course
Visionary Dramas and Dramatic Visions

Nov 2012

As others have said, Visionary Dramas and Dramatic Visions was a fantastic class, and Professor Johnson is an amazing professor. This class was a perfect mix of interesting material and great teaching. For those without a background in Lit/Medieval texts: Don't be scared away; take this class! Medieval texts can often be boring at first glance, and many teachers have trouble showing students that they are actually bawdy and exciting, while dealing with deep philosophical/theological issues. Prof. Johnson has an amazing ability to show the interesting side of every text and to make each become a window into the Medieval world. The beliefs, concerns, interests, and believe it or not, jokes of the each author comes through loud and clear. If you are at all interested in literature, history, humor, or humans, take this class. For those interested in Medieval: It's a no brainer... There are too few Medieval Lit courses as it is, so why would you pass on such an awesome one? Lastly: go to Professor Johnson's office hours! She will teach you how to write. I know, I know, you already know how to write. I promise you, though, that you will come out a much better writer if you ask Prof. Johnson for feedback/criticism.

Sep 2012

Nice things about Eleanor Johnson can't be repeated enough, and I agree with everything below about how awesome she is. More specifically VDDV: I went into the class for the professor (as did 95% of the room) and ended up some how really liking the material. Somehow, Prof. Johnson made people want to come talk about 12th century god writings for 75 minutes twice a week. She runs the class well, her enthusiasm is clear and infectious, and she will make every text sound like it is the most interesting thing ever written. She's pretty aware that everyone loves her, so she did a lot to make us stick with the texts (in-depth review sessions before the midterm and final were particularly nice) and actually get something out of them. TL;DR: You would want to take this class if it didn't fulfill the distribution requirement for the English major. The fact that it does is just icing on the cake that is a class with Johnson.

May 2012

My experience of Professor Johnson was pretty much exactly the same as everybody else's. I am quite neurotic about my GPA... I got a B+ in this class, my lowest grade at Columbia, and I'm still completely thrilled with the experience. I'm not an English major, so some things which some students may have found easy were challenging for me. That said, I don't think this is an easy class by any standard, so you can rest assured that the amazing reviews for Eleanor Johnson don't derive from unusually lenient grading. I would not describe the grading as harsh either, it seemed pretty fair. The TA, Emma, was wonderful. Her comments on papers were very clear and helpful, and she created an encouraging, fun, and always on-topic learning experience in her (optional) section. Professor Johnson herself manages to make every text seem like the most important text in the history of the language. Her lectures are really thrilling and high-energy. She's also very approachable, and responds almost immediately to emails containing insights, thoughts, and questions about the material. She is encouraging, and loves to help students take interesting if unfocused paper ideas and focus them into provocative topics which result in meaningful work. The exams are straightforward, and she reviews thoroughly before the midterm and final, in class.