Professor Rieder was one of the best professors I've had during my time here. He took the most broad topic "American Culture" and created a syllabus that synthesized material in an incredible way and that covered a wide range of topics without losing depth and nuance. He was able to broach very difficult topics (race, religion, the Trump era) by focusing on methodology - ie how we should read into these things. He always presented two sides to every topic of study and treated both with the same importance and intellectual rigor.
Overall, this class taught me how to think. It challenges common liberal assumptions and really makes you a smarter consumer of culture. I wish I took this course when I started school - it would have made me a much better student in all my other classes. Professor Rieder is one of the kindest and most invested professors I've met here. He truly cares about his students - he is so open to all opinions and perspectives and really makes students feel like their voices are valued in the classroom. Each lecture is captivating - he infuses music, humor, pop culture, relevant journal articles, and engaging anecdotes into each. The hour and 15 minutes fly by. I give the highest recommendation for this class - I truly have no idea where the negative reviews come from. If you just pay attention in class, you will have a firm grasp of the material and will think the midterm and final are a breeze.