Chevron Left
Back to The Modern and the Postmodern (Part 1)

Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Modern and the Postmodern (Part 1) by Wesleyan University

975 ratings

About the Course

This course examines how the idea of "the modern" develops at the end of the 18th century in European philosophy and literature, and how being modern (or progressive, or hip) became one of the crucial criteria for understanding and evaluating cultural change. Are we still in modernity, or have we moved beyond the modern to the postmodern?...

Top reviews


Aug 1, 2019

It was a fabulous journey, and brought me so much nearer to the great minds of the 18th and especially the 19th century, reading original texts, and listening to Prof Roth's wonderful interpretations.


Jan 7, 2016

One of the best professors i've ever come across! If the teacher is so passionate about the subject material as well as conveying the ideas, the course will be excellent. This is one of those courses.

Filter by:

26 - 50 of 268 Reviews for The Modern and the Postmodern (Part 1)

By Michael N R

Jun 13, 2016

Not as advertized and way too much peer rating stuff--we do all the work the instructor does little or none--too much peer raqting stuff which I despise. And there seems to be no way to un-enroll.

By Ron S

Sep 6, 2015

The videos lag behind, and the readings the first one of the first week, the link was broken

By Katie F

Aug 31, 2020

This was a fabulous course which I thoroughly enjoyed. I particularly loved understanding the historical and socio-cultural context for each thinker as well as the major philosophical shifts. Having never studied philosophy before I found some of the concepts quite challenging (especially Nietzsche!) but overall this was an excellent way to be introduced to classical literature by writers and philosophers that I had never read before. Professor Roth is such an inspiring and entertaining tutor that it was a pleasure to watch his passionate and knowledgeable lectures; I look forward to doing more of his courses. Overall, I can't wait to move on to Part 2.

By rano r

Jun 28, 2022

Prof. Roth is a wonderful teacher and he has designed an excellent course. Taking this course has motivated me to hone my reading, writing, and analytical skills. Situated at the intersection of philosophy, literature, and history, the course is a fulfilling experience. The only thing is that it is a heavy one. For most, this will be a positive point as it ensures that you take away the maximum from the course content.

For the maximum benefit from the course, follow its instructions carefully. Go through the prescribed readings and follow the lectures carefully. You will emerge much richer after completing the course.

By Ken H

Apr 19, 2021

5 stars (not sure I checked it off right). Again, 5 stars. Excellent lectures, consistently so. Thought-provoking material to last a lifetime. Would be nice to see more conversations in the discussions but I confess, I myself didn't go there much. This is perhaps more a matter of assimilating a lot of material, perhaps for the first time, so one does have to go a bit slowly, at least I do. Discussions can wait, I guess. But it is a great course, all the way.

This is a re-submit because I don't know if I am rightly applying that method of assigning stars.

By Arts A s

May 10, 2020

Excellent and interesting course! The instructor is extremely engaging and helps break down material that would otherwise seem inaccessible (to me at least), in an understandable way. I've learned new concepts and I now understand ideas and movements that were on the outer reaches of my knowledge much better. Highly recommended for anyone interested in history, philosophy, or just getting in touch with ideas and authors you've heard of, but have never taken the time to digest. I'm taking the second course as well!

By Athulya A

Jul 13, 2020

I took up this course just to get a background of modernism. I worried initially that wold be too boring because its history, but the way the tutor Michael S. Roth explained everything was so attention grabbing and interesting! His passion for the subject was felt even through online videos and that just keeps you so engrossed...he totally changed my opinion about online course not being able to engage students. I wish we had such amazing teachers who didn't make us dread such a wonderful subject like history!

By Samiya K

Jul 14, 2020

Tremendous journey! Really liked the way you're organizing the course in parts, suggesting to read first module and then video, so we may get many ideas and also as Prof. Roth is putting forward some of the questions, we can get easily the context of the question also. Grading system, where each classmate is required to review, hsi/her peer assignment, basing on that our gardes are generated.

Very nice and swiftly functioning system. It seems as you have constructed the course, keeping benefactors in mind.

By Yue-Zhen L

Jan 15, 2016

This course is very helpful in giving students a survey in the major thoughts of the modern Western world. The fact that it is carried out by Wesleyan University, a premier Liberal Arts College in the United States, ensures its quality and seminar-style coherence. I find it particularly interesting when each chapeter is started by an assigned reading task with the instructor's videos following, which is a rather typical method by which American collegiates learn humanities.

By Debora J N

Jun 6, 2020

Very challenging course! I enjoyed the entire set of required readings as well as the video lectures of Professor Roth. The essay prompts proved to be thought provoking and required me to really synthesize what I learned through the readings and lectures. As a side note, some of the links to the reading assignments did not work. I ended up purchasing some of the required texts from Amazon. Thank goodness that I was able to link to Marx and Darwin, though.

