Review Comment

[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

December 03, 2018

Pittman, Alexander Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

As a first generation, low income, student of color I have never felt so uncomfortable during office hours with a professor as I did with Pittman. Pittman was very condescending when I met with him during office hours, because of this I never went back. I told him I was confused with something on the midterm and his responds was that it is very straightforward, which is not something you should tell a confused student. Not to mention I asked a question about a specific term on the midterm and he asked me how I took my notes. I was shocked that he would ask me this. I felt that he was assuming that I was lazy, not taking my notes, or not trying in the class at all. I became even more upset about this experience, when the during the next class period, another student, a white student, asked the same question I did during office. Suddenly, the question was no longer a dumb question and it turned out the whole class was confused. This experienced made me feel very disrespected, I thought I was dumb and thought I was the problem, and no student should feel this way. Pittman needs to have a conversation over how he treats students of color and FLI students, especially because he seems to overly pride himself as being an equitable professor.

Pittman talks too fast during lecture and tries to put too must information in one lecture. This is not a good combination with a class that discusses heavy theory topics. Pittman also does not provide much feedback on assignments and is a harsh grader. I got a B for an assignment, yet only got 3 comments of feedbacks. It is hard to improve my essays and aim for a higher grade with just 3 comments.

I suggest taking the class if you need to, but if you have questions go to the TAs.

Workload:

Easy
about 40 pages of reading each week
Two 3-4 page response papers
8-10 page Midterm
10 page research Paper as Final

July 09, 2018

Pittman, Alexander Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

Professor Pittman is an organized and compelling lecturer. Although some of the readings were really long and difficult, it felt worth it by the end of the course.

Workload:

Very heavy readings. 2 short response papers, a midterm long paper and a final paper.

February 01, 2018

Pittman, Alexander Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

This class was truly incredible. I has never taken a course in social theory or gender studies before, but after this class I feel that I have gained so much. It was certainly difficult, as I had never encountered such dense texts in my life. The fact remains, there is no professor who could have possibly exposed me to these hefty topics is a more clear, succinct, and eye-opening manner as Professor Pittman did. We read about 80 pages of reading per class (but keep in mind these are seriously dense texts). Professor Pittman lectured mainly, but was always receptive to questions. As well, he made a real effort to connect the themes to modern issues in politics, art, and the media. I HIGHLY recommend this class for dedicated and curious students.

Workload:

Two 2-3 page papers. One 5 page midterm. One 10-12 page final. A lot of dense reading.

December 07, 2017

Pittman, Alexander Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

What an amazing professor!! Dr. Pittman selected an interesting range of course materials and his lectures were always insightful. The readings are pretty dense each week, but he makes them accessible in his discussions so it’s worth coming to class even if you didn’t do them. He’s not a generous grader, but he’s definitely fair in his assessments. This is probably not a good course for those who don’t like the humanities, but if social and cultural theory are your jam then it’s worth taking!!

Workload:

80-100 pages of reading each week, two 2-3 page response papers, a midterm consisting of two 3-4 page papers, and a 10-12 page research paper as the final

December 07, 2017

Pittman, Alexander Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

This class is a must take at Barnard if you are interest in how cultural and social theory operate in everyday life. it is a lecture style class but he is very engaging with the class by asking you questions that relate back to the reading. The class is not hard, but challenges you to thinking critical about yourself and other in the way we work in a society. I highly recommend taking this course of you can fit it into you schedule. There are no prerequisite or prior knowledge needed for this class.

Workload:

all papers no exam. There are two written assignments, midterm which is two papers and final which is a 1012 page paper. readings is like 20-40 pgs a class.

October 30, 2017

Pittman, Alexander Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

This is honest to god the best class I have taken in college so far. It really changed the way I see the world in many ways. It is also an amazing class to take as an undergraduate because it introduces theories and concepts the reoccur in almost every humanities/ social science field in the academy. Professor Pittman is incredibly nice and explains the concepts very well. My goal is to one day have just a fraction of his knowledge. I also really appreciated that he incorporated art, poetry, and even a little bit of film into the class. Honestly, if you are considering taking this class, please do! I begged all of my friends to take it and the ones that did also really enjoyed it (one is even a Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies minor now). I really wish I could take this class again and I hope I get to take another class with Professor Pittman.

Workload:

Dense but incredibly interesting readings (all of which I am very glad to have read)- AMAZING SYLLABUS
a few papers, a midterm and a final (both of which are also papers; the final is a research paper on any topic)

January 31, 2017

Pittman, Alexander Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

Pittman is incredible. To be honest when I first met him I thought he might be really uptight, strict and arrogant. But he just has really good posture. He is literally so good at explaining really complicated and dense theory, by giving relevant context and laying out the argument of everything we read. Also he always makes really interesting connections and presents really cool modern art that relates to the readings and concepts.

I super super recommend taking a class with him! Especially for his age he is so intelligent and articulate, a really good teacher all around!

Workload:

Readings that are high-level but not too long, participation, 2 response papers and a final paper.

February 25, 2015

Tadiar, Neferti Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

Neferti Tadiar is an amazing teacher and lecturer. She is not afraid share her opinions in class and is an overall awesome professor who texts Angela Davis because they are friends. Even though this is a women's studies class, I feel like I read so many seminal words related to gender, race, identity, colonialism, and globalization. The concepts I learned from reading Marx, Althusser, Fanon, etc. I was able to apply in a number of different classes. This class should not be a lecture, because there is almost no discussion on really provocative topics, the large number of people mean that the grading isn't too bad. Just make sure you meet with the TAs about paper topics (you can literally write about anything -- I wrote a paper on racist sororities).

Workload:

One take home midterm, one open book final. Two papers.

