professor
Claire Catenaccio

Sep 2017

Sadly, Claire Catenaccio no longer teaches at Columbia - and it is our loss. She taught my LitHum class during her final year of her Classics PhD. I cannot say enough in her praise. Her background in Greek and Latin afforded us tremendous insight into some of the more formal elements of the texts (especially the poetry) that is sometimes lost in translation.We hewed more closely to formal analysis, which was a pedagogical decision that Claire discussed frankly with us. She was unerringly witty, warm and awe-inspiringly intelligent, both one-on-one and while leading class discussion. She provided ways of approaching our analytical writing that were simultaneously intuitive and revolutionary, and my ability to construct an argument, either verbally or in writing, steadily improved throughout the year. Our class trips were informative and well chosen - we went to museums and productions of the plays we read. Claire's area of research was the performance practice of Greek tragedy - some of my favorite works of literature both in LitHum and in general. I had a weekly appointment with her during office hours, something I only wish I had begun sooner. She was an exemplar of scholarship and everything that the very best professors can be: a mentor, a role model, and a semi-divine conductor of knowledge.

Feb 2017

I learned so much from Claire. She is incredibly knowledgeable in classics and Greek plays, and if you ask a question about anything you're curious about, she is always prepared to give you an answer. I don't know how she can hold that much information in her brain! She speaks so eloquently, too. I just wish her wisdom and intelligence would transfer onto me as water flows from high concentrations to low concentrations.... (that was a reference to Symposium!)

Dec 2016

Claire is one of the smartest people I have ever met! If you want to learn a lot in Lit-Hum definitely take her as a professor . She tries to make the class as interesting as possible and takes the class on amazing field trips to the theatre etc. If you put in effort you will learn to love the literature of Ancient Greece and Rome. Nevertheless, the grading is definitely harsher than in other Lit Hun classes and if you want to take Lit Hum just to get a good grade you should probably take someone else. If, however, you want to get the most out of your Columbia experience definitely take Lit Hum with Claire!

Dec 2016

She is the best teacher ever. She is so knowledgeable, thoughtful, smart, respectful, and more. What you learn in her class alone is more than what I learned in all of the other classes combined. Her grading is fair, and her comment is always helpful and makes you a better writer.