Alfred MacAdam

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

Apr 2020

Really really really discourage everyone from taking this prof. He's unprofessional and not interesting at all. This is the only class I've taken at Columbia which felt like a complete waste of time.

Dec 2016

This was my first comparative literature course here at Barnard and it met my expectations in terms of challenge and in how interdisciplinary it was. Professor MacAdam is incredibly erudite and has a very sarcastic whit. His lectures are informative but I feel like he spends too much time summing up the plots of the novellas. If you haven't read the words, then it's helpful but its repetitive if you have.

Apr 2013

Professor MacAdam is the sweetest person ever. He will talk to you about whatever and will put in a lot of time to help you figure out your point of view on the book. He is really accessible outside of class. On the course itself: First part is mighty boring. But after your first set of essays you start getting why did you have to read all the boring ancient stuff. As you progress through the course, you see why each book was included. Bottom line, each previous book helps you read the next one. I thought the course was very well made: I enjoyed it far better than another survey lit course I've taken. Professor MacAdam oftentimes made the entire class laugh to tears. I promise, you will be falling asleep listening about distant pasts of obscure people, and then you will find yourself falling off the chair, laughing. One of the most memorable instances was when we were reading Goethe, I believe. Professor MacAdam stood before class, explaining why did he choose that specific translation of the book. "My close friend translated it. Yeah, we're very close. In fact, I think of him every_day! *long pause, looking at the back wall over our heads* Because I have his sofa in my living room!"

Nov 2012

I want to write a review for Professor MacAdam because I believe he is a bit misunderstood. Many on here have talked about how much they love him, but some believe he's just a pervy old man with dry lectures. This is not true! He DOES want his students to participate- he would always ask our class like 3 times over the course of the hour & 15 minutes if they had any questions or wanted to contribute something...and no one ever said anything. This genuinely disheartened him. I remember going to office hours one day and he expressed his disappointment that no one seemed to want to have any if you feel as if he's just talking at you about the books, remember that he will ALWAYS welcome questions, comments, connections, or anything. He is so, so, SO knowledgable about pretty much every piece of literature to ever be written, in like every make use of his brilliance! Engage in some debate! He really cares about his students and enjoys teaching them. And he is not a pervert. The class is literally about love and sex in literature; how can you not expect him to NOT talk about how the characters are gettin' it on? I recommend taking any class this man teaches. You will learn a ton, and I guarantee you will enjoy his sarcastic, deadpan sense of humor. Come to him with any issue (or even just to talk) and he'll be your best friend.

Oct 2012

I took MacAdam's Mad Love class. While many of the texts were compelling and interesting stories, the class was a total bust. I love Euripides, Shakespeare, and Nabokov, however MacAdam's would have ruined them for me had I not already found my passion for them. Class is boring and feels like you don't need to go, which many people in fact, don't actually attend. He summarizes the texts and then adds his own personal opinons. He says funny, quippy things every now and then, but he never provided analyse for the books, only his opinions. Writing essays for this class, which is the final and midterm, became difficult because I have little to say. His topics for essays are terrible, and he has a weird writing requirement. Bottom line, this course sounds cool. But MacAdams completely ruins it.

May 2012

As a SEAS student taking this class for Global Core requirement, I found the class enjoyable and extremely manageable. Though going to class is by all means not required, Professor MacAdam is a scholar in his field and has a lot to offer. While he does give a lot of background on the authors, he also gives a lot of good material to build your essays around. He is also extremely understanding in terms of helping students with ideas and granting the occasional extension. There are a lot of books to read but you can get by without reading them, as I found out as the course went on. In terms of global cores, this probably is one of the best routes to take if you're not looking for a lot of work. However, I would not say that this is an easy grade, and poor essays will receive poor grades.

Apr 2012

What a cool course! I walked into class, finding myself having passed out of Spanish but not being a native speaker, and being surrounded entirely by Barnard native speakers. I thought the course would be daunting, but Professor Mac Adam's clear speaking style, interesting (if not sometimes dry) lectures, and explanations of the books we read made the class enjoyable and far less difficult than originally anticipated. It was also a good challenge for my Spanish-speaking skills.

Apr 2012

Wooow, he is such a nice guy. he goes over the books in class, he is very funny and makes sure if you have any questions, he answers you. He is always encouraging people to attend his office hours if you have any questions. If you are a GS student and need to fulfill your literature requirements, trust me he is the man to go. at the beginning of the semester i didn't like lit, now because of him I enjoy reading literature. take him, you wont regret it.

