Alexander Motyl

Jan 2009

This team taught course was a creative disaster of epic proportions. Cathy is an affable but rambling literature professor obsessed with her first person knowledge of Russia and its scholarly cognisenti. She cannot resist to tell you one more story, and she will even as time ticks away and the ten articles read for class go undiscussed. Alex Motyl is cool and aristocratic, lays down great theoretical structures for understanding political and economic change to the post-USSR world, and gives dish about other folks in former Sovietology - he's hilarious and speaks like the cowardly lion. Together they spent 1/3 of each class alternately laying out theory and blabbing, then had students give presentations on the dense, often outdated and heavily Russian focused literature. Since this class is required for Harriman Certificate folks, there were a lot of bright people from all over the world and that made the class worthwhile.