really cares for his students, and though he can be real slow in answering emails, he will spend hours with you in his office advising you on academics or life choices. So if you can take any one of his classes, don't miss it, and disregard the creep who said otherwise!!!
One of the best TAs I've ever had. Obviously extremely intelligent and talented. Kept control over the discussion sessions, and actually managed to provoke some interesting conversations at 9-ungodly-30 in the morning. Comments on rough draft of term paper were harsh, but mostly useful. Nice surprise when he frequently asked the teacher questions during the course of his lectures--usually TAs act as if they're impervious to learning something new in front of their students.
I agree with the previous reviewer than Stan is a bit of a tool but Dan S is great. One minor note: I was annoyed that my discussion was in the morning at 9:30 when my first class TuTh was supposed to be Stan at 10:35, but only a consideration if you dread waking up in the morning. I did it anyway. Stanislawski *does* begin most lectures with a long historiographical note about how previous historians/general understanding totally misunderstand Jewish history, usually portraying Jews as victims of something or other when Jews really were not victims to the degree they are portrayed as. That said, with the additional caveat that Stanislawski is *not* a dynamic lecturer, the lectures are *very* interesting, if only due to the material he presents. The material is great, and it takes a little adjustment to his boring style, but I found the lecture consistently interesting. He is also a terrific historical thinker and scholar. His book _Zionism and the Fin de Siecle_ about Max Nordau and Zeev Jabotinsky is enlightening, a book really worth reading that sheds light both on individual characters, on the historical background of the Zionist movement and on the fin de Siecle, the period at the turn of the 19th century into the 20th. His class was good enough that I am registered for History of Israel.
Perhaps the most offensive, least interesting professor at Columbia. He spends 30 minutes at the beginning of every class talking about why he CAN'T talk about what he's planning to lecure on (i.e., the way every other historian does anything is wrong. ) His lectures aren't very interesting at all and he frequently goes off on tangents. This class was a joke.