19th Century Novel Seminar: Austen, Bronte, Eliot

Jan 2010

I would absolutely take any lecture course Professor Cohen offers, however, this course was at times disappointing. A lot of any seminar experience depends on the class members, but there is a certain amount of handling that needs to be done from the instructor and in this regard, I often felt that Professor Cohen was TOO nice - wanting to make sure everyone with a hand raised got comments in and never cutting off people who rattle on FOREVER. Also, because she let anyone who wanted to speak do so one after the other, it felt like class discussions had no structure or consistency; lines of thought were rarely followed through. Just a bit more handling could have made this a significantly better course. Professor Cohen is really wonderful one-on-one and I would suggest meeting with her to review paper ideas and just talk about your experiences with the novels.

Nov 2004

Yes, he is a very smart man. Smart enough, mind you, to turn obviously wrong interpretations from students in the seminar into dissertation-quality points about any of the works read in class. He makes everyone feel smart, and teaches the class to appreciate the density and multi-layers of novels marginalized in their own contexts of time. Highly recommend the class (if you're luck to get into the seminar) but I hoped that Dames would've spoken more instead of the over zealous students who had nothing really worthwhile to contribute to class.