Posnock might be one of the most polarizing professors in the department. People love him or hate him—and most people hate him. On the first day of Realism & Naturalism, there were about 30 students, many of whom literally pulled out their computers and dropped the course part way through the lecture. I think in total about 5 of us stuck it out for the semester, and I'm glad I did. He might be brusque and eccentric, but he's absurdly smart and quite funny. He's also very willing to meet with you outside of class to help you develop paper ideas or to answer any questions. He does have a very clear political point of view, so if you skew conservative be warned. The theme of the class also wasn't very clear, and I think on every handout he gave us he renamed the class. I think the most appropriate name for the class would be "Novels Ross Posnock Likes." In the end, his teaching style really grew on me and he presented interesting readings of a lot of classic novels. If you're on the fence, I highly recommend you give him a chance.