professor
Casey Blake

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Dec 2020

This class was different from any course I had ever taken before. I really enjoyed it, and suggest all people interested in history and/or American studies to take this class. But I want to start off by saying that if you are looking for a course that focuses on specific historical events, don't take this class. In short, you'll study how intellectualism influenced the events of American history as well as how those events changed how intellectuals thought in return. So instead of learning about, say, specific battles of WWI, you'll look at what intellectuals like John Dewey wrote to justify the use of military force in Europe. Even though it was certainly an adjustment learning about intellectual thought rather than concrete historical events, I thoroughly enjoyed the class. At first, the class will seem weird because you'll learn about intellectuals who are referencing historical events you might not know much about (and, on top of that, Professor Blake won't do much to explain those events either). But eventually, you'll get used to it. If Prof. ever talked about an intellectual work referencing an event I wasn't familiar with, it sufficed to read a quick synopsis of said event on the internet. Professor Blake is, like the previous reviews say, extremely smart. Although I took this class over Zoom, he seems like he genuinely cares about learning AND teaching, which is a combination that can be hard to come across in college professors. His lecture style was engaging because he only put pictures and occasionally names on his slides instead of a buttload of text, which I liked. It helped me to focus more on what Prof. Blake was actually saying rather than trying to write down every single word on the slide. His lectures were really approachable in content and I rarely felt confused.

Dec 2020

Please take this class. If you can, take it with Case Blake (although better to take it with someone else than to not take it at all). US Intellectual History: 1865 - present (as it's now called), is a fascinating class. As other reviewers have said, it is essentially a history of influential thinkers and ideas in American social, cultural, and political life from Reconstruction through the late 20th century. If you are looking for military history or you want to know the most important acts of every President, this is not for you; it focuses on people like John Dewey, WEB du Bois, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Susan Sontag. The class is broken up into weeklong units on a prominent idea or intellectual movement, moving roughly chronologically. Each unit has a handful of important texts (mostly essays or a chapter from a book), two lectures that cover the history of the movement in-depth, and a discussion section focusing on that unit's works. Professor Blake really is an amazing teacher. He has been teaching this class longer than undergrad students (and even most grad students) have been alive, and he has really got it down to a science. Every week, you will be engrossed in the readings that he has selected, which are interesting as historical documents and works of philosophy/social science, but also for their contemporary significance. Blake does not have a particular unique personality like some other teachers do, but you can get a sense of who he is through his dedication to the material and his ability to let it speak for itself. In class, he doesn't really waste time on introductions, he starts lecturing right away. Professor Blake has an impressive ability to cram a tremendous amount of information into a lecture without rushing or going to fast, or even making it seem overwhelming. As far as I could tell, he goes mostly from memory and his knowledge; his slides are just a handful of names and pictures (I took this class on zoom because of COVID-19, so I cannot say for certain that my lecture experience is the same as it normally would be). He does go over the assigned texts in class, but he generally focuses more on their impact and intent than their content. I found it beneficial to regularly attend office hours, both to ask clarifying questions about content and satisfy my curiosity. Professor Blake's depth of knowledge about the material is astounding, and you can really see that in his ability to answer nearly every question thrown at him. US Intellectual History is definitely worth it. I feel like I have a completely different understanding of America than I did before I took, and I would strongly recommend it for anybody interest in American politics, philosophy, or culture.

