course
Literature Humanities

Apr 2021

Professor Tommasino is the most caring person you will ever meet. All of the classes were designed so they were comfortable and created a space where everyone felt welcome. The discussions he led were always fun and as a non-humanities major feeling intimidated by the class coming in, I always felt I could comfortably participate in the conversation. He also included books that weren't eurocentric and classics that were a fun read. He also was very knowledgeable and provided interesting takes and connections between books, his jokes were endearing and he always spread positivity and good vibes. While the whole year was online, he tried really hard to simulate a close and comfortable environment. When submitting an essay he always replied with a thank you and kind words, he was always available if you ever needed anything, he urged us to ask for an extension or help if we ever needed it, always asked how we were, etc. All in all, a wonderful experience! If you get in his section: congratulations, he is an amazing professor, and I always felt accepted and appreciated by him - rare especially in the online format. If not, I advise you to try really hard to get in, it will be worth it.

Mar 2021

Jeffrey (he insists that "unless our need for the social hierarchy is that strong" to call him Jeffrey) is an AMAZING professor. I had him during a semester when everything was on Zoom, but he was incredibly understanding and engaging even with a technological barrier. As a person, he is very kind and open-minded to all forms of interpretation of the texts. He gave veryyy detailed feedback and was always inviting us to office hours if we wanted to go over papers. However, he usually didn't read drafts of papers before we turned them in (which I know some professors allow). His job is in the Union Theological Seminary, and he curates medieval texts, which in a normal year he would show to his students. I definitely recommend his class!

Feb 2021

Honestly a great prof! Grades fairly on the essays, gives a lot of prompts so you have a lot of options on what to write about, and includes interesting stuff in the discussions, like disabilities, LGBT+, feminism, etc. You can tell she cares about the texts and isn't glorifying them or their authors. The reading is heavy but that's lithum. Gives a ten-minute break halfway through class. Highly recommend!

Jan 2021

She is a fantastic professor, even online! Her classes are completely discussion-based but with lots of guidance from handouts. She gives contextual powerpoints at the start of each new book/work. It's easy to tell she cares about making the class good for everyone in it. Her essays were not a lot and the oral final was stressful but ended up going really well for pretty much everyone. Some people thought she was strict, but I loved her as a teacher and thought everything was well thought out and organized.

Jan 2021

Dean Lisa is easily the best teacher I’ve ever had. I agree with the previous review; her class is definitely challenging, but I believe it is more than worth it. Instead of giving us exams with passage ID’s, she has us write reading journals (>5 sentences each for 5 specific quotes) before each class. My reading journals took about 1-1.5 hours each. I found this method of ensuring completion of the readings very effective, especially because it allowed for a form of participation that wasn’t verbal. I expressed to her that I was nervous about talking in class, and she was very accommodating and understanding. As my confidence grew throughout the semester, she commented on how happy she was to see me contributing more. She facilitates fantastic discussions, and she has adapted to online learning very well. Although online class discussions are usually not as cohesive and focused as in-person discussions, she still knows how to steer conversations in new directions, push us to think harder and keep us on topic. She takes the time and care to transcribe what each person says in the chat. She also encourages us to add our own input and comments in the chat, which makes for a very lively classroom “environment. We were assigned one 1000-1250 word essay (about one piece of literature). We had an opportunity for revision after receiving her (very extensive and thoughtful) feedback. She is not an easy grader, but her comments are very constructive and helped me so much to improve not only my writing but also my analysis and ideas in general. She planned to have a second essay, but she decided midway through the semester to assign a group project instead. We were tasked with analyzing a certain topic/theme in two passages from separate works, and then finding works of visual art and music that add to our interpretation of the passages in the context of the topic/theme we chose. Once we had finished our individual analyses, we worked in groups to compile all our ideas into a group “symposium. I don’t know if she will keep the same group project in the future, but I loved it and learned so much from it! It was also wonderful to finally meet and chat with some of my classmates. Dean Lisa is also simply a wonderful person. It’s very obvious how much she cares for each of her students and how much she wants them to learn. It’s very worthwhile going to her office hours to talk about classwork, or even just to chat about being a first-year in CC. I am an internal transfer student, and Lit Hum was one of the things I was most looking forward to in CC. Dean Lisa’s section exceeded all my expectations and taught me so much more than how to be a critical reader and writer. I also learned how to be a better thinker! I cannot recommend her section enough.