Jan 2012

Brilliance. Sheer brilliance. OK - granted, Professor MacAdam isn't too big on the concept of discussion (No offense, that's probably for many a good reason..."How do you spell 'Kant'?...oy) AJMA is a true scholar of the humanities -- despite specializing in Hispanic Literatures, and translating many novels published during the "Boom era," through taking both of his courses in English (CompLit) and Spanish (Literatura del cono de sur), it has become more than obvious that this man has acquired an inordinate amount of knowledge to share over the course of his career in academe (and yes, I just used the word 'academe'). From 19th century gardening practices in England to the details about Lugones life in the pampas, the scope and depth with which Prof MacAdam shares his knowledge with his students is truly EXTRAORDINARY. The man is virtually a walking encyclopedia. But a really sweet encyclopedia at that! Go to his office hours--email drafts of your essays--complain about Barnard/Columbia--WHATEVER--he is one, if not THE, sweetest person I have ever had the privilege of meeting at this university, and can attest that he will go to great lengths to help his students excel -- from coursework to beyond. He is an extraordinary man, and I encourage anyone (with patience) to take a course with him. And in all fairness about the discussion comment below regarding the Novella Class...I don't exactly know how one is supposed to conduct a class-discussion in a course that has over 30 registered students. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that seems difficult/pointless? MacAdam is, quite simply, magic.

Nov 2011

I don't completely agree with the previous review of this course, nor do I completely disagree either. Prof. MacAdam is clearly an extremely well-versed literary scholar, and it's downright fascinating to see how he fluidly analyzes every aspect of each novella, linking the prose and their authors to other literary forms, art, history, and social understandings. The fact of the matter is that you never get the impression that this guy is BSing you--even if you can't see the connection he's making, you don't doubt that it's there. Or at least I certainly didn't. On the other hand, this is the first (and looking at my prospective schedule, most likely my last) English class of any sort that I've taken here, and I choose the class looking to get a bit of a break in between all of the sociology and urban studies and general "fact-iness" that I've been subjecting myself to recently. I was looking forward to an English class more reminiscent of those in my prep school days, where we sat around the Harkness table and discussed our thoughts and interpretations. Indeed, I couldn't really see how lecturing could really be an effective method for teaching literature at all (it certainly wasn't in the case of CC professor...); and at any rate, I figured that with it being a Comp. Lit. class at Barnard, there would be a lot of room for the individual interpretation and expression and empowering discussion and all that other crap they do over there. Boy, was I wrong! From the moment class begins to the moment it ends, he is talking--and a lot of it is not that easy to understand. He intertwines interpretation of the text with A LOT of other things, and I'm often bewildered by what he talking about it. He doesn't have the most exciting voice in the world and isn't talking about the most exciting stuff in the world, so it's very easy to lose focus or get bored; plus he's an old timer and there a few old timer auditers or GS students in the class as well, accentuating the general aura of boringness. At least he's funny sometimes. Nevertheless, he never seems egotistical or that he just likes the sound of his own voice, and I leave every class feeling like I just got to experience what a gifted literary scholar's stream of consciousness might just be like; and it always does come full circle, which is also cool. The man is a genius, that much is clear--even if what he's saying often isn't. But if you think you're gonna get to tell everyone how YOU feel about the texts, you've got another thing coming; he has a clear objective--to expose how each text, the nature/structure of the novella itself, and the world around us--reflect upon each other (hello, the dept. is called "Comp. Lit. AND Society for a reason!). The opinions and interpretations of a few unversed and barely-studied undergrads are of no use here.

Dec 2010

Professor MacAdam is an amazing intstructor who is extremely knowledgeable of Latin American authors, history, art, etc... He will regularly mention current interesting art exhibitions and events regarding Latin America in Class which shows his interest and gives students the opportunity to see things that connect to what is studied in class. Additionally, the books selected for this course are amongst the most amazing ones in literature- and a must read- especially if you have the chance to read them in the language they were written.

Dec 2010

Boring. The books were really good but he mostly just summarizes the plots rather than delving deeper. He encourage questions but his answers are usually confusing. The essay topics are only slightly related to what was discussed in class, and are much harder than expected, I spent hours on the midterm and final. Class was quiet and uninvolved. The only reason I would recommend the class is for the chance to read great books like the Symposium and Death in Venice, not for the course content.

