This class is outstanding. Brooke is an engaging lecturer and she is one of the best professors Iâ€™ve had at Columbia. She cares tremendously about both the course material and her students, which is why I felt I learned something new and interesting every class. She provides feedback on papers, so be sure to go to office hours...or just swing by to say hi, since Brooke is a wonderful conversationalist. Great professor â€“ take a class with her if you have a chance.
Disclaimer: I took Brooke's CC class in the spring only, so this may not apply to the fall semester. I found Brooke to be an excellent instructor for my CC class. The strength of a professor leading a seminar on introductory texts, it seems to me, is the extent to which she is willing to create an environment for learning and discussion; Brooke certainly did so. I spoke, and heard my classmates speak, far more in this class than in any other class I have taken at Columbia. Brooke laid the foundation by introducing each work and encouraged conversation by linking students' ideas together and occasionally challenging them, and spent a minimal amount of time lecturing. This allowed her students to explore and debate the issues brought up by the readings without getting too far off-track. CC is a tricky course, because it surveys a number of works and authors about whom entire courses could be (and are) taught. If done well, CC and LitHum both can be both educational, in terms of providing a basic background in the Western canon of literature and philosophy, and inspiring, because it allows students to be a part of philosophical debates spanning thousands of years. Brooke led her class through these issues admirably, telling us enough to give us a sense of what was going on while letting us explore on our own, as well.
I completely disagree with the previous reviewer. Brooke is a passionate lecturer who really cares about the students. She works hard to make the class fun and to communicate why the questions we're studying are important. The class is not difficult if you're willing to put in a reasonable amount of work - she really wants the students to succeed and will go out of her way to help. I really enjoyed taking the class with Brooke and hope to take another class with her in the future.
I took Intro to International Relations class with Brooke Greene and unfortunately I regret it now. I believe same opinion comes from all students in this class who I have talked to. She is phd candidate (not really experienced in teaching or working outside of her phd paper), and doesn't lecture consistently where most of the work of learning is left the students. If you are not knowledgeable in international history or international relations/politics it becomes a challenge intro class. Only interesting part of her class was that she did show movies in class, although there were no discussions on their relevance in class? Overall an ok class for elective but would take it with another professor if you get a chance.
Brooke was an obvious neophyte on the CC curriculum. Brooke's presentation of each text was decidedly ahistorical. I discovered the extent to which she had overlooked the deep connections between these texts and their contexts only when sparknotes informed me, as I was reviewing for the final at semester's end, of LENGTHY WARS that she had failed to even mention. Does she even know why CC is part of the Core? One might imagine she would have, being an international affairs student, but at this point I have serious doubts! Rather than bringing an IA perspective to the classroom, she built thought experiments. One used the example of a "young black man in the Bronx," portrayed as inherently developing criminal habits due to his upbringing (all in order to illustrate the voluntary vs. the involuntary in Aristotle). She accompanied discussion with no handouts, and little structure. She often threw a question to the floor and awkwardly eyed her silent students as they denied her an answer. Her idea of an interesting class discussion was, for example, to pose the question of whether Plato was a feminist or a sexist. On this particular occasion, one student made the mistake of answering fully that [example of feminism] [example of sexism] Plato was advanced for his time, but not up to modern standards of equality. There was an awkward silence, and then she happily fielded responses that portrayed one side while neglecting the other, drawing the same conclusion that the student had succinctly presented some 5 minutes earlier only after more than half the class had taken sides. Brooke's teaching method, if it indeed exists, is inefficient to say the least. Yep, with grad students, it is really hit-or-miss. My LitHum professor was a grad student, too, but she was wonderful. Rather than calling Brooke a professor, I'd say "instructor." And even that is a little bit of a stretch; everything I learned from my fall semester in CC, I learned without Brooke.