professor
Christine Philliou

Mar 2014

If you have a real interest in the Middle East or Eastern Europe, you should take this course. It’s an odd course in that it covers many centuries, but it is intended for serious students. Some lectures can feel a bit superficial as they speed through large chunks of time. Professor Philliou balances that with a reading list full of journal articles and excerpts from advanced monographs, as well as some interesting primary source readings. She is at her best when responding to questions during lecture—and there were a lot of good questions from advanced undergraduates and grad students. That’s when she can slow down and go into depth for a few minutes, and you see that she is smart, really knows the scholarship in her field, and has a lively intellect and gentle sense of humor. It would be better if she could split this course into two semesters, but until then, grab it when it comes around next time. It’s a good solid course.

Jan 2011

I read the previous review, and agree for the most part. Except for the part where the reviewer said that she was smart. I was not impressed by how "intelligent" she was by any stretch. It felt like much of the class just consisted of her regurgitating what she had been taught in CC. Any opinions different from her own, whether they were relevant or irrelevant to the class, were shut down completely and often shut down in a mean way. I would even go so far as to say that she is downright nasty when it comes to anything that doesn't go her way (i.e. missing a makeup class that was scheduled at the last minute because one had Friday plans). If you want a fictional representation of her, I would use Delores Umbridge from Harry Potter. Passive aggressive to the max. Also, if you have an ongoing problem, she won't speak to you about it until the day of the final, where she basically just tells you that you're screwed. That's how much Professor Philliou cares about her students. One last thing. She forgot to schedule a midterm. YES! SHE FORGOT TO SCHEDULE A MIDTERM! And then randomly added one that was obviously "If you take it, I'll like you and give you a good final grade. And if you don't, I'll say it won't matter, but it will somehow count toward participation."

Jan 2011

I came into this class excited and interested. I left angry. Professor Philliou, at least as a CC teacher, is AWFUL. Avoid at all costs. Professor Philliou is a Columbia Alum, so from what I gather, she at least read the texts then, but seems to have put minimal effort in since. She occasionally came to class with a sheet of paper with dates scribbled on it to give us some historical perspective, but used student presentations to begin class rather than anything she prepared. She was then confused when discussions seemed to faulter as she encouraged them by shutting people down whose responses she found even minorly irrelevant. On top of that, she really has it in for any student she thinks is slacking off in class. She is also really into classroom decorum and respect for her authority as...an assistant professor that no one's ever heard of? I gathered from reading her bio that she has done some impressive research on the ottoman empire and I could tell she was an intelligent person in class with plenty of insights on the reading. However she only occasionally shared them and did not create a productive classroom dynamic. She is passive agressive, lazy, and unkind.

May 2008

Terrible. She lets students talk for two hours while she zones out and doesn't pay attention. She doesn't even CARE to explain a few of the main concepts in these-rather hard to digest- books. Her grading is irrational (basically if you've written more than 4 pages on an essay you will get an A-range grade.) Her IDs on exams are ridiculous and she also never tells you what to study and how to prepare for exams. She plays favorites and even though she seems sweet, she is unapproachable, flaky and plain mean. Avoid at all costs.

Mar 2007

I thought she was really great. I believe there was only one person who switched out between first and second semester. Our class environment was extremely comfortable and she had a way of breaking everything down and putting it all together in a way that I often found simply remarkable with many of the texts. She is a great professor with an extensive knowledge of history but she is also very approachable and seems very happy to be teaching - a combination often difficult to find here. Grading was extremely fair - not overly generous, not too soft.

Jan 2007

Great class - Christine is excellent discussion leader and very knowledgeable Ottomanist. It helps to take the Ottoman History lecture first. hard to catch up when you have no idea whats going on historically.

Jan 2007

I took Prof. Philliou's class because I needed to fulfill a breadth requirement for my major. I was completely NOT qualified to be in her seminar, but it was brand new, and beggars can't be choosers when it comes to filling seats. To say I was pleasantly suprised would be an understatement. Prof. Philliou was VERY knowledgeable, and yet never came across as pedantic. She has a direct manner when it comes to bringing up salient points, and allowed all students to bring something to the table. Sure, you had your students like me who knew practically nothing (ugh, and even the ones who wanted to talk anyway), but for the most part, the class stayed focused on the texts (which were interesting). Actually, it was the sort of warm, fuzzy seminar where the class bonds and likes each other- even though everyone was very different (GS students, grad students, even a sophmore). I highly recommend her classes, and predict she will be one of the great professors.

Dec 2006

Great prof, great class....highly recommended, even if you don't have the complete background of the subject.