By Rachel D D

Aug 19, 2020

The course is very interesting. It gives a clear view of how literature along with philosophy evolved.

The explanations were well detailed and well structured. As a student of English Literature I would highly recommend this course to my fellow colleagues. It gives a great insight to the evolution of modernism, and this knowledge helps in understanding various other fields of literature - criticisms, theories, and new literatures.

By Anjali R

Oct 7, 2020

This course has been a very informative and enjoyable introduction to Enlightenment thinkers and the evolution of thought since the Enlightenment to modern times. Professor Roth is a very engaging teacher, exuding passion for his subject and sharing his knowledge of the various thinkers and writers in an objective and non-judgmental way, which encourages us as students to learn and think about their writings with open minds.

By Tinyakova E A

May 16, 2020

My opinion of the course "The Modern and the Postmodern" is at the highest level. I like the content hierarсhy of the course and then the logical outcome into real life. The lectures of the instructor prof. M.Roth stimulated me to deeper understanding the thinkers chosen for the course. The rhetoric and manner of prof.M.Roth's speech is wondeful! I like prof. M. Roth as a researcher, teacher and thinker.

By Elva S

Aug 10, 2016

Wonderful experience for someone who has been out of university for so long. Will be spending time reading the philosophers much more carefully. I had to read too fast in order to do the writing assignments, unfortunately. It is ironic that the writing assignments are to make one reflect and learn, but they force one to read too quickly rather than to enjoy the readings. Good course, however.

By Thamires E S G D R

Aug 3, 2021

Michael Roth makes sure to provide all learners a great experience throughout the course, the way we build-up the knowledge we acquire during the course is awesome, the tasks really help out in this way, because we are always thinking of ways to relate everything that was shared during the classes... I finished the course wanting for more. I can't wait to stat Part 2 of this journey...

By James F

Aug 2, 2020

This course covers a lot of ground, touching on philosophy, history, art, and literature, but professor Roth shows interesting and unexpected connections between the diverse intellectual traditions surveyed. The lectures are informative and thought-provoking but also digestible, and the written assignments (three 800-word essays) encourage you to make connections between the readings.

By Tammy H

Jun 13, 2018

Love the course so much. I've already known a little bit about every thinker and writer mentioned in the course but haven't noticed how they are related to each other. Now everything makes so much sense! :D Although it's a bit hard to catch up since my mother tongue is not English, I'm very happy to learn many new words. Thanks for everyone who makes the course online! :)

By Lo W

Sep 4, 2021

This course was just what I wanted. I wanted to understand how the enlightenment philosophers informed the founders of the U.S. and brought about the ideals of Democracy. I hoped it would help me understand why we are failing miserably at preserving it.

Beyond that Dr. Roth was an outstanding instructor whose knowledge and enthusiasm for his subject was infectious.

By N A

Aug 14, 2015

One of the best courses I ever had an opportunity to encounter on Coursera. It is an insightful, enlightening journey into the cultural and philosophical heritage of humanity. The professor opens up and talks in a most compelling way about all major ideas of modernity that you have heard about. This course is a must for anyone who wants to be an intellectual person.

By Jelena K

Nov 2, 2017

Professor Roth is absolutely brilliant. The course content is thought through and most appropriate. Reading materials especially. The written assignments are a great way to broaden your knowledge and they really make you think about the lectures and help connect different ideas. Again, professor Roth is both creative and insightful and his lectures are lovely.

By Chad C

Feb 18, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. The lectures were cogent and engaging, and the materials were wide-ranging and intriguing. While I was initially skeptical about the peer review process for an online course, my reviewers were respectful and encouraging. Overall, this was a truly worthwhile learning experience, and I am looking forward to Part 2 of the course.

By Sanjana P

Jan 28, 2017

Brilliant course. This was my first course and the first time in philosophy. I really enjoyed Professor Michael Roth's breaking down of the content matter. It motivated me to read non-fiction on a regular basis and changed the way I view the world to a certain extent. The course is easy to follow through and seems especially useful for beginners in this field.

By Jing Y

Apr 7, 2016

Personally, this is the highest rated course so far I've had on Coursera. Selective philosophers, thinkers, writers and poets with their best works recommended, various topics about modernity and post-modernity. Every module literally helps me review my understanding of the topic and of modernity and modern man. Recommend this course to every one I know.

By Alexandra U

Dec 7, 2022

I loved the course so much that I went to the library and started reading again. Listening to the videos and learning so many new things was a great joy. I was engulfed by the way the presenter's explanations introduced each topic with great passion and mastery. I am looking forward to taking the second part of this course.

By Nidhi N

Jun 8, 2020

It was the most amazing experience to hear Mr Roth talk about philosophy in such clear and balanced manner. I am from literature and was always curious about philosophy. But after completing this course, I have realised I want to dig deeper. It was an enriching learning experience. Thank you Coursera and Wesleyan University!