Review Comment

W3034 Cultural Criticism

May 16, 2004

Kendall, Elizabeth
W3034 Cultural Criticism

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Elizabeth Kendall co-taught this class with Margo Jefferson, and did most of the line editing this semester. She's just as smart but definitely less enthusiastic than Margo, who tends to be quite ebullient. Elizabeth, by contrast, is more reserved and on occasion can be quite shrewish, though she just as often is quite personable (especially in office hours). As an editor, though, she is always excellent with her criticisms.

The class itself is ideal for anyone considering journalism, particularly criticism in the arts, as a career. You do a fair number of reviews - one each of film, dance, and books - and also some essay writing, and while only one gets workshopped in class the comments you get back on papers are often spot-on and quite helpful. Anyone in the creative writing program (or reviewers for the Spec or any other campus periodical) should seriously consider this class.

Workload:

Not bad at all....some short reading assignments, three reviews and two personal essays, which have to be revised for the final portfolio. Participate in class, don't come late, and go to office hours as often as you can.

May 16, 2004

Jefferson, Margo
W3034 Cultural Criticism

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Margo (she becomes Margo and not Professor after a few weeks) co-taught this class with Elizabeth Kendall. While both are professional writers (NYTimes book/theatre critic, and dance critic, respectively), Margo is by far the more fun of the pair. She is, quite frankly, the most outgoing intelligent professor I have had at Columbia. She is incredibly smart and an excellent writer - you don't win a Pulitzer for book criticism after only two years without talent - and this translates into the classroom fairly well. This semester she left most of the line-by-line editing to Elizabeth, which was a shame as the comments she gave in Office Hours (go as often as you can and they'll love you) were very helpful.

The class itself is ideal for anyone considering journalism, particularly criticism in the arts, as a career. You do a fair number of reviews - one each of film, dance, and books - and also some essay writing, and while only one gets workshopped in class the comments you get back on papers are often spot-on and quite helpful. Anyone in the creative writing program (or reviewers for the Spec or any other campus periodical) should seriously consider this class.

Workload:

Not bad at all....some short reading assignments, three reviews and two personal essays, which have to be revised for the final portfolio. Participate in class, don't come late, and go to office hours as often as you can.

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