May 2020

I almost slept on this class, and it ended up being one of the highlights of my time at Columbia, so I feel like I owe it a detailed review. If you are interested in literary non-fiction, aesthetics and art criticism, or just reading the back pages of the New Yorker, you’ll probably enjoy most of this syllabus, which goes from Walt Whitman to Lionel Trilling to Robert Warshow to Ralph Ellison to Susan Sontag. A few of the central texts were John Dewey’s Art as Experience, Ruth Benedict’s Interpretation of Culture, and Constance Rourke’s American Humor. We also discussed Andy Warhol, John Cage’s 433’ ,and LeRoi James’ treatise on the Blues, among other artistic projects from the 20th century. You’ll learn a little about the avant-garde, a little about the mid-century Partisan Review(-adjacent) cultural critics and their interaction with the political Left, and a little about the intellectual histories of Harlem and Columbia. The syllabus for this class truly runs the disciplinary gamut (history, philosophy, political science, anthropology, art history, and film studies), but is pegged on a couple of thru-line inquiries about the relationship between art and class & culture, and its particular role in a diverse and pluralistic society. Professor Blake started each seminar discussion with a short lecture on the readings at the beginning of each class, which were usually supplemented with some multimedia something or other, like a scene from a pulpy midcentury gangster film, or a recording of Amiri Baraka’s spoken word, or Gordon Parks’ Invisible Man photographs. Prof. Blake knows a lot about the intellectual lineages of these writers/artists/thinkers and his care for the subject really shows. Our class was fairly enthusiastic about the texts, and there were definitely times when, counterintuitively, discussion suffered a little because of this. Blake is an accommodating seminar leader and clearly wants to cultivate a space in which everyone feels comfortable speaking up, so on weeks with especially good readings, this meant a lot of students pitching in thoughts without much of a structure to pen the conversation in. But Prof. Blake is genuinely interested in listening to what we have to say about these works, and is good at honing in on particularly good student points and drawing them out for the rest of the class. He is by no means a prescriptive teacher, as some intellectual historians can be. He cares a lot about undergraduates so GO to his office hours. You don’t even need to come with a class-related issue — he will actively make the effort to ask YOU questions and learn more about your background, your academic interests, your own thoughts about contemporary art and culture. It is also worth noting that he also dealt with the coronavirus pandemic with a lot of grace, empathy, and generosity. We were originally supposed to do 3 essays (the first one, which was a lot of fun, involved going to the Dorothea Lange exhibit at the MOMA), but he ended up removing the last two from the syllabus and had us complete written responses (“journal entries) in response to the texts instead. I believe he also reduced the reading load. For me, this class was honestly one of the few that actually “held up post-campus evacuation in terms of quality of seminar discussion and how engaged people seemed to still be. He also invited us to bring our pets to the last official Zoom session — it was cute! TL;DR: I learned a great deal about the mid-century American cultural critics and the artistic and political movements they were responding to, and felt like I was reading for pleasure — and not school — all semester long!

Feb 2018

An INCREDIBLE class. This is the course for anyone who genuinely wishes to understand American culture. Countless times I walked out of Professor Blake's lecture truly moved. He gives so much time and energy to our past, viewing it holistically. His appreciation and love for history can be felt throughout the lecture hall. Along with the lecture, discussion sections were seriously stimulating. I found myself reviewing the texts before I went to recitation just so I could keep up with the other students (I took this class as a freshman). I worked my ass off in this class, so don't expect to get an A if you don't. If you are an American Studies major (which you should be), you MUST take this class. It is phenomenal.

Jun 2017

Casey Blake deserves a good and recent review, so I'll offer one now. Prof. Blake is outstanding. He's not particularly funny (until you get to know him); he doesn't go for cute effects or snarky commentary. Instead, he pretty much stands at his lectern, looks out at the class, and lectures. But if you're serious about your intellectual and academic pursuits, if you care not only about what you're doing but also about what you're thinking, and how, and why, Prof. Blake is the man for you. He's wildly smart; he's articulate; he's kind and caring. His lectures are well-organized (he projects an outline overhead), and if you've done the reading, easy to follow. His reading assignments (for both Intellectual History and Am. Cultural Criticism) are perfectly reasonable in page numbers--maybe even on the light side for a history class--though they tend to be dense and intellectually challenging, so they take a while. If you commit to doing the readings before class and to giving them the attention that they deserve, the lectures are interesting, the discussion sections are engaging, and the exams are reasonable. His papers are certainly challenging, but only because they require you to totally understand the material and to think creatively and analytically about it. Prof. Blake takes his classes very seriously, and he expects you to do the same. Food, computers, phones, and tardiness are prohibited. He demands good, clear writing and doesn't put up with empty thoughts papered over with 7-syllable words. In office hours, he is thoughtful and generous. He wants to get to know you and to hear what you're thinking and reading about, so go talk to him! It's not every day that you find a professor at the fore of his field who's willing to take your thoughts so seriously. True, he's a little awkward--be willing to wade through that. It's worth it. A note about US intellectual history: it's essentially a class on the ideas that have been prevalent at different times in US history; it's about the way that people have thought about culture and politics at different moments in time. If you're looking for a class in which to learn about what war we fought when, this is not the one. But if you're looking to understand where today's ideas come from, if you're looking for ways to think about the world around, if you're looking for the company of brilliant thinkers, this is TOTALLY the class for you.

