On the surface, Royden seems like the perfect professor: relaxed, engaging, knowledgeable....hip. Unfortunately, there's not much under the veneer of "the cool grad student teaching a summer class".
The class is a blast. If you are a fan of DFW, you will love it. The main draw is interacting with the small class. Royden does a good job of facilitating discussion and adds a lot of insight which is not surprising since he has taught the class for like 5 summers.
If all you want is a deep reading of DFW and a good discussion section about his work, then you will get a lot out of this class. If you want to make yourself a better writer, a better close-reader, or get productive feedback on your work, this is not the class in which to do it.
Despite promises of feedback regarding our written work, specifically the final paper and take-home exam, Royden literally vanished when it came time to make good. In talking with others who took the class, I came to realize that I was not the only student whom he let down. He didn't respond to email (at all), he made mistakes when calculating grades, and seemingly doled out grades using a dartboard. I saw him on campus recently, and it was as if I had never taken the class: no recognition.
This is very disappointing since, from the beginning of the class, he presents himself as engaged and on top of things. I was ready for one of those transformative Columbia experiences, but ended up having one of those "Oh, they don't really give a shit" experiences that are also common here.
Keep our expectations low. You will get out of it exactly what you put into it, and your grade might reflect that. Who knows?