course
Civil Society

Apr 2006

Admittedly, I was excited during the beginning because Professor Fisher seemed as though she would appeal to my Democratic political stance. However, expect no political comraderie from her. She's extremely professional in her handling of the rules, but generally in line with many of the reviews already written about her. Her lectures tend to be a bit digressive, there's an extremely esoteric air of ivory tower verbosity that permeates the classroom (the time of which is monopolized by sociology grad students), and everyone save for a few earnest critics seems afraid to admit that the material is theoretical to the point of being spacey, inapplicable, and generally frustrating if not understood the way its "supposed to be understood". She also leads you into thinking it will be an easy class which is a complete letdown come around grade time.

Jan 2006

I agree with a lot of what was written below. I was very frustrated by class discussions. Someone below said they "rarely (if ever) focused on the readings." They rarely (if ever) focused on anything. But I agree that if this is what a grad seminar is, there's no way I'm going to grad school.

May 2004

(1) Class discussion rarely (if ever) focused on the readings. Inane and superficial class discussions will shock any student thinking s/he is registered for a grad seminar. (2) She has ZERO attention span. (3) It is not hard to get an A on the final paper. Spend three days instead of 1 on it, and your A is made. (4) Great intentions, but this class needs so much work. It looks structured from the syllabus, but then you go, and wonder why the syllabus even exists.

May 2003

Prof. Fisher is a wonderful person, who is able to engage with students. She is energetic, personable, and builds relationships with students. Her class, however, needs some work. In any one of her classes, there was probably only about 15-20 minutes of substance, and the rest was mostly off-topic conversation. The substance portion saw the class discussion dominated by the two grad students, who were usually over everyone else's heads. Outside of the interesting "Bowling Alone" and the boring Habermas, the material came largely from the written works of Prof. Fisher's friends, colleagues, and contemporaries in the last five years. I have never been in a class where much of the reading was simply debating the existance and/or definition of the class title. Prof. Fisher alone makes this course fun, but it's a matter of substance and style. Also, she is not really clear on her grading system, making those who come thinking that they'll get an easy "A" surprisingly burned in the end.