Mar 2017

Casey Blake deserves a good and recent review, so I'll offer one now. Prof. Blake is outstanding. He's not particularly funny (until you get to know him); he doesn't go for cute effects or snarky commentary. Instead, he pretty much stands at his lectern, looks out at the class, and lectures. But if you're serious about your intellectual and academic pursuits, if you care not only about what you're doing but also about what you're thinking, and how, and why, Prof. Blake is the man for you. He's wildly smart; he's articulate; he's kind and caring. His lectures are well-organized (he projects an outline overhead), and if you've done the reading, easy to follow. His reading assignments (for both Intellectual History and Am. Cultural Criticism) are perfectly reasonable in page numbers--maybe even on the light side for a history class--though they tend to be dense and intellectually challenging, so they take a while. If you commit to doing the readings before class and to giving them the attention that they deserve, the lectures are interesting, the discussion sections are engaging, and the exams are reasonable. His papers are certainly challenging, but only because they require you to totally understand the material and to think creatively and analytically about it. Prof. Blake takes his classes very seriously, and he expects you to do the same. Food, computers, phones, and tardiness are prohibited. He demands good, clear writing and doesn't put up with empty thoughts papered over with 7-syllable words. In office hours, he is thoughtful and generous. He wants to get to know you and to hear what you're thinking and reading about, so go talk to him! It's not every day that you find a professor at the fore of his field who's willing to take your thoughts so seriously. True, he's a little awkward--be willing to wade through that. It's worth it. A note about US intellectual history: it's essentially a class on the ideas that have been prevalent at different times in US history; it's about the way that people have thought about culture and politics at different moments in time. If you're looking for a class in which to learn about what war we fought when, this is not the one. But if you're looking to understand where today's ideas come from, if you're looking for ways to think about the world around, if you're looking for the company of brilliant thinkers, this is TOTALLY the class for you.

Feb 2017

Casey Blake deserves a good and recent review, so I'll offer one now. Prof. Blake is outstanding. He's not particularly funny (until you get to know him); he doesn't go for cute effects or snarky commentary. Instead, he pretty much stands at his lectern, looks out at the class, and lectures. But if you're serious about your intellectual and academic pursuits, if you care not only about what you're doing but also about what you're thinking, and how, and why, Prof. Blake is the man for you. He's wildly smart; he's articulate; he's kind and caring. His lectures are well-organized (he projects an outline overhead), and if you've done the reading, easy to follow. His reading assignments (for both Intellectual History and Am. Cultural Criticism) are perfectly reasonable in page numbers--maybe even on the light side for a history class--though they tend to be dense and intellectually challenging, so they take a while. If you commit to doing the readings before class and to giving them the attention that they deserve, the lectures are interesting, the discussion sections are engaging, and the exams are reasonable. His papers are certainly challenging, but only because they require you to totally understand the material and to think creatively and analytically about it. Prof. Blake takes his classes very seriously, and he expects you to do the same. Food, computers, phones, and tardiness are prohibited. He demands good, clear writing and doesn't put up with empty thoughts papered over with 7-syllable words. In office hours, he is thoughtful and generous. He wants to get to know you and to hear what you're thinking and reading about, so go talk to him! It's not every day that you find a professor at the fore of his field who's willing to take your thoughts so seriously. True, he's a little awkward--be willing to wade through that. It's worth it. A note about US intellectual history: it's essentially a class on the ideas that have been prevalent at different times in US history; it's about the way that people have thought about culture and politics at different moments in time. If you're looking for a class in which to learn about what war we fought when, this is not the one. But if you're looking to understand where today's ideas come from, if you're looking for ways to think about the world around, if you're looking for the company of brilliant thinkers, this is TOTALLY the class for you.

