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Tufts University: Jay Cantor - English - Professor ratings, reviews and much more | JumboAccess
Jay Cantor | ENG077 - The Modern Mind| English2005-05-15

Professor Cantor is the Woody Allen of the English department--neurotic, soft-spoken, hilarious. He's also an engaging lecturer who really cares about the material he teaches. He tells jokes and anecdotes, lectures extensively, and will field the occasional question. There is not much discussion, however, since this is usually a large lecture class of about 50 students, and Cantor tends to get pretty wrapped up in his philosophical riffing. In his own words, he is there to "entertain and instruct," but be warned...some people don't appreciate Cantor's brand of entertainment. My friends complained that he could be scatter-brained and repetitive. There is some truth to that, but overall I think the quality of the readings combined with Cantor's enthusiasm for the class make up for any lack of organization. The class is pretty laid-back, even for English, and I think would be a good introduction to the department if you're a freshman or sophomore. It's so laid-back, in fact, that I noticed a lot of students did not really attend lectures. There was no attendance, and Cantor tended to orbit around the same themes (hence, the repetitiveness complaint). They were missing out, though. Philosophy students: This is NOT taught like a Tufts philosophy course.

When I took this course three years ago, we started off reading Bertolt Brecht's Man Equals Man then moved on to Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. Cantor is particularly fond of the latter two, which meant that the majority of our time was dedicated to their central ideas--Nietzsche on the eternal recurrence and the overman; Freud on the unconscious. We also glossed related texts by "modernist" poets--Rilke, Wallace Stevens, et al.

On a side note, Prof. Cantor is also a novelist who teaches intermediate fiction. You might want to check out some of his books..The Death of Che Guevara, Krazy Kat, and Greatneck.

This class is kinda notorious for its criteria. Your entire grade is based on a FINAL PAPER (approx. 20 pages) and a short quiz that he gives on the last day of class. If that sounds too daunting, you also have the option of doing a short paper on Marx (5 pages) and a final paper. The topics are broad. You can choose to do anything from a critical analysis to explaining how the work we've read relates to your life. There was one student who wrote about the naked quad run using the "lens" of Nietzsche and Freud.

professor rating: | course rating: | major: English

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Instructor rating avg: 3.6 out of 5
Course rating avg: 3.6 out of 5

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