Comedy Past and Present

Dec 2011

I took this class just for kicks because it fit in my schedule and had an interesting syllabus (in other words, I came for Tom Stoppard and stayed for Aristophanes). It was easily my favorite class this semester! It seemed to me as though Prof Fields chose to teach this class because the topic was a sort of "pet project" for her; we weren't working from a canon of knowledge that she expected us to regurgitate back to her, but together we were discussing these great comedic texts and having a ton of fun looking at ancient and contemporary comedy through an academic lens. I'll admit that I didn't come to class all the time, but the class periods that I did attend were informative, fascinating, and fun. I also took this class while I was taking LitHum and I found that the wealth of knowledge on classics that Professor Fields shares was immensely helpful for helping me understand and contribute to LitHum. All in all, this was a fascinating class that wasn't too demanding. A great choice for a fun elective if you're looking for something interesting, engaging, and that will let you read tons of great texts you probably never would have read otherwise. I definitely recommend it!

Feb 2007

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. Prof. Scharfenberger really did seem nice, but it quickly became frustrating because of the situaiton below: you want to like a class, you do all the readings and get to class with your little highlighter and post-its, ready to snap up any juicy tidbit of information that might come your way .. and then the lecture devolves into people talking about their personal favorite pets or what they had for breakfast, with the professor acting really "supportive" of this choice to waste everyone's time. truly, did want to like it. but really, it wasn't good.

Aug 2005

She is as great as she sounds. Elizabeths class in not only interesting but also enjoyable. I was skeptic as first when the class was supposed to focus on the classical writings but as the course progressed we read more and more modern comedy from Woody Allen to John Stewart's America The Book. I was amazed that a book my friends were reading for fun I was reading for a class at Columbia. With out a doubt Elizabeth knows what shes talking about and is willing to help you with whatever you need.

May 2003

The rare teacher who is totally at ease with her students without being condescending or laughingly 'hip.' She doesn't stand on ceremony, and she obviously enjoys the intellectual exchange with her students. Though class discussions sometimes tended to meander along for the majority of the class, Prof. Scharffenberger revels in class discussions, and is not afraid to spend 10 minutes discussing anything that comes up randomly, whether it be Jon Stewart or obscure avant-garde French plays playing in Brooklyn that weekend. She is definitely a student's dream: a warm, engaging, hilarious professor who wants to inform AND be your friend.