Political Fictions of the Long 18th Century

Dec 2011

I very much enjoyed my seminar with Prof. Nersessian. This was her first semester at Columbia and the course was added late to the department, so our class consisted of all of like five people (4 students + 1 prof); obviously, I can't speak to what kind of professor she is in a larger class environment. The reading in the course was super-engaging and relevant to contemporary events and I thought the paper assignments were fair (I should add that she gives you a lot of feedback—think a lot of margin notes and a full typed page of notes at the end of a paper—most of which is very helpful). Prof. Nersessian keeps the discussion tightly controlled and isn't afraid to lecture at length, so students who prefer a seminar that is led totally by class discussion will be put off by her style. Being someone with a weak background in European history background, I needed more secondary historical sources than I was given. I recommend anyone who takes a class with her not be afraid to tackle some difficult material in papers and attend office hours; she definitely rewards and encourages ambition with responsiveness, CLIO links to helpful books, etc.