Jan 2010

I cannot begin to describe how awesome this professor and this class are (but I'll do my best). The class involves reading 5 different anticolonial texts (Black Jacobins, Hind Swaraj, Discourse on Colonialism, The Colonizer and the Colonized, The Wretched of the Earth) and discusses them at length in class. The reading load and workload are fairly light--Prof Scott's goal is that his students engage with the material and really gain an in-depth knowledge of the works. The discussions integrated philosophy, history, anthropology, and current events, and each student brought a different angle to the table. Discussions were really fascinating and Professor Scott really pressed us on our points; he doesn't let you get away with BS. He does sometimes slip into anthropological jargon but really he's intelligent, friendly, and an all-around awesome teacher. If you have any interest in 20th century history, colonialism, or Caribbean studies, I would highly recommend this class. The only downside to Professor Scott is he's kind of disorganized and hard to get in touch with. But it's honestly a very small minus. And once you do meet with him, he is really involved and interested. He cares deeply about his students and about the material--you will want to do the work. TAKE THIS CLASS!

Apr 2006

This seminar was one of the best I have taken at Columbia. Scott chose 4 canonical texts that examined the ideology of post-colonial struggle and anticolonial thought. His calm and calculated way of speaking is never egotistical. He speaks slowly, carefully and thoughtfully, and is a consumate expert on post-colonial intellectuals (takes one to know one I guess). He challenged students to go further with his common utterance of "let me press you on that...". While most of the anthro seminars I have taken suffer from an excess of reading that can never be covered in 2 hours a week, this class was truly about close reading. One of the books we covered, 'the Wretched of the Earth', is also a CC staple. However, in many CC classes it is briefly covered at the end of the 2nd semester. This class really did Fanon, James, Cesaire and Memmi justice. I was exposed to a tradtion that I had no real connection to before. Anticolonialism is a great combination to CC because it highlighted oft ignored intellectuals of the African Diaspora. If you have any interest in post-colonial studies or prefer amazing professor who constantly challenge you to think, David Scott is your man.