Dec 2009

I would not recommend Professor MacAdam AT ALL. As wonderful as the reading was, I could have read it on my own time and gotten nearly as much out of it. I had really major problems with Professor MacAdam's teaching style and will never take a class with him again. Though he always asked if there were "any questions?" the manner in which he did so made me feel as if my comments or thoughts weren't really welcome. What's more, he never really asked questions or encouraged discussion or participation-- this is the first time I've taken a literature course where this was the case, and it felt really unsatisfying. His lectures consisted mostly of Professor MacAdam standing and reading from his paper, which I found not to be particularly engaging, and always seemed to give me the impression that he was deigning to share his knowledge with us, rather than engaging with us as members of the same academic or intellectual community. Basically, if you want to sit passively and listen to a professor reading and doing his own egotistical thing for a semester, go for it, but if If you're a student who likes actually thinking about and discussing the texts, this is not the class for you.

Aug 2009

Highly recommended as a means of getting out of whatever they call the diversity requirement these days, and – this is rare for one of these mandatory classes – probably worth taking in its own right as well. Donnish, distinguished, and doddering, Mac Adam (two words) is an encylopedic source of erudition – the library in his mind is as thoroughly stocked as Borges’, and his Rolodex at one point must have contained the entire syllabus of this class. Going to class is entirely voluntary, but it sure makes writing the essays easy if he’s already answered his own questions. An occasional spurt of wit or pithiness will wake up even the most Philistine among us. The books themselves are hit or miss, but since you can pick which books to write about, you can pick which books to read too. Fringe benefits include the possibility of getting drinks or walking his dog with the man himself. Come to class, clean up your writing, and it’s an easy A. This is not to say that I earned one.

May 2009

This class had an awesome reading list. Not all of the readings were really required although he lectured on all of them. Mac Adam's lecture style was extremely disorganized. He would dedicate entire days to discussing the author and various anecdotes of their lives often without providing appropriate historical background to facilitate effective reading for those of us who had never delved into Latin American history. Mac Adam often had interesting things to say about the books and authors, but they often got lost as he jumped around topics.

Jan 2009

Mac Adam is: funny smart endearing kind of handsome lenient with deadlines lenient with grading and will continue to recognize you and wave to you for 2 years after his class ends, even if you never spoke to him a day in your life. Also, he ended our class with this quote: "If anyone needs me before your papers are due on Monday, I'll be in my office, gathering cobwebs as usual. It'll be a race between you and the janitor -- who empties the trash once every six months -- to see who finds my decrepit, decaying body there first, covered in dust in a spider web cocoon" WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?

Jan 2006

The best parts about Prof Mac Adam are that he's got a sense of humor and that he's not the harshest grader I've ever had (I thought he would be because he's department head and he seems like he would grade a lot harder than he does in reality). he's really flexible about deadlines (just don't spring it on him) and he's always in his office hours. Also worth noting: Mac Adam is kind of crazy (like most intellectuals, I assume). He seems to be an absolute authority on anything ever published in Spanish and can (and does) outline the entire life of many authors we studied. He loves to lecture and doesn't really make a lot of room for discussion (but maybe that's good, since we as students know so little comparitively). The haters in the class pegged him as egoistic, but he's just really well- studied. In any case, he's got the creditials to back himself up - translating shitloads of stuff (just try him on google or amazon) and got his doctorate from princeton. I'd recommend taking his class when you can afford to do the reading (lots) and go to his classes. It is a lot of work, but he's stellar and the curriculum is great. Worth it.

Jan 2006

Prof. Mac Adam is such a nice guy, and his lectures are interesting and light hearted. He approaches everything, including his understanding of our inclination to slack off, with a brilliant sense of humor. I recommend this class to everyone. I've never written a culpa review before, but Prof. Mac Adam definitely deserved one from me.

Sep 2005

Alfred Mac Adam is a brilliant scholar who communicates his passion for his work clearly. If you are interested in a good professor or Latin American lit/ culture, take his class.

