course
History of Latin American Civilization, Pre-Columbian to 1810

Dec 2017

I don't care what class she's teaching, take whatever you can with Caterina Pizzigoni. Her passion for the subject, ability to make the subject interesting, and level of attention/care given to her students are absolutely unrivaled. Don't care about Latin America or Spanish/Portuguese history? You will. Have a tough time dealing with accents? So do I, but it wasn't a problem. Don't like reading a lot? Good, because you won't have to in this class (relative to other global cores). Register now, thank me later.

Dec 2016

Caterina is literally the nicest person on the planet. I read all the other reviews about how amazing she is and how wonderful her class is but somehow I didn't believe them, and went in thinking that this class would be really challenging. It's not. It's a suuuper easy global core, all you have to do is memorize the terms she puts on the board in lecture and be able to recognize some documents and images on the midterm/finals. There are usually two papers, but she took one off this semester (and anyway they're both very short, like 5 pages). Caterina will do anything in her power to raise your grade and make your experience in her class positive. She cares so much about what she's teaching, but she's also extremely reasonable with her requirements and expectations. She understands that people have lives outside her class, and she really takes that into account with the workload. You never have to read the textbook, just go to class. But DO go to class, because literally everything she wants in the exams is in her lectures, so you'll never have to do any outside work if you just go to lecture (you won't even have to study much if you memorize the terms as you go along). She makes an effort to get to know everyone's names (especially if you come to class regularly) and if you participate a little in lecture it makes her day and will definitely boost your grade (usually she discusses a primary source doc for 10 minutes with the class). Also, she's brilliant and her lectures are always fascinating and she gives a great overview of a really crucial historical period. Sometimes she talks a little fast, but you don't really need details, just the broad themes from every lecture, so don't stress about that. Also definitely go to her office hours for any reason, even just to say hi. Basically, if you want a thematic, not-date specific, light workload global core, this is the way to go. And Caterina will make it absolutely a pleasure to attend class and be engaged in the subject.

Apr 2015

She's amazing! She truly wants every single student to understand the material. Yes she has an accent but seriously get over it! We're in NYC a town known for its diversity and people are complaining about an accent? She's very passionate and has visited almost all the sites she speaks about. There are readings you have to do for both the lecture and "lab" you have to go to. There are also some written assignments however, they do not have to be formal or try to fix any world issue. She's just looking to see if you read it and understand it.

Sep 2001

He is the man! He is very entertaining, and not terribly demanding. Class notes are a must. Reading is minimal. Prof. Vinson is a great professor and a great guy, very engaging and enthusiastic in class and polite and interesting outside of it. I would highly recommend his class as a great, easy way to fulfill a major cultures requirement.

Apr 2001

You could go through college and never have so brilliant a man. Ben Vinson is the best professor and lecturer that ever was. His sense of humour and unbelievable contrasts between historical figures and contemporary media figures is down right hillarious. A course from him should be as mandatory as Logic and Rhetoric. His young, hip, and loads of fun. By the way he has his stuff together and makes years of history blend into a seamless story which is intresting and memorable. A great man.

Jan 2000

A friend and I signed up for this class to complete the list A major cutlures requirement. Beginning the 2nd week, and continuing every Tuesday and Thursday thereafter, we would meet up in front of the building before class. We would stand there, each with a pained look on our face, waiting for the other to make a move toward the door. About half the time either he or I would finally turn and walk in. The other half, after a minute of silence, one of us would say, "Let's go to the bar." So much for class. This man is awful. Stay away unless you enjoy listening to boring, monotonous lectures and watching students get yelled at who walk in 30 second late.

Jan 2000

Herb recites nothing but facts, fast and furious, but his easy requirements and Major Culture status packs the first few class meetings. Once people realize that all they've got to complete is a 15-pg take-home final based on the readings, attendance drops from 100 to 20 people per class, partly because the lectures are downright painful.

Jan 2000

Ben Vinson's antics definitely make the course worthwhile. He is probably the most entertaining lecturer I know... to me anyway. you definitely have to appreciate his type of humor. He would quote bill bellamy and talk about books he was reading, like, oh, "what women want." according to him, Lucy Liu wants a guy with "bank." The best was when he compared Cortez with Jean Claude Van Dam. I couldn't contain myself. But seriously, he has his act together. His lectures are always really coherent and easy to follow. And the midterm and final are based strictly on the lecture notes, so if you came to class, you have it made. But the class would have sucked for me if it wasn't taught by him... you have to take it for the experience. i forgot to mention how his crazy way of pronouncing spanish words like tlacopan or se acatl tolpitzin. so funny.

Jan 2000

Did you enjoy high school? If you did, this course is for you. Prof. Vinson treats the subject matter in a most superficial fashion. His lectures sacrifice true depth for slide shows (we spent an entire class comparing the facial features of European royalty to the action stars of current movies) and at the end of the class, one leaves at best feeling unfulfilled, but more likely simply frustrated. This is what I expected from my 11th grade history class...not from a university. Granted, this is a major cultures class, but still, I never enjoy wasted time, even if it is for the Core.

Jan 2000

His lectures are bland. Twice a week you meet for what he will surely call at the end of class "a very quick survey" of the topic just discussed. Grading consists of one paper on three separate topics discussed in lecture and/or in readings. It must be handed in before the reading period begins. Not necessary to go to all the lectures. Must go to at least to enough lectures so that you have heard about three entirely separate topics.

Jan 2000

An excellent, excellent professor. He turns facts and dates into a well told story. He's very passionate and knowledgeable about the subject matter. It's important to be in class and awake because the midterm focused mainly on the lectures and not the readings. Also, he tends to start a few minutes late and frequently lets us out a few minutes early. Overall, it's a very enjoyable class.

Jan 2000

Vinson is a great professor, who is clearly passionate about his work. An energetic and cheerful teacher, he makes the material really interesting.

Jan 2000

Vinson is awesome. His lectures are extremely entertaining and he even brings in slides and handouts to help get across his material. His grading, however, is a bit strict on the midterm, but this is a must as there are about 200+ people in this class. He's the best professor for this course if you are really into latin american civ.