Jul 2015

U.S. Intellectual History was a super interesting class. As a history major, I've done a lot of history, but I'd never really looked at the history of ideas as they flowed through the events that happened, so it gave me a cool new perspective on why things in post-Civil War American history happened the way they did. Casey Blake is a great professor. He really knows what he's talking about, and always made a point to include interesting little things in lecture to keep the class alive (as--and he admitted this himself--it could get a little dry sometimes). He was also really kind and helpful in office hours, interested in helping students refine paper topics and re-explaining topics from lecture. The readings in this class did get a little long and were sometimes kind of dry, but the only way you could succeed in this class was by actually sitting down and doing them. If you hadn't done the readings, you weren't able to follow what was happening in lecture, and you also looked like an idiot in section (where, because they were so small in size, it was impossible to fly under the radar). But actually getting through all of them did, in the end, make me a better and more educated person. The TAs were REALLY nitpicky when it came to writing, and would count you down on both papers and exams for spelling/grammar errors, structure, and word choice as well as ideas. This could be really annoying, but since it happened to 99% of people, it was pretty much fine in the end.

May 2011

Casey Blake is just really really smart. Other reviewers have observed that he's not an extremely enthusiastic lecturer, and although this is kind of accurate, he is definitely passionate, and this makes him a very compelling lecturer. He is just so extraordinarily knowledgeable. The course is taught along with Professor Spiegel, with the intention that he covers more of the history side and Professor Spiegel does more of the film and literary analysis, but I found that Professor Blake's commentary on the books and movies were often more brilliant than Prof Spiegel's. Intro to American Studies is truly unlike any other class, simply because it engages with so many mediums. One week, we will divide class time between a history lesson and a discussion of a film from the time period, and the next week, we will spend the entirety of both classes discussing a novel we read. At times this class is a history class, at times it’s a literature class, and at times it’s a film class. And walking into class, I would never know which one I was going to get that day. I would like to tell you that all these different mediums came together seamlessly, but that’s just not the case. To be honest, the class just wasn’t very consistent. At times it was my favorite class. Really. During some classes, I would just sit there thinking, “I love this. This is the best class ever.” Other times, however, it was just really unorganized. My biggest complaint about this class is that all of the assignments are film and literary analysis. Though a lot of class time is devoted to American History, it is possible to excel in this class without knowing a single thing about anything historical. I wish the assignments forced us to engage more with the historical context of the books and movies we consumed. My favorite thing about this class is that the books we read and the movies we watched were really exceptional. The syllabus is truly fantastic, and it's the reason I really enjoyed this course.

May 2010

Everyone should take this class. If you're not a history major and want an accessible course to learn some awesome American history, and a sense of the discipline from an inspiring professor, this is my highest recommendation. If you are a history major, this is one of the best lectures in the department. Professor Blake is not especially dynamic, but his lectures are extremely well organized, and his passion for the material comes through. He is well loved by the graduate students, and so seems to always get the best ones to TA the class. In terms of course material, the only clunker is the first week's assignment, which is uncharacteristically long and boring. Otherwise there is a surprisingly light reading load, which actually compelled me to seek out more material from the intellectuals we read because it was so fantastic.

Aug 2009

The other reviews saying this man is uninspired are absolutely correct. He teaches the material without enthusiasm and as though he is merely summarizing what he feels is common knowledge. The course, on another note, did not reach the present... it didn't even reach 1970 and he made no comments about this at all. This course was a bore and the TAs graded harshly. The readings assigned each week were difficult and numerous and discussion section thoroughly unenlightening--the TA I had didn't study American history and had could add little to the students' discussion. Don't take this class unless you want to be mystified by complex readings, which are not explained and then be graded cruelly by uninformed TAs. The final paper is also a complete killer because it is supposed to be based upon readings not gone over in class or discussion section and current events, which are also not discussed.

Mar 2009

FANTASTIC class! It took a little while to get used to Blake's lecturing style, since he talks a bit like Woody Allen and sort of stares at a point on the back of the room about 10 feet over all our heads. That being said, he's brilliant--he speaks eloquently and insightfully for 75 minutes, making great connections between thinkers and eras (while we all scrambled to write down every word he said). I was lucky enough to take this class during the election year, and he did a great job incorporating that material. We spent an entire class talking about the election on the day afterwards, and our term paper assignment was to read John Dewey and Walter Lippmann's theories of democracy and discuss an aspect of the election through the lens of their ideas. Very relevant, since the whole point of intellectual history is to learn about past thinkers' ideas and apply them to modern contexts. Also, I don't know what other reviewers are talking about with the grading issues, since about half the class got some kind of an A. I can't see how that constitutes some kind of harsh curve--it seems pretty standard for Columbia history classes. Overall, this is a can't-miss course for any history major, or really, any American. You study the greatest thinkers in American history, and you learn why our culture thinks the way it does/believes the things it does. Totally awesome. (I don't know whether TAs will repeat for this class, but ours were James Chappel, Thomas Meaney, and Tamara Mann, and they were all great.)

