I loved the class and the professor. The readings are light and interesting, and Professor Grimm always goes over them in-depth in class so you don't need to read them super attentively. I loved seeing the parallels between writing and the arts. Sometimes the narrators in the readings would directly reference a painting that we would analyze in class, and sometimes Professor Grimm chose photos that pertain to the subject of the readings. He's good at facilitating discussion so I didn't feel nervous participating which is rare, he's funny, and a fair/lenient grader as long as you put the work in.
Professor Grimm is considerate, attentive, and very helpful in his corrections of the assignments. I found this class to be insightful, and learned a lot from the readings, some of which were seriously among the best books I read in my life. What can be frustrating, though, is that this is definitely a literature class (duh). What I mean by that: most of the readings are very, very politically charged, and as a political science person, I always wanted to go deeper into the sociological/political aspects of the readings. Therefore, at first, I often felt constricted when professor Grimm brought the class back to the literary path and never allowed it to stray far from it (most of the time by asking questions about the narrator, very effective). Anyways, I finally got used to it and was able to appreciate this class. So I definitely recommend this class; amazing readings and great professor.
Professor Grimm is extremely intelligent, insightful, and open to students' comments. He speaks in a very low voice which sometimes makes it either hard to hear him or stay engaged, but the material and what he makes of it are fascinating enough to make it worth your while. When I was in this class there were about 10 people, so it wasn't too hard to hear. Professor Grimm is good at inviting student comments and responding intelligently to them, unlike many other professors who don't comment or respond with something meaningless or dismissive. He sometimes makes jokes but you have to be on the lookout for them! One thing I found annoying was that he seemed to assume people have an innate knowledge of the Cold War/Communism or random parts of Europe, but you can get past that. The reading material was varied enough that you were bound to find topics and genres you liked. You don't have to do all of the readings when they are assigned, as long as you can comment on them occasionally in class, and know them for the papers and final. Take this class if you want to be exposed to new types of literature and places you probably never knew anything about before.
One of the best classes of my time at Columbia. It exemplifies what a comp lit course should be - interdisciplinary, culturally relevant, theoretically interesting. The reading list is phenomenal and unique. Prof. Grimm has a wide range of interests and encourages each student to develop her own through engaging discussions. A truly mind-opening experience, especially if you are not familiar with European studies.
A good intro with a lot of interesting reads. Prof Grimm is a genuinely nice guy and he really appreciates people making an intellectual effort in his class. Sometimes he seems kind of sad though, and looked like he looked like he needed a hug. Maybe it's because all the books we read were really dark and heavy (thats what you get for decadence, I guess). When I took it, there were fewer than 10 people in it, so it was pretty hard to escape commenting on things. He doesn't grade too hard, but make sure you use good references in your papers. And read (because it's worth it and..... You're screwed if you don't).
What a great and refreshing class. Selected texts were well chosen and enticing + class discussions were great. Highly recommended for all of those who are interested in German litterature and who wish to have a chance to practice their German. Can only recommend it.
i enjoyed the class. completely disagree with previous comments. perhaps it was different this time around because it was in german.. great prof, things got a little redundant sometimes, but that;s because he was scared we wouldn't understand him. he never write a grade on your papers, which drove me nuts
I agree with the above reviewer. Something was missing. I don't recommend the class. The readings were good, but if you want writting practice, you're probably better off someplace else. It seemed like the professor was talking at us instead of to us a lot of times. (Maybe that is why "stiff") And it was a chore to do the work,because he wasn't hearing me and had a too fixed agenda about what we were supposed to get from the readings. Also he spoke way too quiet. I know a guy who dropped the class the first week just because he couldn't hear what the man was saying, even from the second row.
I found Aesthetics of the Grotesque very disappointing The concept of the class was great, and the readings selected were varied and interesting. However, Professor Grimm failed to give the class any direction. He was very stiff in class, and wasted a lot of time repeating comments he had already made. Overall, he gave no feedback on our comments in class, and what feedback he did give was often conflicting or confusing. This made the class frustrating.