Rita Charon

Apr 2006

I cannot say enough good things about Rita Charon. She is inspiringly passionate, both about Henry James's work and about literature's power to impact our lives, and she respects her students, their reactions to the readings, and their time. She adjusted the reading list as the semester progressed so we could spend more time reading the novels and have better discussions, and, towards the very end, made our previously required weekly response papers optional because she knew end-of-semester work was piling up. Basically, because of Professor Charon's love of the material and genuine care for her students, I have never to this extent felt that I was taking a class for the sheer pleasure of it. Her interpretations are solid, she leads discussion well, and her attitude creates a class that is always focused on the text and never bogged down by assigning more reading and writing than is physically possible-- the unfortunate golden rule of so many English classes. In fact, in her class there were none of the usual unfortunate things about English classes-- no kissing up to the professor, no pseudo-intellectualism-- just a great class with smart discussion and real learning. I don't think I've ever looked forward to a seminar quite as much.