Feb 2007

This class, grading issues aside, was absolutely wonderful. I don't how other reviewers could categorize Blake as mediocre-- they probably weren't paying attention in the lectures. He speaks on a very high, often philosophical level that can sometimes be hard to follow if you're dozing off. In terms of the subject material, it's fascinating. Basically a history of American ideas pertaining to a host of different areas, from the debate over Darwinism to the 60s and seeds of the neo-conservative movement. As other reviewers have already pointed out, the readings are great, but so is Blake!

Jan 2007

I thought this was an excellent class. We covered so much interesting material and Professor Blake's lectures were well organized and interesting. The reading list, though long, was great! You need to do the readings because he tests both on class notes and readings but they are worth doing. Some of them are dense but most are fairly easy to plow through. Blake was approachable after class and during office hours. He seems a little shy but is very nice and is genuinely interested in what he teaches. The exams were reasonable, as was the paper.

Feb 2006

Unfortunately, this is one of the most brilliant courses as far as reading materials go (if you like following intellectual trends over time) with a very mediocre profesor. He spent a decent amount of time telling us personal biography about authors and others but, if you didn't already have a fair knowledge of the historical context the pieces were written in, he didn't really offer it. The point of view of the reading and the trends focused are on were really one sided so, again, if you didn't already have a fair knowledge of American History, this course does nothing to complicate difficult arguements. It felt a tad like a highschool course in more ways than one...Also, he seems like one of those professors who has a very clear expectation of what he expects to see from you in terms of essays but no ability to communicate that to you. He definitely isn't a horrible professor (even if not to my liking). But, honestly, it felt like you would get a whole lot more by taking a normal American history course and just doing the reading for this course some other time. I don't want to sound to harsh, this is meant to be lukewarm, but you definitely get the feeling this guy stopped finding his job interesting a long time ago.

Jan 2006

Personally, I agree with the reviewer who starts his posting by declaring that "Casey Blake might be thought of as one of the best History professors at Columbia." Blake presented some of the most interesting and insightful lectures in my 3 years here at Columbia. Topics of this course included the crumbling of the Genteel Tradition in post-Civil War America, the revolt against Victorianism, pragmatism and the shift to progressivism and cosmopolitanism, as well as intellectual responses to World Wars I and II. Blake also spent time discussing the rise and fall of American communism, total war and "radical evil," as well as Cold War liberalism, the civil rights movement, and neoconservatism. Blake's lectures were filled with a tremendous amount of information, however, he organizes the material in a very neat, orderly way so that central themes and events that are raised within the course connect to one another seemlessly. After reading some of the past reviews, I feel the need to defend Professor Blake. I had Courtney Fullilove as a TA and I know (from speaking to other students) that a few people in my section received A's and A-'s, so personally I do not hold any stock in the rumor that some sort of negative curve was implemented by section. What I believe happened is that students who did not bother to take thorough notes or read the assigned material cornered a TA, demanding to know why their grade wasn't higher. What would anyone say in answer to that sort of crude question . . . you weren't worthy of a higher grade? No, the TA probably took the nicer way out and blamed the grade on some imaginary negative curve. To do well in this class, all you need to do is read the material, participate in recitation, and take detailed notes. Notes are essential because Blake bases ID sections on the midterm and final on terms which can only be found in lecture. Anyone who wants a thorough knowledge of American history needs to take this course with this excellent professor. If anyone has doubts, just go to the first few lectures and hear Blake for yourself. If you take notes and do the reading, you won't be disappointed (and you might even be able to spell the names of major players as well as themes of the course correctly).

Jan 2006

The earlier review, which begins "Casey Blake might be thought of as one of the best History professors at Columbia", is in my opinion a fake. As evidence of its questionable veracity, I point to the following. First, it is way to effusive, and offers its praise by listing the entire sylabus, correctly spelled, in order. Second, it is clearly a response to the earlier posting which charges that Blake curves the class (which, trust me, he does). Third, the author claims to know that the class isn't curved. Fourth, there is way too much praise all around about Blake and the sylabus of the class. Fifth, look at the detailed description of the workload. Who would bother? I took this class. The readings are good. Blake is mediocre, an ok speaker, but thoroughly uninspired. It's true, you will not be graded solely on your work, there is a curve. If you need this class, take it, but be warned. If you don't need it, don't take, and don't study with Blake.