May 2005

MacAdam, if anything, is one of the most well-read profs I have encountered thus far in my Columbia career. He is a brilliant man, and a really friendly one at that, and his class is well worth taking. However, I'd recommend the class simply because it is so easy to succeed in, rather than the actual material covered. The books assigned are all wonderful, yes, but the subject matter of lectures usually consists merely of summation and comparison to other books that you've never heard of. Although MacAdam is a wonderful guy, his lectures don't address many topics of interest, such as the deeper levels of the literature you read. Usually, he begins by addressing the author's personal history -- not so much the social/political background of their works but rather their path to becoming a writer. Then he summarizes the book part by part and moves on to the next book. He'll usually also tell you what authors and books served as inspiration for the writing of that book, and mention them here and there. All in all, lectures become pretty useless. This isn't all bad -- you don't ever have to go to class -- which is great if that's your style, and believe me, it has massive perks! But if you're looking to get real deep revelations about these great pieces of literature, you won't.

Feb 2005

This type of class is what I came to college for, and Mac Adam is the type of professor I came to college to learn from. If you are interested in Latin American history, culture, or literature, especially between 1962-1970 (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes and Manuel Puig are some authors from this time), then Mac Adam is the man, and the Boom is the class. Every day I went to class I learned more, just by sitting there, than I knew there was to know. His ways of reading the books are nuanced and insightful. There is very little to no discussion, but he analyzes the books for you. This isn't to say you don't have to do anything -- you have to try and understand what he's saying. Every once in awhile he'll throw in something nonchalantly like, "One time, when Manuel Puig and I were walking down the street in Buenos Aires..." ...excuse me?! Not all of us are used to walking down the street with famous authors! But that's what makes it cool. His sense of humor is great, if a tiny bit old-school (as in maybe only 99% PC) -- but again that's what made the class fun. I've read on CULPA that some people comprise their summer reading lists based on the works he references in class. I'm not surprised. If you're the type that's intimidated by not having read or by not knowing about every little reference a professor makes, this isn't the class for you. But if you can swallow your pride and admit you don't know everything in the world, you can learn a lot. We read six authors and seven books. With the exception of two 100-page books by the same author, most books were in the 300+ page range. You don't have to read all the books to do well in the class. He summarizes every book and points you to important passages and recurrent themes. There is a lot of reading if you do all of it. But the books that I finished reading have become some of my favorite books of all time. Mac Adam’s midterm and final essays are some of the most enjoyable and the most difficult essays I’ve ever had to write. He is completely flexible about deadlines and extensions for the midterm. It’s refreshing – he truly would rather have you write a good essay that’s a little late than have you turn in a crappy one just for the sake of some random due-date. The midterm: three 600-word essays, one on each book we’d read. The final: three 600-word essays, we could pick which three of the four authors we wanted to write on. The 600-word word limit is great because it means you cut the junk. He doesn’t want to read ten pages of bull, and god knows we don’t want to write it. He wants you to get in, make your point, and get out. The end. The downside is that the questions appeared incomprehensible at first. I had to spend a week just reading them over and over before I began understood them. Once I did, they were doable because they related to the things he discussed in class. He was happy to meet with students to discuss the essays and he was also happy to take email questions. Great class, great prof. Class is taught in English. Books are read and written on in English. Can read and write in Spanish for departmental credit.

Jan 2005

Although this course should have been fabulous-- the books we read were AWESOME, MacAdam is an awful lecturer. I'm convinced that his rave reviews must come from students who slept with him. He makes inappropriate comments in his mostly all-girl class. He He doesn't hear so well, so although he doesn't encourage questions anyway, if you ask them, he usually doesn't hear them. Furthermore, he not only lectures from his notes, but he stands there and more or less reads a paper-- notes that are structured to be an article and not a class lecture. I don't recommend him at all.

Dec 2004

MacAdam's classes are lectures, so if you like to have discussions about what you're reading in class, this probably isn't the class for you. BUT if you want to hear some of the most brilliant lectures about any of the texts (from One Hundred Years of Solitude to Lolita), take either of these classes. MacAdam is funny as hell (sometimes a little on the sleazy side), so his classes are often entertaining. Unfortunately, he spends a little too much time giving summaries of the texts (which can be great if you're not into actually doing the reading). His lectures are really helpful when you're writing the exams, and they can be really interesting, but he doesn't take attendance, so you don't HAVE to go (but you should).

