professor
Monica Miller

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Oct 2014

Prof Miller is absolutely amazing and I would (and do!) recommend both her and this class to everyone who asks. She is an utter delight, extremely approachable, and possibly the nicest and most well-meaning professor I've encountered in my time here. The texts she chooses are gripping and insightful to the period and its various movements, and she is always sure to sprinkle in historically relevant details that pertain to the works we read. She is (obviously) intelligent, witty, and passionate. The class I was in was in the morning and so often her questions were met with silence, which was disappointing, but that's the fault of the class, not the professor. Miller somehow managed to make a subject I'd always been interested in even better, more approachable, more manageable, etc. Although the class was very heavy in reading (it's an English course, so that should be expected), it never seemed insurmountable because of the quality of the works she'd selected; frankly put, it never really seemed a chore to do the readings for this class, and for that I am thankful.

Apr 2010

As someone who is fascinated by post-Modern lit, I found this class to be a godsend. But, even without a particular interest in the period, something to consider is that every author on the reading list (Pynchon, Didion, Morrison, Bellow, and Nabokov, etc) shaped the contemporary American literary canon in innumerable ways, and, as a result, will be discussed in most other Lit classes. With that in mind, I would recommend this course to anyone remotely interested in a full immersion into the American social and literary climate of the post-war era, enjoying some of the most iconic works in recent history, and generally becoming a more educated person. Professor Miller is priceless, pure and simple. Why she is not a "gold nugget" professor, I have no idea. Her ability to integrate the works into the social framework of the era, facilitate her students immersion into the text and develop a passion for it is something that is incredibly rare to find in English professors both at Barnard and Columbia. Additionally, she makes the themes of the literary movements pertinent to today by discussing the legacy of each work in literary and pop culture today. Also, she is genuinely one of those professors that inspires exploration of the works as they pertain to other fields and other artistic mediums. She also adds spice to lecture by adding a rare witty personal anecdote that actually serves as a nice break from the discussion, without jumping into a tangent like some of her colleagues seem to find an insatiable desire to do on a frequent basis. Also, the note some other rater had about her reading from lecture notes was not applicable to my class, and I find it hard to imagine that a woman as accomplished and brilliant as Professor Miller would ever rely on a lecture outline. Basically: TAKE IT. If you're an English major, you'll get a new perspective on the these vital texts. If you're not, you'll have a more in-depth understanding of why these texts matter both in the literary world and the world at large.

Jul 2004

Instructor Miller is extremely intelligent, and knows how to camouflage her true feelings about her students. Basically, she is fake. Once you get on her bad side (for whatever hallucinatory reason she imagines-you will never know why), be prepared for her eye rolling and blatant staring while in a class. Barnard is chock full of professors who present extremely thought-provoking material and innovative ideas; however, Ms. Miller does not cut it; her self-consciousness is a tell-tale sign that she is very aware of her intellectual inferiority amongst masterminds. Most of the ideas she presents to undergraduates have been published even before her time--needless to say, she underestimates her students. And if you happen to have more brilliant ideas than Miller, you will surely be penalized. At times she tries to conjure up ideas of her own, but students usually get lost and confused by the 50 dollar words she uses in an attempt to mask the shallowness of her concepts. Mind you, she would admit that even she doesn't understand what she's tried to explain. In this particular class, most of the material selected was mediocre. At times class discussions were manifestations of her own identity crisis, thusly the course was comprised mostly of books on "passing" and biracial issues. One great thing about the class was that it attracted many wonderful students, and because of this fact alone, discussions were terrific. If you are looking for a Professor (not an Assistant Professor--as she is), who is unbiased and handles students and material fairly, might I suggest Professor Robert Hanning's 'Race and Racism' course. You will not be disappointed, and your grades will not suffer because of the instructor's personal distress.

May 2004

I love Monica. So much. She is a ridiculously intelligent and genuinely compassionate. I always looked forward to class and it saddens me that she is taking some time off. When she returns (Spring 2006 I believe), I'll take anything she is associated with. She's that good. Classes were challenging (in a good way), engaging, and enlightening. Everything I thought college would be (minus the beer and stuff...)

Apr 2004

Professor Miller is one of the best professors of English at this university. Her passion for the subject is evident with each lecture; her deep knowledge of the texts is clear by each of her articulate discourses. Outside of class, Professor Miller is always willing to meet with students, either to discuss course-related subjects or other, more general, topics. I highly recommend her lecture(s) and seminars. The course material she selects for each course are interesting and engaging; the assignments are fair and provide ground for further development of text-interpretation or creative space for deep analysis. They are definitely courses worth taking--with a great professor.

Nov 2003

Monica Miller is not only brilliant, but she is kind, a fair grader, and a sympathetic listener. She's one smart cookie and a total badass, in my opinion. I loved this seminar, and I hear her lectures are great, too. I've spent many an office hour bothering Prof. Miller for help with various papers and also just to discuss the books we read in class---she's always patient and willing to help. So go to her office hours, people, and take her classes. This one is a jewel.

Nov 2002

Prof. Miller is very personable, evidently intelligent, and extremely articulate. Her class, however, consists of listening to her read from a long (albeit very well-written) set of lecture notes from which she doesn't deviate and sometimes doesn't even really look up. The class has a great reading list if you're into postmodern lit (Ellison, Nabokov, Morrison) but I came out feeling like, for all the articulate phrases I had taken down in lecture, the treatment of the novels was somewhat cursory. Still, however, a class IÂ’d recommend.

Nov 2002

Prof. Miller is very personable, evidently intelligent, and extremely articulate. Her class, however, consists of listening to her read from a long (albeit very well-written) set of lecture notes from which she doesn't deviate and sometimes doesn't even really look up. The class has a great reading list if you're into postmodern lit (Ellison, Nabokov, Morrison) but I came out feeling like, for all the articulate phrases I had taken down in lecture, the treatment of the novels was somewhat cursory. Still, however, a class IÂ’d recommend.

Nov 2002

AMAZING READING LIST! (who the hell did the previous review???) Bellow, Ellison, Nabokov, Morrison....and on. Professor Miller is incredibly warm in person and highly approachable. Class is very organized. Miller is receptive to participation. Altogether, very enjoyable class. Definately recommended (if nothing else, a chance to learn about these award winning and influential novels). Why wouldn't you take this class?

Dec 2001

She's really really nice but the reading stinks and her lectures are very confusing and vague a lot of the time.