Michal Shapira

May 2011

Michal Shapira is, in a word, awful. She insists on attendance at this intro lecture course when honestly I would have learned more by spending the time at home on wikipedia. This course is dumbed-down so terribly that by the end of the semester I took no notes in class and instead used wikipedia to study, and did just fine. Yes, 1789 to the present is a fairly difficult course to teach...I mean, there were more than a few fairly major events and movements that took place over the last 200 years!! However, spending 1 lecture on Freud/psychoanalysis and 1 lecture on the causes,course, and consequences of WWI just doesn't seem right. Shapira's actual style does nothing to alleviate the problem of the course's conception. She rambles on, repeats herself constantly (every 3 sentences or so, she'll repeat all 3 sentences). She has annoying verbal habits (she said "in a sense" 87 times over the course of one lecture) and she follows her fellow Barnard professors in constantly emphasizing the role of women which is fine and indeed proper except when she claims that enlightenment thought was in fact driven by women, or that WW1, colonialism, and the depression were all caused by 'crises of masculinity'. Possible IDs and Essay questions for each exam were given in advance.