Nathanael Shelley

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Jun 2021

If there was a nugget higher than gold, Prof. Shelley definitely deserves it. He's an amazing professor and very knowledgeable and welcoming. The course is very friendly to those of all knowledge levels and experiences. A great class that's actually discussion based and gives you a chance to explore a variety of works of literature. The reading could get somewhat overwhelming, especially if you take the course in the intensive format, but Prof. Shelley is very accommodating and is obviously more concerned with you learning and enjoying your exploration of the texts than with nitpicking about grades and deadlines. His interest in the subject matter is apparent and constantly reinforcing the themes and info from previous works. I took this course as a global core with limited experience with the texts (and as a stem major) and I'm finding the works interesting and the class to be very engaging and enriching. 11/10 take any class with this prof if you can.

Jul 2020

I love love this course! I highly recommend everyone to take it. You really learn a lot in this class. The class is mainly discussion based. You are responsible the weekly readings and meet once a week to talk about it. The professor guides the class along very well and would explain concepts that you find difficult in understanding. The workload is very manageable and if you do the readings, you'll get an A in the class.

May 2018

I took Shelley's class the first semester he taught it- Spring 2018. Taking his class was a terrible mistake. Shelley may be a good professor when teaching a small group of students (he used to teach CC, and I saw that his reviews were pretty good), however, this class had 200 students and his lectures were intolerably boring. Every class he read out of his iPad, word by word, a summary he had written without looking up or interacting with the class. If he wouldn't have shown a movie for the first few classes of shopping week, I would have realized what a terrible lecturer he was and would have dropped the class. Both the midterm and the final paper were on the readings which were long and heavy, and the background he provided in class was not sufficient for the understanding of the texts. Nevertheless, the midterm ended up not being so terrible, all you had to do was memorize basic concepts and write a small paragraph about each author. The final paper was 10-12 pages long and must have incorporated at least 2 texts from the weekly readings.

May 2014

Professor Shelley was absolutely one of the most brilliant professors I have ever had, and he remains to this day (after three years) a wonderful friend and mentor of mine. I do hope he never reads this so that he doesn't get all flattered. I do hope he goes on to teach in the future, as I think he'll inspire many, but I hope as well that I remain his favourite student. Besides knowing all that there was to know for the class, he has awesome taste in music, film, and wardrobe, and he's very kind and approachable. Although I did not care so much my freshman year and skived off, not doing quite a few readings, I still learned an incredible amount. He graded very difficultly, but it has improved my essay writing more than I can express. A brilliant man who will do brilliant things if given the chance.

Nov 2013

Professor Shelley is hands down my favorite professor. He is not only extremely intelligent, well organized, and interested, but he also genuinely cares about his students. That said, Shelley is one tough professor, but I wouldn't have considered changing Lit Hum sections for a second. He pushes the entire class so that discussion is always rich and challenging. He expects a lot from his students, but he also holds himself to high expectations as a professor. There was never a boring moment, and we often found ourselves staying in class 10-15 minutes after it had ended because we were all so engaged. The class is structured as follows: occasional short reading quiz, historical background, close reading, cookie break, partner work and more close reading, student presentation, and open-ended discussion. Simply said: Professor Shelley is the best.

Apr 2013

He takes his teaching very seriously. You can be sure you'll learn what you need to know and more for the midterm and final. His classes are mostly discussion-based, with a very small amount of lecturing. However, he usually has a goal in mind when opening a subject up for a discussion, and he will guide students toward a certain conclusion. If it takes too long for the students to reach that conclusion by themselves, he sometimes just says it outright or drops it and says he expects the class to think about it in their free time. He's very no-nonsense without being stifling or intimidating, and he's always available and helpful during his office hours. Do not take this class if you want to babble bullshit all class long and waste time because he will (kindly) shoot you down. He grades a bit harshly on essays, and the class is curved to a B. All that said, one of my favorite teachers this term and truly eye-opening if you're willing to put in the time and effort into his class. A wealth of information, great guy, and he really knows what he's doing.