Dec 2020

Professor Inbal is the absolute sweetest person ever. She is very caring and makes each class very interactive and even enjoyable. Her class is very chill and relaxed and must I say perfect for someone who doesn’t exactly like reading all that much. She is a very lenient grader and her workload is very manageable. During this online semester, each class revolved around breakout rooms in which you dissect small passages from the particular book we are reading therefore if you’re unable to fully read the assigned reading the night before, you will still be fine. Both essays are also just comparing and contrasting themes/motifs in 2 or 3 pieces we read which make them very manageable as well even if you barely read during the semester. Both the midterm and the final were just open book passage analyses as well. She really created an amazing community in our class and she made Lit Hum my favorite class of the semester as a STEM student who was dreading having to take this class :) Overall highly recommend and she definitely deserves a gold nugget!

Dec 2020

Overall, Nassime is a very kind and understanding professor, so even though I didn't love how she did everything, I got through the class fine and with a good grade. So if the below things don't sound like your teaching style, you might want to switch out, but if you can't or are on the fence, you'll probably be totally fine. Some of the things I didn't like that led to me not being as engaged in the class was that the discussions were very teacher-led. She made comments between each student, which prevented us from being able to respond to other students fluidly. This also made participating kind of stressful at times because she had an organized perception about how the conversation should go and if you weren't going in that direction, she'd bring the discussion back in. A few times I even felt like my comments were being shut down because I didn't have enough evidence, which intimidated me a little bit and discouraged me from participating (which I know wasn't intentional, but definitely had an impact on my participation for the rest of the term). She is also especially specific about the writing style of our papers, but her instructions and feedback are confusing so I wasn't been able to get the hang of it. Overall she's a great person and some people really like her as a teacher but I wasn't feeling it.

Dec 2020

Lisa hollibaugh is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong her class is definitely challenging. She makes you do reading journals for every class, but honestly they aren’t that hard to do they maybe take 20 min. But the conversations during class are so great. She takes the time out of her day to get to know each of her students. I cannot say how much I love this woman. She is the best! She is very understanding and a decent grader! She will def help you grow not only as a reader, but as a writer. Take her section of Lit Hum. You wont regret it.

Dec 2020

TAKE HER CLASS! Prof. Myers is the kindest professor I've ever had. She is so enthusiastic about the readings and leads great class discussions. She gives really good feedback on your writing and she is so organized with grades and assignments. Canvas was beautifully organized and she was really accessible by email. She was so understanding also and gave extensions/absences leeway as long as you communicated with her. She let me take our midterm a week later because I asked for an extension due to an overwhelming amount of work and stress during election week. She will talk through your ideas for papers and make an effort to get to know you. If you're taking lit hum, take it with Prof. Myers. You won't regret it!

Dec 2020

Professor Stewart is simply great. He is understanding, sensitive, and smart. He adjusted well to the all-online format and reassured us that he was well aware of the extraneous things going on in the world. At the same time, Professor Stewart led in-class discussions masterfully. I was constantly impressed by his teaching instincts. For example, when we were discussing the Bible, he repeatedly acknowledged the advantages and disadvantages of reading a religious text from a literary perspective. This, I imagine, can be a touchy subject for any teacher, given the obvious wide range of experience and opinions of students with the text. Somehow, he bridged the gap, providing thoughtful critiques of biblical characters himself while facilitating debate over perhaps unfair or excessive criticism of the text. This was topped off by a beautifully written email after a particularly lively class explaining his ongoing personal relationship with the religious text. During conversation, he strikes the perfect balance between listening and contributing, interjecting and leaving space when appropriate. He has a way of rephrasing and responding to students' comments so that even the most incoherent ones sound intelligent. This, I think, is a testament to his knowledge and familiarity with the subject matter. His essay feedback is detailed and fair. He never calls people out in class and participation is purely voluntary, which makes class significantly less stressful. He didn't do reading checks but he did very occasionally take an in-class poll on a reading comprehension question. Ultimately, Professor Stewart is a reasonable and decent man. He wants to see his students succeed, and his energy and passion for the literature is infectious. If Professor Stewart is any indication of the quality of the English/Literature department, he has set the bar awfully high.

Sep 2020

Warren is by far the best professor I've had at Columbia. Seriously, do yourself a favor and take his class. He made my first year at Columbia so much more enjoyable. The 2-hour long classes never felt boring and I enjoyed every single one. He was always extremely understanding and empathetic, especially when classes shifted to Zoom in the spring because of the pandemic - and even those online classes were enjoyable. He asks really interesting questions and is excellent at facilitating class discussions. His feedback on essays is always really helpful, and he always gave us more feedback during office hours if we needed it. Not only did he give us feedback on our essays after we submitted them, but he also gave us feedback on the topics we wanted to write our papers about. Classes were structured really well. Every class, we discussed topics that students brought up in their discussion posts for the reading that was required for that day. This felt like a really great way to get us to be more involved and participate in discussions more actively. Unlike some other LitHum professors, he never made us do any pop quizzes, which was really nice. Midterms were reasonable and only included passages that we explicitly covered and had in-depth discussions about in class. He gave us sample midterm questions so that we'd be familiar with the format. He also held review sessions. I genuinely cannot relate to anyone in other classes who didn't like LitHum because Warren made it so enjoyable, even for someone like me who isn't majoring in anything related to the material that LitHum covers. This class made me realize how much love I actually have for literature. He really took the time to get to know all of us and he would check up on us during office hours to make sure we were doing okay. He really emphasized that he cared about our mental health which I appreciated so much. Our class got along so well and I think that Warren is part of the reason that this happened. As another reviewer said, he's an actual angel and you won't regret taking his class!

