Introduction to African-American Studies

Apr 2021

I'm here for Elleza. Sorett was decent though... Elleza was such a good TA. Honestly, she (or Rhonesha) should have been the head TA and not Alex (no disrespect to him). Where is her golden nugget? Elleza made this class bearable. For discussion sections, she often included presentations and other materials to help us to contextualize the week's assigned readings in a historical, social, cultural, and political context. I felt very equipped to tackle the class material. She was also super helpful in clarifying the readings and facilitated invigorating discussion around the reading. Discussion sections with Elleza were the highlight of my day. Moreover, she provided useful feedback and comments on our essays and even met with me to help me plan how to write the final exam, as I found the assignment somewhat challenging. Not only is she an effective instructor discussion facilitator, but she also is incredibly caring. She expressed concern for our general wellbeing and mental health and advocated for us to have trigger warnings for readings with explicit content. She was also somewhat flexible with the deadlines for response papers. She fostered an environment in which students felt supported and motivated to engage with the course material. If you can take a course with Elleza, please do. It will probably be the highlight of your undergraduate studies. I get sad thinking about how happy I was takin

Dec 2020

Hands down best TA I have ever had. Did more for my learning than the professor. Elleza is absolutely amazing- so smart and thoughtful. I could tell she really read and considered my assignments by the feedback she gave. Jump at the opportunity to take any class/section with her.

Dec 2017

Really really enjoyed this class. Sorrett is a great lecturer and the readings are really easy and interesting. The class overall is a great way to learn more about African American studies and get the global core requirement in. Definitely one of the best global cores you can take. hour and 15 min lecture twice a week plus mandatory 50 minute recitation that helps you get a grasp on the main themes of the course

Mar 2017

Do not listen to previous reviews. TAKE THIS CLASS AS YOUR GLOBAL CORE. Professor Fellezs was so approachable and such a nice guy. He reviews all the readings in class so do not bother reading them. He has one TA and himself, both grade generously and I would consider this class an easy A and definitely the only good option for a global core. Take this especially if you are a good writer. I wish there was another global core as great as this one, I genuinely enjoyed his lectures and the readings. Yes he is a bit monotone, but who cares, he does you a favor going over all the readings and everything is take home.

Oct 2013

This is the first time I've written a review, and I believe it is for good reason. This course is disappointing to say the least, yet it has so much potential. I will start with the good, and progress to the bad and ugly. Good: The professor is very chill and requirements are very lax. The readings are interesting. You will learn something and it will at times be thought provoking. The professor covers all the readings in class in case you didn't read it. Bad: The class takes this anti-capitalist stance. While I am totally fine with a critique of capitalism, this class (and its professor, but mostly the TA's) seem to take an anti-capitalist point of view and spew Communism without providing the same level of critique. While it is not a comparative politics/economics class, it nonetheless was disappointing that there was no counter argument of anti-Communism. While this is more prevalent amongst the TA's, the professor also falls into it. There are a lot of assigned readings, most of them are interesting, but 300+ pages a week for a Global Core is my last priority. Do you want to critically challenge some of the things in the class. Forget about it. It is a class where if you know the formula (ie. repeat what they say and write it down), you will get a good grade. Ugly: Discussion sections and the TA's. This is the part that compels me to write this review. In a full class discussion led by the TA, some students asked questions that reflected some level of ignorance. However, the class is billed as being a "safe space" to ask those questions and grow. While it may have seemed a tad comical, I believe it was nonetheless a genuine part of some students' learning process on race in America. One of the TA's made snide comments about the students' lack of knowledge and left the class saying, "That was painful to have to sit through all that." This I believe encapsulates the attitude in the class, the professor/TA were there to educate us and make us feel bad for not knowing things. Instead of being there as a conduit of promoting discussion and provoking critical thinking, it turned into: "Oh, you don't know this? Then you're stupid and wrong." The other TA had an obsession with "radical thought". While this TA's perspectives were interesting, this TA nonetheless dominated the discussion section, shut down opposing opinions of the students. This TA said it was a "radical intellectual experiment". It was more or less an hour of him sputtering out anarchist/Marxist nonsense every week (my favorites: 1) Water is like a drug that alters the body, so why do we ban crack? 2) We didn't have prisons and there was still evil in the past, so why should we have prisons now?). May I add that this TA said all this while on his iPad. I knew that I shouldn't say my actual opinion (more or less anti-Communism) because I would be shut down and get a lower grade on my papers etc. Ultimately avoid this class. Sure it has its ups, but the TA's absolutely destroyed the class for me. A class that had (and still has) so much potential went to waste in my opinion because of the attitudes of the TA's (and to some degree the professor).

Aug 2007

Mr. Rooks was visiting from Harvard last semester when I took her class, but I enjoyed having her as a professor. There are no objecite tests, only writings and a short discussion on the book of your choice. The class leaves you room to go without reading some material that maybe you are not interested in. You mostly need to know the main concepts and how to analize your thoughts into an essay. As long as you can handle learning basic concepts, develop your thoughts, and write a decent essay, you will do well in the class.

Jan 2003

Intro classes are supposed to be fairly broad, but this class was just out of control! There were 9 books to read, 2 8-10 page papers (one of which was a research paper), and a 15 minute presentation. Now be wary, unless he likes you, you WILL NOT get a good grade in this class. To top it off, Winks barely taught, leaving it up to the students to do presentations that they prepared right before class. Too much work for a lazy professor.