April 30, 2011

Hawley, John Silver_nugget

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

Hawley is a very enthusiastic professor who is emotionally invested in his material, which makes him a truly engaging and inspiring teacher. Sometimes he was very vague when describing things and especially when answering questions, but I can't imagine anyone who understands as much as he does about Hinduism and not get tongue-tied as he attempts to explain the countless facets all at once! As for improvements in the course, I would recommend that Hawley try to organize his lectures a bit more. They weren't disorganized, per se, but often he attempted to cover much too much material for one class, meaning that we had the tempting allure of information listed at the end of the handout that sometimes never got covered! This said, this only ever occurred because Hawley refused to cut anything short or do anything injustice. All things considered, I would much rather have a professor cover fewer things in depth than more things in passing. Despite Hawley's prolixity, though, the class always ends on time. I took this course because at first I was looking for a Global Core requirement, but when I saw this course I knew that my choice to take it had nothing to with the fact that it was on any list. At first I was trying to choose between this and another religion class I signed up for, but both were so great that I couldn't drop either! I ended up taking way too many classes, but since they were all things I wanted to learn about, it was an amazing semester! My choice to take Hinduism was definitely a major part of this! I value the way that Professor Hawley is so invested in his material. Also, I greatly enjoyed the readings. My section leader was also fantastic (GET PATTON!!!). I would recommend the course for two main reasons: superficially, it fulfills the Core requirement in an amazingly fun way, but much more importantly it is a deeply enriching and informative class led by a great lecturer. It is a course that will inspire you to continue learning about Hinduism, Hindus, and India for the rest of your life!


There's a decent amount of reading which I couldn't totally finish by any means, but I don't think it will impact my grade. It's fascinating stuff though--I'm definitely reading all the books over the summer! There are also occasional sections (GET PATTON!) and two essays of five pages on very interesting topics. I didn't feel that the TA's graded as harshly as previous reviewers say.