Jan 2006

Casey Blake might be thought of as one of the best History professors at Columbia, were he to deign to teach undergraduates more often. I would often fill five or more pages with highly detailed notes, furiously attempting to pack in the extraordinary volume of information eloquently woven into the fabric of Blake's fluid, fast-paced lectures. Rarely would he ever have to stop to switch gears; every subject change was deftly accompanied by a brilliant segue. Even if the course often fell behind the prescriptions of the syllabus, Professor Blake could extemporaneously rearrange its elements as if they were originally intended to be presented as a united concept. He was also capable of delivering the occasional extraordinarily witty or hilarious quip, often of only the most skillful subtlety. The drama of such flighty, inspiring lectures often left one panting, breathless, and eager to return to hear what would follow the ominous portents or hopeful previews often rounding off each class. In addition, the class was treated to two excellent films (Arguing the World, about the New York intellectuals going their separate ideological ways from their City College roots, and the Fog of War, a documentary on the career of Robert McNamara) and a sweep of extraordinary readings, including several novels, autobiographical works, philosophical treatises, political polemics, and stirring examples of expository prose- you will read such giants as William James, John Dewey, Walter Lippmann, Jane Addams, Randolph Bourne, HL Mencken, Richard Wright, Reinhold Niebuhr, Hannah Arendt, Noam Chomsky, James Baldwin, and more. Often these are packaged into taughtly but elegantly summarized passages in the course reader, and in cases in which full books are assigned, they are only of the highest quality and truly deserving of your time. The TAs were for the most part excellent and section was a surprisingly engaging and illuminating experience. If you have any interest in the philosophical trends and ideas which have shaped the fabric of the United States since the Civil War, or merely want to hear how exemplary a lecture can be, this is the course to take.

Jan 2006

This class has a silent curve and if you are used to getting A's and A-'s, you will end up with a B- or a B. It seems Blake has his TA's give out only one 'A' per section, only one 'A-' and the rest are clustered around the B's to C's. So, if you end up in a section with jocks, you're fine. If, however, you end up like I did, in a section with four of the smartest kids in the class, you get slaughtered. My TA confessed that Blake had the TAs grade things down to fit the curve and he admitted to feeling bad about adjusting grades downard to fit Blake's curve. Take this on my authority, plus that of five students in the class, in additon to my TA. That said, the class is ok-to-good. Blake is a fine professor. But the grading is harder than Sloan's.

Nov 2005

-this class is great- i give it four out four stars!!! awesome reading material interesting lectures and fair workload (two papers, midterm, final, sessions)

Aug 2005

As a transfer sophomore, I took Blake's Intro. to American Studies which was a wonderfully structured course which examined America from Reconstruction through Civil Rights. We read everything from Bourne (Blake's hero) to Baldwin, had assigned listenings ranging from Aretha Franklin to Woody Guthrie. Loved loved loved his lectures. I then took American Intellectual Tradition because I wanted to listen to this man some more. Readings ranged from William James to Gore Vidal. No in-class exams, rather two 10-14 page take home exams. They were the most rewarding exercises I have done at Columbia to date, and were both graded very fairly. Whatever he offers, take it! Also, go into JSTOR and read some of the articles/reviews he produced over the years - from Bruce Springsteen to Columbia's own Elizabeth Blackmar. You feel like this guy is secretly a Yogi or marathon runner or something like that. Never a dull moment...

Aug 2005

Prof. Blake's classes are enjoyable and informative. I personally think that one of his best assets as a teacher is his ability to take broad topics about American history and organize them into smaller, more manageable units that allow his students to explore a particular topic in-depth while also learning overarching themes that can be applied to other areas. Prof. Blake is enthusiastic about a wide variety of forms of cultural expression, and likes to integrate media studies, art history, film, history, politics, and sociology into his lessons. Another plus is his willingness (and even eagerness) to hear what his students have to say. He encourages lots of class participation, and naturally expects that his students have devoted considerable time and attention to their readings and papers.