professor
Mohammed Mbodj

This professor has earned a CULPA silver nugget

Jan 2003

Professor Mbodj is an interesting, thoughtful professor whose accent is very easy to understand, but whose thoughts are sometimes very strange and rambling. He's very knowledgable of African history, and is particularly keen on making you understand the subtleties of imperialism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism. Class is basically a bullshit "student discussion" until someone says something that sparks his imagination and then he goes off on a rant for the rest of class. Overall, there is way too much work, class is usually boring, and the "visual hours" once a week (sometimes almost 2 hours long) are unneccessary and incredibly boring. You could skip them but he takes attendance (as he does in class as well).

Apr 2001

Although his accent takes a couple of classes to get used to, Professor Mbodj is a terrific lecturer. He did an admirable job of presenting an absurdly large topic (Africa since 1800) in terms of comprehensible yet not overly simplistic themes. He has a propensity for making extremely witty remarks, which are both hilarious and perceptive. The material was consistently interesting; Professor Mbodj has a balanced and very plausible view of African history, he avoids both naivete and cynicism. I particularly liked the way he managed not to demonize the traditional villians of African history (colonizers, slave traders, autocratic leaders) but also didn't attempt to ignore or excuse their sins. The only part of this course I was less than enthusiastic about was the readings, which were sometimes distinctly uninsightful or just irrelevant.

Jan 2000

Don't even bother trying to make out his accent. But he's a very enthusiastic lecturer, and the lectures prepare you extremely well for the midterm. The material is fairly interesting, and he'll occassionally crank out an absolutely hilarious remark in the midst of his lecture.

Jan 2000

I have to disagree with the other review. Professor Mbodj is a very intelligent man who really cares about his students. If you make an effort to pay attention, his lectures are extremely insightful, and he has a firm grasp on history. He is very approachable and encourages questions. In fact, class participation somehow counts for 5% of your grade, even though it is a lecture class with about 100 students. The fact that there is no final is a huge, huge plus. A great class to fulfill part of the Major Culture's requirement.