November 24, 2014

Tadiar, Neferti Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

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

I have mixed reviews about this class. Professor Tadiar is without a doubt fantastic - she's super sweet, incredibly knowledgable, a great lecturer and really knows her stuff. This class is also great in that it teaches you to think differently about things. That being said, though, please be warned that this class is hard. The readings are extremely long, dense, and they are difficult concepts. She goes through them the best she can in class but she can't get to all of them and even though she talks about them they can be incredibly confusing. If you slack off in this class you will be sorry. If you want to work really hard and come out with new "critical perspectives" and actually learn something, this class is for you. If you don't like doing really long, dense readings and writing difficult papers I wouldn't recommend this class. It can be really daunting at times.

Workload:

A lot. Weekly readings of at least 100 pgs that you have to put a lot of effort into. 2 reading response papers (first is 4 to 5 pages, second is 5 to 7 pages) that connect concepts across the readings and relate them to a contemporary example. The midterm is what others have said - 8 pages give or take that answer three questions (about two pages per question). The final is a bit daunting - 3 hours and she doesn't give you the questions beforehand and there are a bunch of essays, but at least its open book.

December 17, 2013

Tadiar, Neferti Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

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

This is by far one of the best classes I have ever taken. Professor Tadiar is absolutely brilliant and unbelievably sweet and understanding. Every assigned reading is relevant to the course in some way and there are so many connections between them that you will have no trouble writing papers or preparing for exams so long as you go to class (which boosts your grade by the way) and do at least some of the readings (though I really recommend that you try to do all of them - I regret that I didn't for reasons that have nothing to do with my grade). This semester the class was pretty big so there wasn't much opportunity for discussion in our weekly meetings (that happened in the bi-weekly discussion sections), so the class is structured like a lecture pretty much although Professor Tadiar does open the floor up to questions and comments. She really cares a lot about the way that we can make connections between the theories we read about and our own lived experiences (that is basically what we are asked to do when writing papers), and I personally got a lot out of the class because I now have new lenses through which I can understand sexism, racism, capitalism, cissexism, etc. The workload is pretty tough. She estimates on the syllabus that we should expect to read 100-120 pages per week... on some weeks it is much more while on others it is a lot less (and keep in mind that this is 100+ pages of densely written theory). However, you can definitely get away with going to class without having done the readings...but really, do the readings. Class participation (ie, just going to class and handing in a few responses to assigned readings) is 15% of your grade and the TAs graded really, REALLY nicely in my experience this semester. I strongly encourage you to take this course regardless of your major if you have any interest in politics, social justice, race/gender/class/sexuality/identity politics in general. You will get a lot out of it as long as you put at least a little bit of effort into it.

Workload:

As I mentioned, the readings are long and very easy to put off doing so it's best to be proactive and read them on time or else you WILL be cramming and/or handing in assignments late. 15% participation, 30% for two response papers (15% each - one is 3-5 pages long and the other is 6-8 pages long with the topics being extremely open-ended), a take-home midterm (25%) and a final (30%). You can easily get an A in this class if you just do the readings and put original thought into your work by relating the readings to your lived experiences instead of just summarizing them.

January 26, 2013

Tadiar, Neferti Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

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

Professor Tadiar is a goddess. This class completely changed the way I approach learning and thinking. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to do the readings. Whether or not you understand them, you will benefit from at least knowing what each one talks about. Now, that's a tall order. It's a very reading-heavy course. But Professor Tadiar has organized the syllabus in such an interesting and interconnected way that at the end of the semester, you'll still find new connections between texts.

Class can be very intimidating. As in many Barnard classes, there is a handful of confident, vocal students who will comment the most. It took me a little while to feel comfortable raising my hand, especially because Tadiar has no reservations about questioning your logic. To succeed in this course, I highly recommend seeing her during office hours, particularly before an essay is due. She is immensely helpful in argument-structuring, and will point you in a more focused direction. She also will learn your name this way, and it somehow makes class more comfortable.

This was maybe one of the most challenging classes I've taken thus far, but the payoff was so worth it. I love Tadiar, I loved this class, and I'm all the better for having taken it.

Workload:

There are a TON of readings. And they are incredibly long. There are two "response papers" (3-5pg essays connecting concepts to contemporary examples), one 8pg(ish) midterm essay (where you answer 3 different questions), and one final exam (very broad topics for one large question and one short question). Again, I urge you to keep up with the readings if you want an A.

December 16, 2012

Tadiar, Neferti Gold_nugget
[WMST BC2140] Critical Approaches

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

I feel like this class really changed my perspective to how I approach Women's Studies, social justice, and other topics in human rights.

Professor Tadiar does a great job at making a 50 person lecture class feel like an intimate discussion more commonly found in a seminar class of 15 people. She gave students the opportunity to teach a lesson to the class related to the readings and current events--most people who took this opportunity were very well informed about their chosen topics, so it was interesting to hear so many perspectives.

The lectures were engaging and interesting. However, they were very easy to get lost in if you hadn't done the readings. Many of the readings were also very confusing and hard to get through (especially in the first half of the term, when they were about abstract ideas as opposed to concrete topics) until hearing the lecture on the topic. If a reading confused you, try rereading it after discussing it in class.

Workload:

Weekly readings that total to 75-200 pages per week. Mandatory attendance (15% of grade). Two response papers (30% of grade). One take home midterm (25% of grade). One open book and note essay final (30% of grade).

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
WSTB / WMST WSTB WMST BC2140: Critical Approaches Neferti Tadiar 2012 Fall MW / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1
WSTB / WMST WSTB WMST BC2140: Critical Approaches Neferti Tadiar 2010 Fall MW / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1