Intro to Comparative Literature

Dec 2017

wow is this course boring

Mar 2014

Took O’Keeffe’s Intro to Complit and really enjoyed it. He’s funny, engaging, incredibly smart, and actually made me want to attend class. And since I literally almost didn’t take the course due to the latest review, I felt like I should add a 2014 opinion. So, suffice it to say, I got the “intellectual” vibe but definitely not the “mean” vibe. O’Keeffe was friendly, relaxed, and unusually interested in the class’s ideas – Instead of asking a bunch of rhetorical questions to see if we did the reading, he asked us what we actually had to say about it, and would often just stop in the middle of discussions to pore over our answers. And more than once, lo and behold, he even changed his own opinions after students suggested alternate readings. Class discussions are definitely focused on abstraction or “theory” – If you aren’t into that, you won’t enjoy the course, which sucks since it’s a requirement for complit majors. The upside is that O’Keeffe also believes in his students, and comes to class prepared to learn from them, which might make the process that much more enjoyable and worth your while. I’d definitely take this class again in a heartbeat.

Jan 2011

I never review professors. But after reading through the reviews below, I felt it absolutely necessary. Firstly, I read these reviews before taking her class. And I remember, at about halfway through the semester, wondering what in the world these people were talking about. I don't have enough words of PRAISE for Professor Worman. This is a woman who is a true intellectual, yet she serves up that intellect with a bit of sass and personality. This is someone who seems to strike a divine balance between being a professor and being a very approachable and amiable person. Professor Worman knows her stuff and welcomes students to bring their own knowledge to the table. This past semester she was chair of the department and she always seemed to have enough time for every single student that walked through her door for office hours. Please. Take a class with Worman. This woman is a gem.

Dec 2010

Prof. Worman is funny, charismatic and good at facilitating discussions, however lacks the ability to explain some simple concepts concisely. A lecture on semiotics that should have taken at most half a class turned into a recurring (for maybe 4 weeks!) 15-minute lesson in which she drew more confusing diagrams than were in the source text (which she also did not assign). Great at describing the intellectual history, and of course, elements of classical literature behind each text. She was also super stoked on everything we talked about in class.

Mar 2010

I had two classes with Prof. Connor. He's pretty cool--very laid back, reasonable about workload and deadlines/extensions. I suppose you don't really have to do any of the readings in either class, but I did most of them and other people seemed to as well; they're interesting and people want to be in his classes (especially Translation Studies), so it works out. He speaks really quietly so it's easy to space out/fall asleep during class, but in addition to knowing about lots of dense readings and complicated literary things he's also quite funny and if you drift off you'll miss some really interesting, entertaining things.

Jan 2009

I LOVED this class. Professor Connor has a very distinct style of teaching- his sarcastic comments often make for some pretty good laughs, and he always has really great insights on the subject matter. He can make you appreciate articles that otherwise seem so obscure you're not even sure why he asked you to read them. He brings you to the depth of it right away, and very succinctly. Overall a great class and a great professor.

Mar 2008

Really nice guy-- Typical Ivy League professor. I definitely enjoyed his class, and the reading wasn't too bad at all. He is one of those professors who finds giving exams as much of a pain in the ass as the students find taking them. He understands that you have other classes to worry about. Speak up though; he likes when people contribute to his lectures. Overall it was a very englightening class; I would take him again if I could.

Apr 2007

The worst experience I've had at Columbia. It is not an intro course by any means, Professor Worman seems to think everyone has a comp lit background. Make sure you memorize as much as you can for her midterm, even though she says not to, do not do extra work, because it will not be considered towards your final grade i.e presentations. She goes on tangents all the time, most of the time you walk out of class frustrated with her fake smile. But more importantly, be aware that if you approach her, her dark side might come out! Useless trying to email her. Stay away from her classes it's a lottery with her and a waste of time and money.

May 2004

Prof. Dabashi is indeed a brilliant man, and has seemingly endless knowledge of the material, but somehow he never manages to get any of that knowledge across in his lectures. He decries professors who simply read off a speech instead of actually teaching, but what he fails to realize is that his own method is just as ineffective: rambling on about tangents and discussing ad nauseum unrelated albeit interesting side-notes to the material. I learned much more from reading the texts than going to class, unfortunately. He schedules class once a week, but then insists on another meeting each week - okay, I don't know why he didn't just make it a normal twice-weekly class, but fine - except both meetings are on the same day! I mean, come on, you have to actually PLAN the class ahead of time. He enjoys cold-calling students, which is a valid method except he uses it more as a cautionary method of embarrassment ("see what happens when you don't do everything I say") than an actual teaching method. He says he is open to any and all theories, but he is very discouraging of any actual dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, this class is required for students majoring in Comparative Literature. If you are not a major, do yourself and the actual majors a favor: don't take this class. You won't enjoy it and you will just crowd the class for the people who actually have to take it (Dabashi refuses to kick out the non-majors and the freshman who think it's an "intro course," much to the chagrin of students who actually have to learn this material).