Severine Martin

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Apr 2010

I have had several excellent professors at Columbia and Barnard but Severine has easily been the best. She is unbelievably enthusiastic and encouraging, not to mention incredibly intelligent. She pays attention to each of her students and has gone out of her way to make encouraging, personal comments to me about my participation in class because she knows that I get anxious about speaking in class in French. I've gotten much less nervous about this over the course of this semester and it is largely -- if not entirely -- due to her encouragement and to her skill as a teacher in general. I was motivated to do my best work because her classes were so excellent. She really seems to know everything about French literature and speaks about it passionately, and is also good at getting her students engaged and participating in the discussion. She is also extremely diligent about marking up papers with lots of comments, which I really appreciate. Overall I would highly recommend taking any class she is teaching -- regardless of the subject matter, I would be thrilled to take another class with her.

Apr 2010

She is such a wonderful woman ! Séverine truly loves literature and she shares this love in her lectures. She brings texts to life, she is happy and passionate. We studied main authors such as Montesquieu, Balzac and Baudelaire. Sometimes the readings were heavy, especially on Proust, but overall the course load was manageable. The midterm was pretty straight forward and she had given the class a review list which was extremely helpful. Séverine enabled us to express our own opinions on literature instead of just recycling well-known ideas. This was a revisitation of texts for many of the students rather than a discovery. Her class was like a journey through literature and what a super guide she was ! The course is given in French. This is by far, the best French literature class you'll take at Columbia.

Jan 2006

Severine's class is light on the techincal grammar, but it seems to work well. Due to the onerous burden of mandatory Frontiers lectures, I am unable to take her class for 1102, and my new professor is definitely not up to par. In addition, most of the students from other 1101 sections seem less prepared than those from Severine's class. Since she is a native French speaker and speaks French naturally in class, Severine is not as easy to understand as some of the professors who slow and modify their speech for elementary students. This makes the course more difficult, but also more useful. It is also a lot of fun, since Severine is incredibly good-natured and not nearly as stiff as some of the other grad students teaching classes.

Nov 2005

Severine Martin is not only a wonderful human being, but a great teacher. Class is fun as she goes off on tangents about life in New York vs. Paris, literature, poets - and all in French! Don't be intimidated - even when your French isn't so great, somehow it's all still understandable. The material moved fast in the beginning, but so long as you do the very short assignments, it's easy to stay on top. Quizzes are few, far between, and not particularly hard. The worst part of the class are writing assignments every other week or so. It's absolutely true that a teacher makes the class, and Severine is the epitome of that saying. She'll even bring you candy and remember your birthday!