Morris Rossabi

May 2016

This guy is extremely nice. The class covers quite a bit, but it has a good pace. He is an extremely knowledgable man, and one of the authorities in his field. He is very straightforward with what to study for the midterm and final, and the one paper is only 10 pages and on any topic you screen by him. The actual material in the class is interesting, and if you attend classes you don't need to do a ton of the reading. I highly recommend taking the class. It meets once a week, is a cool topic, and is easy to study for.

May 2015

Professor Rossabi's contagious passion for Mongolia and Inner Asia lightens the room and makes it a pleasure to be in his class. His impeccable knowledge reflects his status as a world-renowned scholar in both fields. Prof. Rossabi also goes above and beyond to help students succeed and is always eager to answer questions after class. He even allowed us to submit drafts of our term-paper before final submission to which he provided thorough feedback. Overall, this course is an easy A and anyone with an interest in East Asia is highly recommended to take his course.

Apr 2015

Great class. Great Man. Take it. Its easy. Its interesting. All i gotta say.

May 2012

Dr. Rossabi is an incredibly admirable and respected scholar in the field of Mongolian, Central Asian, and Chinese studies. His lectures are thorough, informative, and engaging. If you registered for any of his classes with a genuine interest in these fields, you really will not be disappointed; if you plan to throw your attention out the window to fiddle around on Facebook, however, don't bother for two reasons. First: The man is clearly excited and inspired by what he teaches, so show the dude some respect for the effort he brings to class. Second: You absolutely need to pay attention to the lectures if you want a fair grade. I easily walked away from each class with 4-6 pages of notes, and they were *all* incredibly valuable for papers and exams alike. Great guy, and also a fabulous professor.

Jul 2010

I agree with the previous review of Professor Rossabi. I was deceived by the first lecture which was given by a guest speaker from Yale who was much more engaging and better than Professor Rossabi. I regret over and over again that I decided to stay in this class. Morris Rossabi is someone who can make the most interesting subject the most boring one. He might be knowledgeable in his field but everything he does during lecture is mumbling about things here and there without a direction. I find it extremely hard to focus or even to stay awake during his lecture. The exponentially decreasing attendance rate after the first two, three weeks show how bad the lecture is. It is almost ridiculous that attendance is required for the lectures. His readings on courseworks were not updated until a few weeks since the semester started. The reading list was updated only after students informed him and the TA that the readings on courseworks had not been updated for years. He does not show proper respect for other scholars. I remember he used the word “nasty” to describe a number of scholars in his field. Whether the work by those scholars are good or truly bad is something I do not know, but it’s shocking to see such words coming out of a professor during lectures at Columbia. This was the worst class I have ever taken at Columbia. I took many classes in the ealac department at Columbia and I enjoyed every one of them. If you are considering taking this class for your major, try some other ealac classes. If you are taking this class to fulfill major cultures/global core, DO NOT choose this class. You will regret!

May 2010

Seldom have I taken the time to comment on a professor on CULPA, but I do so now because students should be better prepared. In addition, Rossabi is a perfect example of why students should have access to course evaluations; students clearly have no idea what Rossabi is like when they sign up for History of the Mongols to fulfill their Core requirements, and cannot leave until it is too late. To begin: Rossabi does not respect many other scholars in the field of Mongolian studies. He appears to find many of these colleagues contemptible, lest they have approached him from time to time to discuss his opinion over any issues currently in Modern Mongolia. Second, Rossabi is absent minded. His lectures in no way involve the student and, for a student who is not used to his teaching style, he offers nothing for assistance. His class assumes you have a prior interest in Mongolia; in fact, most students are in the class to become interested in Mongolia, and have taken the class merely because Rossabi is wrongfully labeled as a silver nugget (he is not) on CULPA. Third, Rossabi is lazy. He does not give any feedback until the moment he submits final grades for the class (except for the midterm). His "evaluations" (a midterm, final, and term paper) are all less than 200 words on his part. Fourth, Rossabi is just bad. If you take this class and find it interesting, it is because you enjoyed the readings. There can be no other reason to enjoy the class. Sure, Rossabi's Modern Mongolia is a great read. But the writer, when turned into an instructor, becomes abhorrent.

