Prof. Fantuzzi is always well prepared for class and clearly puts in time and effort before to prepare for his lectures. Despite this, he does not encourage class participation well at all. Before he begins the lectures, he always asks the class if anyone has any questions or specific comments. While in theory this seems an effective method of encouraging discussion, it does not go over well in practice -- mostly because if you have a comment that does not line up exactly with the way he interpreted the work, he will disregard it as absolutely incorrect. This suggests there is only one way to read a work and does not encourage discussion; rather (especially near the end of the semester), it often led to heated debates involving Prof. Fantuzzi and one spirited student who tired of having his opinions shot down. At first this was amusing for the rest of the class, but eventually it caused everyone to feel frustration and then boredom. After this "discussion" period of the class (which grew briefer and briefer as the semester continued) we moved on to the lecture Prof. Fantuzzi had prepared. The lectures often included long periods of time where he read commentary directly from the sources he had brought in. Not only is this an ineffective way to communicate information, Fantuzzi's extremely thick Italian accent mixed with his soft voice (which grew softer as he progressed through his reading) made it nearly impossible to understand everything he said, even if you tried their hardest to pay attention the entire time -- which, let's face it, no one did. Needless to say, I'm sure I was not the only student who zoned out during this long portion of class.
Fantuzzi always made it clear the approximate amount of reading we needed to do for the next class (i.e. read through chapters 10-12) but rarely assigned specific chapters, which I appreciated. The midterm, however, was a different story. Fantuzzi told the class that the midterm would consist of passage IDs and a passage commentary, but specifically said there would not be a full essay. On the day of the midterm, though, we were instructed that he had decided to include an essay to help prepare us for the final. This is a fair claim, but it was unfair to the students when he could have just told us there would be an essay.