Truly amazing, intelligent, and always approachable, Dr. Harkett gives fascinating lectures, but he is clearly more interested in discussion and intellectual interaction. He carefully listens to what everyone has to say, and no matter how inane the comment, he still manages to distill and capitalize upon whatever intellectual value there is. Unlike many professors at this school, he is clearly passionate about teaching. He loves his students, and he has one of the best pedagogical methods of anyone anywhere. He is encouraging to those who struggle with the material, and he always challenges those who think they know their shit. In addition to being a consummate good guy, Dr. Harkett is ridiculously intelligent and has an incredible knowledge of art historical theory beyond his focus in 19th century visual culture. And he has an adorable accent. Columbia has lost quite a gem now that Harkett has gone off to RISD (I sincerely hope the students there appreciate his brilliance, dedication, and compassion).
I completely agree with the other reviews. Dr. Harkett was an AMAZING professor. I went into art hum not expecting to get anything out of it, but his teaching style is so clear and interesting that I ended up learning so much. He doesn't make you remember dates/names/particular paintings, but rather focuses on seeing the links between different art works and being able to discuss them. Very light reading (10 pages max, ever), no bs that most people have to do. A really engaged, competent, and overall fabulous professor. Also, If you can, go on his trips to the MoMA and the Met; they are interesting and he's a great guy.
Absolutely brilliant and amazing professor. If you have Daniel Harkett for your Art Hum professor, consider yourself blessed. I could not think of a better way to get through Art Hum. He is nice, funny, understanding and does a very excellent job of guiding and encouraging great class discussion. Never a boring day. He also does a great job of making everyone feel heard and that everyone's opinion is valid. He's also the only Art Hum professor I know of that made it all the way to Warhol (most people seemed to have fallen behind on the syllabus - not Dr. Harkett), and even left us on the last day of class with "How to Use Art Hum" The workload is very light, but this is better because it guarantees that most people will have done the reading, which also helps to enrich the class discussion. His paper topics were very interesting, and he really put great effort into commenting extensively on everyone's ideas - not only what was wrong, but how it could be made better. He gives you the questions for the midterm and final in advance, so you can prep for them ahead of time. Truly great class, and truly great professor. Recommended with all my heart.
This man embodies everything the Core stands for. Workload is light (close to minimal). Readings of 5 -6 pages per class (can you imagine that?) Grading is by far the fairest among all the core classes I've taken: 20% Class participation 45% Three 3-page papers (15% each) 15% Midterm exam 20% Final exam For the final and midterm, he gives us the questions two weeks before hand (6 to be precise), and chooses 2 for the paper itself. He allows us to bring in whatever we want (even a full-length essay) -- so none of that bullshit memorising of dates and ids. This is one of the core classes where I really enjoyed myself, where the stress level was next to nothing -- and yet this was the class where I learnt that most from. His teaching style is very inclusive, where he integrates class participation seamlessly into his comments. For the final class, we actually used the art hum techniques we learnt to analyse a portrait of George Bush (can you imagine that?). Great professor, and by far one of the best I've ever encountered in Columbia.