professor
Katharine McIntyre

Apr 2019

Absolutely fantastic lecturer, but I cannot possibly share her tastes in pedantic assignments. She covers themes that most other instructors fail to, and bring unique philosophy perspectives into the text. I love reading and talking in class; never the assignment or examinations.

Nov 2017

Professor McIntyre was a phenomenal teacher. Everyone talks about how good Dean Awn is, which had me a feeling like I was missing the best LitHum experience by not taking Dean Awn. That was completely false. Professor McIntyre was a delight each and every class period, she is knowledgeable, humorous, and very down to earth. I genuinely laughed in this class more than any others so far, both from the light-hearted discussions and Prof McIntyre's humor and witty observations of the readings. She is able to identify well with her students and now that she is also teaching GS sections, she has adapted those discussions to better fit their perspective. Our classes felt like very open-ended discussions about the literature, where we could discuss anything within the text that caught our attention. Although Professor McIntyre did lead the discussion, at times she seemed to be more of a moderator to keep the class relevant and on topic. She also showed a handful of relevant media that added a lot of depth and were really entertaining. Professor McIntyre was also flexible with paper deadlines and was understanding of her students' busy schedules. She responds to e-mails usually same day, and provided me with a lot of useful feedback while I was brainstorming for paper topics. Yes, she is tough on grading papers, I got a B+ on all of my papers, but the quizzes for each book are so easy(as long as you actually read them) that it balances out her tough paper grades. When we read Plato, Prof McIntyre even brought in a subject matter expert from the Philosophy department, who added interesting points to the discussion. For the participation grade, Prof McIntyre holds "participation days" where each student must speak 3 times during the class period for an A. She gives plenty of opportunities for everyone to get their 3 participations in for the A. This is very doable even for those who aren't so vocal in class like myself. As a GS student where LitHum isn't mandatory, I took it because I think it is essential to the Columbia experience. After taking the first semester, and learning so much not only from Professor McIntyre but also my classmates, that assessment holds true. I didn't realize how many different ways you could read a text until this class! It remains one of the most memorable classes I've had at Columbia. IF YOU LIKE TO READ, enjoy classics, and actually have the time to read at least *most* of every text, don't shy away from taking LitHum with Prof McIntyre. As an added bonus, Prof McIntyre is on the board that makes the LitHum midterm and final, so I like to think her exam prep sessions were a tiny bit more guided since she helped pick the prompts.

Nov 2014

TAKE THIS CLASS WITH KATE. Especially the second semester. She is the ideal Lit Hum professor- both extremely knowledgeable and accessible as well as great at generating class discussion. She always has excellent points to bring up about each text, including potential criticisms of it and implications for modern life. In fact, she makes a point of trying to connect the texts back to our own lives which I found refreshing since it can feel pretty pointless to go through the whole Lit Hum syllabus if it isn't being made relevant in some way. She makes sure everyone gets a chance to contribute during class discussions and raise their own points, never shutting down anyone's argument but also not letting people make sweeping generalizations or statements without supporting them. SERIOUSLY, by the end of the year she actually made me think a lot about my own life and the world I live in through the way she taught and had us engage in the texts which is beyond valuable. She also revised the syllabus so that we got to read some more modern and diverse writers. In terms of assignments, she is a fair grader (though not an easy one) and makes her expectations very clear. She provides tons of useful feedback and genuinely just wants to help you become a better writer, reader, student, etc. There are 3 essays, progressively longer and with more room for interpretation and creativity as each semester progresses. Kate is a fantastic professor who will teach you a lot, make you question many things, and create a sense of community in your class. She is friendly, intelligent, understanding, and generally amazing. So count your blessings if you are in her section and transfer into it if you can.