professor
Pier Mattia Tommasino

Apr 2021

Professor Tommasino is the most caring person you will ever meet. All of the classes were designed so they were comfortable and created a space where everyone felt welcome. The discussions he led were always fun and as a non-humanities major feeling intimidated by the class coming in, I always felt I could comfortably participate in the conversation. He also included books that weren't eurocentric and classics that were a fun read. He also was very knowledgeable and provided interesting takes and connections between books, his jokes were endearing and he always spread positivity and good vibes. While the whole year was online, he tried really hard to simulate a close and comfortable environment. When submitting an essay he always replied with a thank you and kind words, he was always available if you ever needed anything, he urged us to ask for an extension or help if we ever needed it, always asked how we were, etc. All in all, a wonderful experience! If you get in his section: congratulations, he is an amazing professor, and I always felt accepted and appreciated by him - rare especially in the online format. If not, I advise you to try really hard to get in, it will be worth it.

Nov 2020

Very kind and easygoing professor. Drives discussion in class well and provides valuable insight into the texts.

May 2020

While I was initially apprehensive about tackling a rigorous humanities course, I can confidently say that Prof. Tommasino put all my fears to rest. Prof. Tommasino is the best Lit Hum professor one could hope to get. He does everything in his power to create the most relaxed environment possible, and he openly welcomes all ideas regardless of how disconnected they may be from the text. His office hours are also accessible. The workload is surprisingly light for Lit Hum—everything is graded extremely generously, he doesn’t really care about the passage IDs for the exams (which are already easy enough on the ones he writes himself), there aren’t any extraneous assignments like discussion posts or mandatory projects/presentations, and everyone gets a massive buffer from the weight of the participation grade. I am grateful to Prof. Tommasino for inspiring my revitalized appreciation for both the humanities and Columbia’s overall philosophy about the value of a well-rounded education. If you get his section, you’d be wise to stay in it for the rest of the year. Otherwise, do everything you can to get in.

Apr 2020

Professor Tommasino is a fantastic LitHum professor! He fostered a warm class dynamic and encouraged students to engage in rigorous discussion while providing open-ended questions or points to push us along. He is very caring and easygoing (Exhibit A: "You are all perfect the way you are." Exhibit B: "LitHum is not meant to be a stressful experience, so please let me know if you need anything.") and the workload is not bad at all (2-3 essays a term, midterm, final with extra credit.) He also allows laptops in class.

Apr 2020

Professor Tommasino is amazing. He encourages everyone to participate, poses interesting questions, and keeps the discussion lively. He is also funny and is just an overall wholesome person. I genuinely look forward to going to lit hum every week. The only negative point would be that he doesn't give much constructive feedback on essays. But he is very lenient and easy going, which makes for a better experience and enjoyable class.

May 2016

Professor Tommasino is encouraging, friendly, humorous, and really wants everyone in the class to do well! He is very knowledgeable as well as fun and makes you really interact with the texts and learn a lot from discussions. Plus, it's a pretty easy A as long as you are engaged during class discussions! After a pretty miserable fall semester of Lit Hum with a different professor, I switched into Prof. Tommasino's class and I am so thankful and glad that I did. His discussions are lively and energetic and students really want to participate. Whenever we start a new text, he usually goes over the context and sometimes a brief history about the book, the time period, and/or the author. He is funny and makes light-hearted comments throughout our discussions. He also really wants everyone to succeed and the class is designed so that mostly everyone does well. You can get by without doing all of the readings and it definitely helps to pay attention in class. He also allows computers which is a GREAT WAY to do some quick Sparknotes reading and type notes. He's on sabbatical this coming year, 2016-2017, but hopefully when he returns he'll continue to teach Lit Hum!

Sep 2014

To all you freshmen out there who get the chance to take Professor Tommasino's class... YOU ARE LUCKY DUCKS. My class and I simply LOVED him. He had this great way of encouraging class participation and discussion. Didn't matter if it wasn't super related to the text - his teaching philosophy emphasizes learning to think on your feet. BUT don't let that deter you!! Mostly participation is voluntary unless no one raises their hand but someone always did because he posed such interesting, yet open-ended questions. Computers: check yes! Literally was on buzzfeed or online shopping half the time, still got an A. Homework: None besides the Lit hum reading! (And maybe two papers, but they both had CREATIVE options so super fun and not stressful to write.) I got by just fine with Shmoop summaries. Grading: Generous. Don't think anyone ever got under a B on any paper. Finally, this class involves a lot of laughing! He is a very charismatic teacher who you actually want to participate in the class for.