Review Comment

[RELI V3652] Religion, Politics, and the Presidency

December 19, 2010

Balmer, Randall Silver_nugget
[RELI V3652] Religion, Politics, and the Presidency

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

First, I have to make it clear that Professor Balmer is one of the most genuinely nice people I have had the privilege to meet. He is always available via email or during office hours, is incredibly accommodating, and is always willing to hear you out and help you in whatever way he can.

That being said, I was extremely disappointed with this class. It had the potential to be really great, but unfortunately a few things sidetracked our ability to get through the syllabus. First, though this was a strict lecture course, Balmer would repeatedly spend at least half of each class fielding questions and listening to irrelevant personal anecdotes from students. While I think it's great that he was able to facilitate discussion, it's also the professor's job to know when to tell students to see him after class so he is able to finish teaching the material for the day. Second, one of the class assignments was to create a powerpoint and present it to the class. While this assignment could have been successful in a much smaller class, it was a terrible idea in a class of 60+ students, and because of the presentations not only did we not get through most of the syllabus, but what we did cover, we had to rush through with barely any analysis.

It's important to keep in mind though that this was Balmer's first time teaching this class, so if/when he decides to teach it again, he may change some of the assignments, etc. Also, if you are simply dying to take a Balmer class, do yourself a favor and take Religion and the Civil Rights Movement. That class is a dream.

Workload:

midterm and final (noncumulative)... the multiple choice is tricky, but doable
one 4-6 page paper
choice of doing either the class presentation or writing a 5 pg book review

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
RELB / RELI RELB RELI V3652: Relign, Politcs & the Presidncy: Relign, Politcs,&the Presidncy Randall Balmer 2010 Fall TR / 10:35-11:50 AM 1
RELB / RELI RELB RELI V3652: Relign, Politcs,&the Presidncy Randall Balmer 2010 Fall TR / 10:35-11:50 AM 1