Sep 2020

Professor Workman may not exactly be the nicest or the warmest professor in the world, but she will teach you a damn lot. Let me just say, she knows her stuff. Like holy crap. She really lives and breathes these texts and knows them cover to cover-all of them. What comes along with that though is a lack of room for BS, which is where I think a lot of people find her off-putting. If something you say is blatantly incorrect or not fully supported by the text, she isn't afraid to let you know or challenge you about it. And while it may not feel great when you put yourself out there to speak and end up getting shut down (not really shut down, but that's how it might feel at first), it really forces you to speak only if you think you have something either meaningful or textually supported to say. At first, I found this style kind of a shock but eventually came to love it. She will teach you and force you to become a better literature student. period. She will force you to think more creatively and to really look into a text to draw out rich ideas. Put simply, Prof Workman is the kind of professor that you'll remember 30 years from now and think "Damn, she was tough. But I sure learned a lot in that class." And why the hell else are you at Columbia and taking the core curriculum if you don't want to learn? If you want to come away with a good understanding of the texts in Lit Hum, Workman's your prof.

Sep 2020

Such a great, kind teacher. She seems to genuinely care about her students and is very available to meet during office hours. She expects you to do the readings and participate in class, but is also kind and understanding. She really wants everyone in the class to succeed and enjoy the material.

Aug 2020

The best, most understanding Lit Hum professor ever. Taarini is a wonderful woman who cares sincerely about her students! The class was pretty standard but Taarini did a great job at incorporating interesting texts that were missing on the syllabus and encouraging her students to think critically about everything surrounding the texts. Definitely recommend her regardless of subject or course!!

Aug 2020

One of the two worst professors I've had at Columbia. His teaching style is "sage on the stage". Students opinions are usually unaddressed. He also plays favorites.

Aug 2020

I did not enjoy having this professor. She takes her job way too seriously. You're teaching a mandatory english class for first years—please be more accommodating.

Aug 2020

DJ is awesome. I can't believe this is his first review. He deserves a nugget. This class was pushed me to be a better writer, reader, and thinker while still having a manageable workload. It so far was the best class I've taken so far in college, even though part of it was on Zoom. Jagannathan was a little rude at times, but he clearly cares about all his students and would ask us for comments on how the class was going and push back deadlines if needed. He's very strict about no technology in class and that everyone arrives on time, but it's clear this is because he really values our time. He wrote the most detailed comments on our papers. I have never gotten as much information back from a professor. He grades anonymously and fairly. If you listen to the comments on your previous papers, you will do better on the next one. That being said, he has very high expectations. Being a philosophy professor, he doesn't just let you write about a motif in the text, you have to dig deeper. After we went to zoom, he cut down the workload to have no essays and a page-long journal entry that he would comment on. I fully recommend taking a class with him. He is incredibly knowledgeable and, at the very least, it is very entertaining to see what combination of mismatched colors/patterns he wears to class.

May 2020

Alwin is straight up THE SH*T. I had him before Corona and after corona. In class he was great (as other reviewers have previously mentioned so I won't get to into it). When we switched onto online, he was still great. I think that shows the true talent of the professor. It appeared that he transitioned seamlessly onto the online format (although, I know that isn't true. He just never gave any indication that he was struggling with it). Great, GREAT! If you have him, you got a great get.

Apr 2020

Sierra was a really understanding and kind LitHum professor. That being said, class was pretty boring and unengaging, and I found that people in my class were pretty unmotivated to do the readings. She tries really really hard though, and is so sweet – she brought us treats during the midterm and hosted a little end of the semester review session / party with food before the final. As long as you're decently good at writing/literature, getting an A in this course shouldn't be a problem. I would recommend her for LitHum!

Apr 2020

Do not take this professor. She degrades anyone who she doesn't agree with and she sets obscene amounts of work. She's a very harsh grader too. There's absolutely no reason to take her unless you hate yourself.

Apr 2020

Professor Tommasino is amazing. He encourages everyone to participate, poses interesting questions, and keeps the discussion lively. He is also funny and is just an overall wholesome person. I genuinely look forward to going to lit hum every week. The only negative point would be that he doesn't give much constructive feedback on essays. But he is very lenient and easy going, which makes for a better experience and enjoyable class.