May 2004

This was mainly a grad. course and on the first day after the strike, Mac Adam came in with arms raised and shouted "Comrades!" It doesn't get much better than that. However, while Mac Adam is extremely encouraging and an all-around nice guy, classes do get a bit boring sometimes as he avoids literary analysis and sticks to the specifics of the author's entire ouevre and life story, especially literary and philosophical influences. Still, you'll learn some interesting tidbits and when he does get around to the text he usually has pretty great things to say. Also, contrary to some other reviews, you are always free to speak and Mac Adam encourages discussion, although this class was pretty quiet. Not the most exciting class, but definitely worth taking.

May 2004

Mac Adam is very nice, and it is clear that he cares about his students. And he is certainly very smart. At its best, his discussion of Borges's short stories is nothing less than brilliant. He does a good job with Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and Machado de Assis's The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas as well. After such a wonderful start, however, the course plummets. I found the readings, which in other reviews have been described as so enjoyable, to be consistently embarrassing. Perhaps the reason reading these books "doesn't feel like work" is because they aren't nearly of a high enough quality to be appropriate for a college course. Books like Vargas Llosa's Who Killed Palomino Molero?, which Mac Adam translated, were almost bad enough to turn me off to Latin American Literature altogether. Furthermore, as the course progresses, you discover that brilliant as he may be, Mac Adam only knows one terribly unsatisfying way to teach a book: he spends the majority of the class providing you with a huge amount of mostly useless information about a writer's life (i.e. what awards he or she has won); when he finally gets to discussing the book itself, he simply moves through the text chronologically, offering a rushed summary of each chapter. My advice: read One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas, and Borges's short stories on your own. They're all amazing books. But stay away from this class. It's the first course in which I've skipped over entire books--not to mention weeks of class. I felt that doing anything more than was required would be a waste of my time.

Dec 2003

Professor MacAdam is the best. He's slightly intimidating because he's so obviously brilliant and knows what he wants from the students, but he is funny and fantastic. He has great things to say about the books and really great connections to make. Each class, he goes over the previous night's reading so it is all very clear (even if Spanish is not your native language and Borges is a bit confusing!). He demands a lot and asks for class participation, but he is really wonderful. He adds personal anecdotes and bits of outside information to make every lecture great. I'm only bummed he's not teaching undergraduates next semester!

Nov 2003

MacAdam is personable and his classroom environment is pretty laid back. His lectures can indeed get a little dull when he decides to trace the travel patterns of each author, or when he discusses an author's personal history while carefully avoiding references to history on a larger scale. However, the reading, if you decide to do it, is interesting and includes a good range of texts, from ridiculous avant-garde poetry to boom-era novels. And, as everyone has previously said, the reading is entirely optional. Prof MacAdam intertwines plot summary with his analysis, and his essays can be written using only passages cited in class. Basically, if you attend lecture, you can coast through the class without doing much work at all.

Aug 2003

One of the best classes I've taken at Columbia, and one that had me seriously consider switching from an English to Comp Lit major just for the sake of taking more classes with MacAdam. The man gives some of the most consistently interesting lectures I've yet heard; they're thoughtful, full of detailed information well synthesized with larger ideas, prepared, and thoughtful. What's more, MacAdam himself is discernibly interested in his subject matter, which just makes listening to his lectures even more rewarding. The man oozes insight (and sometimes anecdotes about Fuentes as a kid). If there were any professor who could turn a class in which he merely talks at an audience into an enlightening lesson in modern literature, it would be MacAdam. Beyond the lectures, MacAdam's class contains little student discussion, although he does encourage asking questions and posing ideas, and there's always a small circle of kids talking to him after class. Definitely indulge any interest you might have in discussing the works with MacAdam further. Not only is the reading list absolutely impeccable, but MacAdam never seems to run out of things to say about it.

