course
Political Sociology

Jun 2011

What so I see here? I see a silver nugget. Prof. Barkey does deserve a golden nugget. She is by far the most engaging and compassionate teacher I had last semester. She is an astute intellectual, but doesn’t care to wear it on her sleeve by detaching from her students and casting them to the TA’s. If you would like a professor who prides herself in making one eye contact and who possesses pleasant demeanor and way of speaking, then take a Prof. Barkey class. She is sharp and knows her materials. Though appears to be lecturing off the cuff at times, she has a class outline and presents the material in “fresh-mode” with such finesse in her cool and collected manner that she makes it extremely comfortable for a student to sit back, listen and take notes. If you use a laptop, don’t be rude and surf then net or check your FB and Gmail. It’s distracting to others and she will call you out on it. She is very open to discussion and sometimes allows students to run on tangents, but that’s part of the deal with a professor who nurtures limitless borders of inquiry. She admires and respects all of her students and their positions. I will tell you if you are in the minority or way off base, it is not the professor who may recognize your unpopular position, but your fellow classmates who may debate you with intellectual prowess. Her classes do attract the vivacious types of thinkers who do not hesitate to come down on idiotic statements that come from uniformed or ignorant places. If you want to speak in any academic environment, it’s fine to be in the minority or have your own individual position that may isolate you, but be prepared to defend your position and respect others as well. Prof. Barkey is a breath of fresh air in the Columbia majority pool of professors that simply do not take the time to meet with students, or individually read papers. She will sit down with you and help you to draft your paper outlines. The TA was fabulous and I was impressed with all of his written feedback on the midterm and during class. Writing a final paper is very manageable if you start at the top of the semester to do your research and reading, and get your outline done as soon as possible. Drafts need to progress throughout the semester as you go through the course materials and read your own selections. If you present Prof. Barkey with your final paper, she will read it, grade it, and give you the appropriate grade you deserve. I highly recommend her to students who are seeking to have more than just a superficial relationship with prima donna Profs and TA’s. Prof. Barkey is a great asset to the department and to Columbia University. I hope they realize what a jewel they have in her presence and dedication to her students.

Apr 2011

Karen Barkey is hands down the best professor I have ever had. She has the unique qualities of being both extremely intelligent and still humble. She is caring, thoughtful, passionate and will push you to do your best work. The curriculum she designs could not be better. The work load is just the right amount to help you learn a lot without burning you out. Professor Barkey has taught me more in one semester than any other professor at Columbia. She is OUTSTANDING and it would be a waste of your tuition not to take a class from her, whether you are a sociology major or not.

May 2006

Excellent class. Barkey is engaging but more than that she actually cares about her students. She has extremely flexible office hours and is always ready to lend a hand before papers and exams. Participate in class and she will love you forever.