May 2010

THISS CLASSS SUCKED THE SOUL OUT OF MY BODY little by little every day!!!!!!! Yes I know its tempting especially when it is only once a week on tuesdays and it has a take home final but believe me when I say this, it is not worth your time or your energy. He is a horrible teacher and lacks any ability to coherently convey any organized lesson plan. He merely talks to hear himself talk and by no means does he actually mean for you to learn anything. Nothing is given in chronological order like any normal history class but instead is a jumbled mish mash of information thrown together. He spends a majority of the class talking about how nobody else knows Mongolia as well as he does and they should consult him more because he is such an expert. Well to be honest I think its because nobody else wants to waste all their efforts in life learning about one stupid place. I actually worked hard in this class and went to class, took notes, and although I did not do the readings, it was unnecessary because none of them linked up to what he discussed in class. Then I studied for the midterm and actually really studied making sure to cover every possible choice for an ID which we were told would be people or things that had been repeated over and over again in several lectures. Funny thing is none of the IDs chosen met that criteria but were instead obscure names and groups of people mentioned probably once in passing in lecture. This class FRUSTRATED me to no end and if I had to do it over I would most certainly NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. So be my guest, take the class, but don't say you weren't warned,

Aug 2005

I found the lectures soporific besides his great left-wing humor and political editorials (they come at random times, they may be used to wake up his audeince). This is the only class I have ever fallen asleep in. Furthermore, I have never done SO LITTLE work and SO LITTLE reading (i.e. never doing any reading, only looking at lecture notes) and doing so well (we're talking about A+ here!). If this's the kind of thing you're looking for, hop on board. I felt like I learned very little. You'd be an ass not to show up to class, seeing that you can pull off an A doing none of the reading and simply parroting back lecture notes. If I could do it again, I would not take this course, I would take something that would more challenging if it was INTERESTING. He has a way of making Mongolian history seem as out there and boring and uncared for as one might think it is -- which is a true tragedy. Another note about grading, because I know this is why a lot of people take the course. I buddied up with a friend in this course. We did the exact same type of work -- he actually did more than me, and actually did the readings. He ended up with a B+ after teetering on the A-/B+ boarder, as I waltzed along with A's doing less work (I am not bragging, I think he is smarter than me, the prof just liked me more). It made very little sense. So maybe upon reconsideration -- this is not a class to be taken for the grade.

Nov 2004

Great Class. Two hours a week. One thing to know. Let Professor Rossabi talk and talk and talk. As he talks, you must take dilligent notes. He does not use notes or a guide, and instead comes into class knowing exactly what he wants to say over the next two hours. there are weekly readings which are completely unnecessary should one take careful notes. the key to this class is regurgitating facts and names that he divulged in class back into your exams, the more you remember the higher your grade. also, he is nice, reachable via email, and thoroughly brilliants. he speaks just about any language youcan think of, and knows more about Mongolia than anyone born outside of Mongolia. expect a few weeks off here and there because he often travels to Asia duringthe semester. also, the take home final will free up your study-load during reading week :)

May 2003

Rossabi is apparently one of the top Mongol experts in the world, with no hyperbole. He had all kinds of people, such as Mongolia's ambassador to the US, come talk to us. It's hard to overstate how much he knows. The class meets only once a week. Rossabi is interesting, but you get a little drowsy after a while. Basically, if you're looking to fulfill the major cultures, and you've already done an east asian A list course, this is perfect. It's interesting and fulfilling without being burdensome at all- basically what major cultures should be.

Mar 2002

Prof. Rossabi is by far the best professor I have had at Columbia. He's a universally reknowned expert on the subject, tells terrific stories from his vast experiences, gives intriguing survey lectures (mixing in some economics and politics), and is extremely approachable. His lectures are so thorough that reading is essentially redundant, though you will enjoy reading his own book, "Khubilai Khan". His favorite compliment might be that he genuinely cares about teaching and about his students. Besides all this, the class only meets once a week. -- A great teacher and a great class.

Mar 2002

If you are looking for an easy and interesting class, this is the one to take. All the readings are on reserve, and are completely unnecessary. In fact, last semester he forgot to submit a list to the library, and most of the books weren't even there. Professor Rossabi is a good lecturer, knows a LOT about Mongolia, and is extremely approachable. I actually walked away knowing a lot about Mongolia, without having put much effort in.