Jan 2020

Congratulations, you have won the Lit Hum lottery!!! Coming into Columbia, I was nervous that I would get trapped with an awful professor. Luckily, i was assigned Sarah. She is really passionate about the books and presents them in a bearable way. (We watched some music videos in one class). SHE IS TRULY THE GOAT OF LIT HUM

Jan 2020

Love her so much she puts so much effort into teaching and is clearly brilliant. Also very invested in students' success and getting to know us all individually and helping us all get something out of the class.

Dec 2019

He's a very passionate professor, and his classes are never boring. He leads great discussions and he is very approachable outside of class. His standard for writing is pretty high though, and it's hard to get an A for essays. But if you keep up the participation and did more than 90% of the reading, an A for the class is not hard.

Dec 2019

He is such a nice guy. He is genuinely very patient. Always has been very accommodating with any extensions or requests needed. Also, he makes class discussions very interesting. Alot of my friends complain that they feel that Lit Hum is inapplicable to contemporary issues and themes; this has never been a question or thought walking out of his class. He makes the class engaging, brings outside sources (like interviews, artwork, documentaries etc.) to show how these texts are still relevant. He also does a good balance of lecture and class discussions: for class discussion he only really monitors it to make sure contributions are equal. I'm not sure how his grading compares to other Lit Hum professors but I have always found his grading fair.

Oct 2019

In comparison to the workload my peers face, Glovinsky's class is the best. It is by far the easiest class I have in my first semester. He's a genuinely nice guy that gives flexible due dates. He doesn't care too much if you are late as long as you are polite about it. Lastly, he brings snacks after you turn in your papers.

Apr 2019

Honestly the kindest, most engaging, obviously intelligent (his conversational syntax and word choice sounds like it's a speech) and subtly dad-like Professor. You can tell he genuinely cares about what he's teaching and has invested in making sure his students understand. He always contextualizes the pieces for the modern reader and what their implications are. Very very socially conscious, knowledgable about the classics, and overall quirky. Would win pub trivia. Take him!!!

Sep 2018

This woman is terrible. I strongly recommend never taking a class with her. This is the hardest I’ve ever worked in any class and barely scraped by with a okay grade. She seems like a nice person in class, however when it comes to grading I’ve never dealt with a more unfair teacher. Whether I put 1 hour or 150 hours into a paper the grade would be the same. S T A Y A W A Y

May 2018

Professor Stalnaker is the BEST Lit Hum Professor anyone could ever ask for. In the beginning, it was challenging to say the very least as I wasn't really sure what she wanted/ expected from our papers and assignments. However, going to her office hours was the best decision as she breaks down everything. She writes intensive notes on your essays, make sure to review them with her. She takes your complaints, and concerns into consideration and often times during the semester pushed back assignments, as she noticed that we were stressed, giving you ample time to turn in the assignment on time. She is such a sweetheart, and extremely caring. Our class discussions were amazing, Professor Stalnaker brought forth many interesting insights, and was patient and interested in what each and every student said. She really values class participation, so please participate, and say something. She really wants to hear everyone and makes sure that everyone is heard. Please take this class with her, you will not regret it !!!!!!!!

Apr 2018

Great lady- superb teaching and incredibly sweet. She always accommodates her students and is very clear and available about office hours. She doesn't allow phones in class, and will tell you in the beginning she doesn't allow food- but she gets it if you need food in class (like I did). Amazing discussion, and the class bonded really well.

Dec 2017

Nicole is by far the best professor I've had this fall and probably the best I'll have all year--TAKE. HER. CLASS!! I can't stress this enough, she is so wonderful and has won the award for best lithum teacher last year (not sure what the official name of the award is). She will push you to read deeper into every text, challenge your assumptions, and take pride in your work. She also makes every class incredibly fun with a host of in-class activities ranging from games to discussion activities to free writing. She makes reading guides for every reading and gives us a ton of resources to help us in the most ways possible. She also cares about our mental health and tries not to make the course too stressful (although obviously lithum by nature has a huge amount of reading). She's not a super easy grader but definitely a really fair grader and will write extensive comments and give you the chance to revise your close reading essay to raise your grade. She's the embodiment of what makes the Core great and every teacher should be more like her!!

Dec 2017

He's pretty young and really emphasizes class participation. In the beginning of the year, he assigns people different texts to serve as the "interlocutors" and study guide makers for. Basically, you're responsible for asking a question or pointing out a quotation from your assigned text to spark conversation when it has died down. You're also responsible for making a study guide for that text based on the class discussion. He also does a lot of group work, drawing, and acting out scenes. He's a pretty nice and approachable guy. He also gives pop quizzes every so often to make sure people have been reading the texts. Sometimes he'll warn you, and other times he won't. He's a pretty fair grader.