I quite enjoyed prof. FNM's lectures, she was always extremely insightful and sensitive when discussing issues in class. However, the bulk of this class experience, for me, was ruined by my TA, Chelsey Saunders. Intro to CSER has a mandatory discussion section that meets once a week, but really besides the 2 lectures/week run by prof. FNM, the whole class experience depends on your TA. The TA grades all your weekly reflections, the midterm, the ethnography/interview project, and the final, on top of many other weekly assigned things. Chelsey was honestly a terrible TA. From the very first discussion section, she decided that we, students, would be teaching/running the weekly discussion sections instead of her. She, the TA, who is qualified to teach and studying at Teacher's College, wants us, the students, to be teaching the class that SHE's in charge of? She essentially pawned off her whole job to us! I also don't think this was very helpful us as students as a method of learning, either, since instead of having a qualified, knowledgeable teacher lead discussions we had a bunch of very simple, superficial discussions every week since all of us students leading the discussions were inexperienced and thus couldn't lead very deep discussions. She was also kind of very mean and a bit oppressive, in my opinion, and even once snapped at a student in the middle of his question to tell him "don't ask me that type of question!" She asked us for feedback on her "teaching" sometime in the middle of the semester, and asked if we wanted her to add anything to the discussion section, and some people suggested that it might be helpful for HER to compile a list of key words covered in the weekly readings to help clarify things for the midterm. So naturally, she pawned off that work on us, and assigned us each one term to define and give context for. Chelsey's feedback was also minimal, if any, on our weekly responses, midterm, projects, and final. The most I ever got was "good job!!!" or for the most part, just a percentage grade with no comments or feedback whatsoever, which really provided no help for me at all as a student. Full disclosure, I got in the A range in this class, so this isn't just me being salty because I didn't do well. I genuinely thought it was an interesting class and learned a lot from prof. FNM, but absolutely detested the weekly discussions. I feel like I could've learned a lot more had I had a different TA. I do recommend the class, but strongly suggest that if you end up with Chelsey as your TA, change the heck out of that section!!
I didn't like the disorganized operation of this class. Lectures were somewhat hard to follow, it was difficult to understand the points being made or the relation of each point to the others. Assignments were vague and I was never sure exactly what was expected. Rubrics/guidelines were released less than a week before the due date of the midterm and final papers. Overall content was interesting and I learned a lot. Discussion section was engaging sometimes, other times it was boring. That would depend on your TA and your classmates though. Not hard to do well in this class if you can write good essays.
Frances has been my favorite professor thus far at Columbia and Intro to Latino studies has been my favorite class. I'm even considering majoring in Latin American studies after taking this class. For the love of God do yourself a favor and take this class (it unfortunately isn't offered 2013-2014 but if it is later TAKE IT). The whole class is super interesting, and she's always including video clips and other media to make the topics current. This is probably the easiest/ most interesting way to fulfill a global core requirement. There are optional discussion sections. My TA was really cool and the sections were actually pretty helpful.
AMAZING CLASS! Professor Negron-Muntaner never had a dull moment in class. She always would relate lectures to media, and she would also constantly relate teachings to what was happening in the world at the time. She was intimidating (she talked to us about how she met with the president during the semester and she would talk to us about other celebrities whom she has worked with--J. LO, Eva Longoria, Junot Diaz, etc), but this just made the class all the more interesting to attend. That being said, I think you have to really enjoy what was being taught to truly get the best out of the class. If you're interested in Latino culture at all TAKE THIS CLASS!
When I first walked in the classroom I was very intimidated by her, but there is nothing to fear. She is very helpful and is always there if you have any issues. She is perhaps the most knowledgeable professor I have encountered at Columbia and the class ended up being about so much more than the works we read. TAKE THIS CLASS! TAKE ANYTHING SHE'S TEACHING! She's amazing.
She is amazing! She can seem pretty intimidating at first but she is very laidback. She is very informative but also sparks great conversation. The work is not incredibly hard but make sure to do the reading.
Professor Negron is one of the best professors I've had at Columbia. She is intelligent and witty. She is also very knowledgeable in her subject area. I really enjoyed the readings, and the way she presents her lectures. She is very open to ideas and thoughts from her students, and she will challenge you to make sure you have a clear understanding of the materials. Though the reading load was quite heavy, it was also very interesting. Make sure you do the reading and you'll do fine.
I just want to echo all of the previous reviewers on this page. Negron is the best professor I've had at Columbia, and the only one that was so good I just had to take her twice. Even if your interests don't lie in this subject area, take a course with her--or four--anyway. They will be well worth your time.
It is true !!! Prof. Negron is the best Columbia has to offer. This is one of the few classes in which I felt that the money I paid was all worthed. She is everything one can expect from a Prof. at an Ivy league institution. If you can, take a class with her, she is worth the money , the time and the effort to read and go to class every day. The lady is just great.!!
Prof. Negron is very, very good at what she does. Her readings are very informative and varied, and they offer a wide range of analysis on the different social circumstances surrounding the different Latino ethnic groups in the United States. That said, I have to add that even as a gay man, this class was SO overwhemlingly focused on homosexuality that it ended up seeming one- sided, even though we read lot's of works by straight authors as well. This was my first English class at Columbia, and it was enjoyable because she had so much insight to offer. Honestly I thought it was way too gay, but it also gave me a better understanding of how identity is constructed in this country. Overall, a thumbs up.
I loved this professor and the class. She is engaging and keeps the class moving. While there is a large amount of reading, it never felt like a burden. (OK, well, sometimes, but I still did it) She is easy to talk to and interested to hear what the students have to say.
She is the smartest professor at Columbia.
Prof. Negron is a great professor. Her seminars are fulfilling and she is very liberal and lineant when it comes to papers and deadlines. Her door is always open and prefers your thoughts rather than just you summarizing what you've read. After taking two courses with her, she is in my book one of the best professors Ive had in Columbia. Any course with her would be a great experience.
Great, hip, youthful teacher. Prof. Negron's passion for literature and the Latino experience is infectious. She insists on class involvement and because of that attendance is a must. Great class for anyone interested in the Latino and Caribbean experience. Warning: There is a lot of reading. Caribbean literature had a $70.00 reader plus more than 5 novels.
Prof. NegrÃ³n is a joy in class. She is passionate, knowledgeable, and fun. She integrates current events with classical literary theory, and she is accessible, fair and interesting. Take advantage of her office hours, and go to the events she sponsors - they are never boring academic affairs but interesting and often lively (read: there is a heated debate and/or argument between panelists) events.
Prof. NegrÃ³n-Muntaner is fun and brilliant. She is passionate about her subject matter and that passion is contagious. As a documentary filmmaker, she incoroporates multimedia into the class, including film adaptations of some of the readings. She encourages class discussion, but keeps it focused. I highly reccommend this class and any other she may be teaching. Give this woman tenure!!!
Francis Negron is phenomenal. Even if you think you don't have an interest in latino lit, you do. She's incredible, fabulous, super-inteligent, and hilarious. She's young, she's an artist, she makes documentaries, she knows famous people, she throws in random facts ("about that time when i was interviewing Selena's brother ..."). Her lit selections for the class are great. It's all current stuff, and feels really new because not much criticism has been written on it yet. It's clear this professor is on the cutting edge of her field.