Frank Sysyn

Dec 2009

If you are a serious student of history, or aspire to be one, take one of this visiting professor's courses. Frank Sysyn is a specialist in early modern East European history, with a particular focus on Ukrainian history. The positive: If you are looking to fill the gaps in your knowledge of European history, no matter what era, Sysyn is your man. He lectures without notes, and is able to answer virtually any question one might pose him without a minute's hesitation. His understanding of the subject is incredible, as his ability see the "big picture." In short, if you actually want to learn (a lot), take this course. The negative: He doesn't use courseworks, and he is so brilliant that he is a bit scatterbrained. If you're looking for the easy A, fuhggetaboudit, because you won't be guided in any of his courses. However, he is extremely receptive to his students, and willing to answer their questions, and help them out at a moment's notice; he's a nice guy, and doesn't go nuts over deadlines, but one shouldn't abuse this. I reiterate, if you like history, study with this historian. If you like to pretend you know, and are used to being able to bs your professors, think again, the man knows too much.