Review Comment

Religion and the Civil Rights Movement

December 13, 2008

Balmer, Randall Silver_nugget
Religion and the Civil Rights Movement

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Balmer is interesting and warm. His lectures are clearly organized and he's totally into the material, which in itself is fascinating. I loved this class! The reading is a bit much but it's interesting. I highly recommend this man--he really cares about his students. This semester there were about 90 of us in the lecture and he stayed after class answering question after question after question, beaming at the students as they passed. And what an interesting guy! He sometimes goes off on little tangents about his books or his documentary, which is pretty cool because he's Emmy award-winning.

Balmer is great about multimedia-style presentation as well. We watched some really cool documentaries and read some amazing books. Howard Thurman's "Jesus and the Disinherited" was hugely impactful--if you skim through any of the other books, read this one!! It's paradigm-changing, to say the least.

Watch out for his essays. The prompts are really general and you'll end up having to do tons of research on a topic minutely related to the prompt in order to get an A. The last paper, a "reflection" on how this class had affected, if at all, our understanding of history or religion, was graded like a research paper, not a personal reflection. This is probably more of a TA issue though...

Yay this class! Take it! It's awesome!

Workload:

Heavy reading--2 huge biographies, 3 shorter books (150-300 pages), a good deal of historical documents. 2 essays, midterm isn't that bad, and a final.

September 07, 2005

Balmer, Randall Silver_nugget
Religion and the Civil Rights Movement

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Bad. Bad. Bad. This class was a real stinker. The class should have been titled Eyes on the Prize: Watching the Movie. At least half the class Prof. Balmer simply came in, started the VCR, and allowed two or three minutes at the end for questions. When he did lecture, the content was either very simplistic or simply factually incorrect. The TA's were little better. They would raise their hands to answer questions (you're a TA, put your hand down) and then would answer them wrong. The final exam was an exercise in nitpicking. Instead of looking at the broad themes of the civil rights movement, he asked questions about who said specific quotes that were never talked about in class and mentioned in passing in the readings. That said, I got an A- for minimum work. It's just a terribly thought out and lazily executed way of approaching a very interesting topic. For shame, Prof. Balmer. Your students deserve better.

Workload:

I don't know. No one read the books. Final is ridiculous but they probably curve the grades up pretty high so no one complains about what a terrible class this is.

January 12, 2005

Balmer, Randall Silver_nugget
Religion and the Civil Rights Movement

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I think professor Balmer is a really wonderful person, but there were definitely positives and negatives about this class. I LOVED the subject matter, but I felt that Balmer placed a lot more importance on memorizing names and dates than on talking about the significance/implications of the material. Because there was little discussion, this means you dont have to do the vast majority of the reading(good), but that the information you get can be very surface. The saving grace here is the amazing movie series we watch, Eyes on the Prize, which bring everything to life. He lectures according to a power-point, we often ended early, it's very painless. Overall an easy and inspiring class where you can totally choose your level of involvement and get a good grade either way.

Workload:

A ton of reading; it's interesting but in all honesty i did hardly any of it and it did not damage my grade. The midterm and final are very straight-forward and easy(the midterm was easier in my opinion). Two 6-8 pg. papers or one 15-20 pg. one(I did this in 2 days, handed it in a day late and never did a rough draft and got almost a perfect score..so im guessing the T.A.'s grade leniently). Supposedly he is very strict about deadlines, but this was not my experience.

January 01, 2005

Balmer, Randall Silver_nugget
Religion and the Civil Rights Movement

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I found this class to be fascinating. Professor Balmer's lectures are from a power-point presentation so it is easy to follow and take notes. He weaves interesting pieces of information together, starting with stuff that you will have already learned in an AP history course, but then really delves into the information. There are lots of books assigned that are unnecessary to read, but some of them are actually quite interesting, and I would suggest at least skimming through most of them. However, one caveat is that the class is run by his TA's. He does no grading and does not even write his midterm or final. However, he is very approachable if you have a problem with them.

Workload:

2 6-8 page papers or 1 15-20 page research paper, an EASY midterm and final. Lots of reading, but some is not necessary

December 30, 2004

Balmer, Randall Silver_nugget
Religion and the Civil Rights Movement

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Great class! Balmer makes everything interesting. You watch movies all the time. Work load minimal. Technically a lot of reading but you don't need to do it because the lectures tell you everything you need to know.

Workload:

Very little

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
RELB / RELI RELB RELI V3650: Reli & Civil Rights Movement: Religion and Civil Rights Randall Balmer 2011 Spring TR / 10:35-11:50 AM 1
RELB / RELI RELB RELI V3650: Reli & Civil Rights Movement: Religion and Civil Rights Randall Balmer 2008 Fall TR / 10:35-11:50 AM 1