Jun 2003

....Whatever you choose to believe, there is one, undisputed fact about this professor: people take class with him over, and over, and over again. I was a little embarassed about taking my second MacAdam class, felt slightly stalkerish when I signed up for my third. But guess what? In each successive class there were other people I'd seen before, and at the end of Mad Love all the MacAdam virgins were asking what he is teaching next semester... I have no idea where people get the idea that Mac Adam has a wandering gaze, but I suppose this would insinuate that we veterans don't seem to mind. So fine. The charge is not only untrue, but irrelevant. As to the allegation that MacAdam "may be too smart to be teaching" , I, for one like it when my professors are smarter than I am, and can fill me in on works which inspired the authors we read (see, THAT'S what Faulkner has to do with Marquez). One of the best things to do in a MacAdam class is take down a list of works he references - my entire summer reading list is pretty much drawn from there. His lectures are fabulous, his knowledge of the material (esp. in the Latin American classes) unparalleled, and who doesn't appreciate having a professor who has translated Fuentes or written critical reviews of Cortazar? In addition, Prof. MacAdam is accessible outside of class, willing to help with essays, reading questions, or your own existentialist dilemmas. He is truly one of the most intellectual professors I've had at Columbia; I have taken away so much from his classes... The proof is in the numbers: and every semester, the majority of his students all say the same.

May 2003

[culpa censor....]Of course, no class would be complete without at least one reference to Virginia Woolf, Moliere or Faulkner. MacAdam once translated some of Carlos Fuentes' work, which probably qualifies him to talk intelligently on the subject. Of course, it leaves you scratching your head, trying to figure out what "Absalom, Absalom" has to do with "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (hint: nothing). All in all, an easy class...just don't go too often.

May 2002

Professor MacAdam's class is most enjoyable. MacAdam is sarcastic but sweet. The readings are excellent and he fills in any and all gaps one might have.

Apr 2002

This class is great. The literature is spooky, but hey so's the prof (ladies, I'd advise not to sit first row...he does have a wandering gaze). MacAdam manages to make his lasciviousness downright charming, probably because he's brilliant and a fantastic lecturer. If you don't like to read, don't take this class. But if you're a bookworm, looking for an easy way to fulfill your major cultures requirement, this class is it. His lectures are very well-organized and even more well-delivered.

Apr 2001

MacAdam is occasionally funny, but for the most part his lectures are boring. He goes into excruciating and unnecessary detail about the authors' lives. He is obviously smart and knowledgable about his subjection, unfortunately his style is almost arrogant. However, this class fulfils a major cultures requirement, there is no work other than the midterm and final (both take-home), the required books are great reads, and he does not grade hard.

Jan 2000

MacAdam is marvelous, giving clear lectures that are mixed with his subtle,dry sense of humor. In addition, he's a professor that is connected with reality, and that helps.

Jan 2000

There is no doubt that Alfred MacAdam is an amazing translator, is famous, and is well-read. Over the course of the entire semester, however, the participants in the class said all of 2 words to one another (there were 10 of us) and there was no structure to the class. He announced the midterm a week before it was due, ditto for the final. A highly uncomfortable environment to be in...the vein of sexuality that ran through all of the criticism made the experience strangely, I don't know, sticky....The day that the midterms were due, the whole class sat in their seats, saying nothing. He entered the room, sat behind his big table, and in his feigned accent (which was at least an octave lower than the voice in which he spoke English) said, while waggling his fingers, "Venga a tio alfredo" -- which translates to, "come to Uncle Alfred." yipes.

Jan 2000

I am stunned that anyone can call this guy boring! His subltely sarcastic, dry-ish humor tends to make the vast majority of the class chuckle. On the midterm, he gives you a 24 hour extension without questions asked. Although he makes literary allusions, he usually gives you a brief little summary of what he is alluding to so that you can make the thematic connection to what he's talking about. Most of the allusions tend to do with authors that influences the Latin writers. He spends one day per author giving the author's background - I personally found that to be too much time on bio stuff, but it can be forgiven. This prof rocks!

Jan 2000

Though most of his literary allusions went clear over my head, the constant scorn he heaped upon the authors he had assigned, along with his peculiar pronunciation of the name "Borges" never failed to entertain me. If you like a bone-dry sense of humor, his lectures won't let you down.

Jan 2000

Although the books are pretty good, the lectures are boring. If you want a professor to make you feel stupid and uneducated, sign up for this class. Professor MacAdam is undoubtedly a very very intelligent and well read man. However, he flaunts this by making all together too many allusions to a variety of books not exactly covered by the CU Core. This guy may be too smart to be teaching. He devotes more class time to background info than to the books themselves. Good sense of humor, but his picture should be under the dictionary definition of pedantic. Unless you really like a lot of intellectual BS, bring a pillow. Also, doing all the reading is vital for exams.

Jan 2000

Easy and interesting, satisfies Major Cultures requirement. The books are good and most of them are pretty short too. Exam questions refer closely to the notes.