Contemporary Civilization

May 2021

Worst professor. Extremely weird grading and doesn't communicate with her students. Heck, she doesn't care about her students. Don't let her crush your dreams.

Jan 2021

Professor Rovane is a sweet woman but, as previous reviewers have said, her classes are impossible to sit through and are exercises in very niche corners of philosophy rather than summaries/context of the books we read. The papers assigned were philosophy papers & very different than anything I had ever written in my extensive humanities education - for me personally, that transition to writing "this is the philosopher's argument, this is what I think the flaw in that argument is, this would be how the philosopher would respond to my stated flaw" papers was hard and showed up (probably fairly) in my grade. In my experience, she wasn't a generous grader but was probably a pretty fair one - though likely everyone's essay grades would be improved if she provided us with more guidance on how to write this philosophical style of essay that is probably brand-new to most of her students. I could see her being an incredible professor for an upper-level seminar, but I don't think she's well-suited to teach non-philosophy majors in a survey class like CC. Professor Rovane does not allow or encourage pretty much any discussion among students - classes are long, convoluted lectures that are impossible to follow. But she's not mean or anything like some other CC profs reviewed on CULPA seem to be, so if your choice is between her and someone reviewed as cruel, choose Professor Rovane. But if you have a better option, go with that instead of this class.

Dec 2020

I took Professor Macleod's section of CC in 2018. I have been debating whether to write this review for 2 years, given that my experience was not the opinion of all students within the class. Still, I think that someone may benefit from reading this before deciding on an instructor for this core class. To be blunt, if you are a neurodivergent student, I would highly recommend taking a different class. Professor Macleod, while extremely knowledgeable and intelligent, is a very by-the-book professor. Every class is a lecture, and there is very little student engagement, although some level of participation is required for every session. It is difficult to feel excited about the texts assigned since most of it is lecture, and so class can be a bit boring. Many of my classmates, including me, switched out after one semester. Papers are graded pretty harshly, according to a high academic standard. However, Macleod is open to giving extra time (a few weeks, in my case lol) and having one on one meetings to help you to rewrite a paper if it sucks. You will not get below a B minus for a paper, ever, period. When we were in person, he did not allow laptops unless you had a specific reason for it (like some backup from ODS). Honestly, for me, this class was the number 1 most stressful course I've ever taken at Columbia. I cried like every day LOL. The main thing that drove me to write this review is that I haven't been able to write a paper since then without feeling panicked and remembering struggling so much in this class. That is not to say he isn't a good professor. He is, as stated previously, extremely intelligent and he really knows his stuff, especially pertaining to classic texts. He does not want you to fail, and so he works hard to accommodate students on due dates and such. If you take this class, you will probably get around a B minus minimum, or maybe even an A. However, if you are a student who would struggle in a class like this, I suggest looking for a professor with more fun, engaging approach to the course. I excelled once I switched to a different professor, but that is my personal story.

May 2020

She is the best thing to ever happen to ever happen to Columbia. Love her and this class. Brilliant and super kind. Never was bored, looked forward to 4:10 every Monday and Wednesday this year.

May 2020

You get A+ just by breathing

Nov 2019

DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. Unless you plan on being a philosophy major or reading each and every text thoroughly I can guarantee you will not find Prof. Gabel easy or enjoyable. Even if you are particularly studious you will most likely find this class a challenge. She may be kind but she is a very VERY tough grader. I honestly can't say I haven't learned anything from her class but I know I haven't been happy since September. Her averages are below the standard CC averages I've seen. If you are looking for an easy-ish CC prof for your sophomore year she ain't it.

Jun 2017

By far one of the kindest, and most caring professors I've ever come across in any Columbia course. He works very hard to help you understand the material, and is very passionate about the source material. Furthermore, Jeremy tends to cut the heavy CC readings to a very manageable amount per week, which really helped me understand and appreciate the texts better. He was beyond flexible in accommodating virtually anything. I cannot recommend him enough! If you are not entirely sold on core classes, or have heard scary stories about CC, I definitely recommend attending Jeremy's class.

Jan 2015

He picks favorites. Disproportionately chill teacher. Don't expect to learn anything but he probably won't give you lower than a B. I remember asking a kid in class who fervently quotes twitter and Dane Cook how he was doing in participation. He had an A. If you want a class that makes no sense, this is the one.

Jan 2015

Mathias is a pretty straight-edged dude, but ended up really enjoying his class! He is very knowledgeable and leads discussions well, which have a good balance between student interactions and teacher interjections. Though it was his first time teaching the course, he did a great job and was very flexible with our suggestions! Also, he's an understanding grader. Overall, great CC experience. It was hard, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Dec 2013

Great professor. I recommend him to anyone. He works extremely hard to have you understand exactly what he expect from you, as well as what each reading is about. He doesn't make you do pointless reading, but takes each book and cuts out reading that he believes isn't important. This allows all to do the reading, and makes discussion fluid and everyone gets involved. He is a fair grader. Not too hard, not too easy. He also has makes us do one page responses every week which is blessing because it makes you stay on top of the reading which doesn't leave you scrambling. Overall a good experience, with a professor that cares a lot, will make you care, but understand you take five other classes.