department
am studies

(American Studies)
May 2021

I spent a year with Prof March in two courses, and she is just fantastic. Extremely well-spoken and expert in public health. She was responsive to my emails and helpful even outside of course material. I wish she taught more courses! Intro to Public Health - A good general survey of what public health is. She teaches it entirely and is very passionate about it. Low workload. A few typical research papers, which if you adhere to the rubric you're golden. I enjoyed it. Great TAs. Your Longer Life - March only teaches a handful of the classes, and her lectures are enjoyable as usual, but Dean Linda Fried is the main professor (most of the material is directly from her research) and her lectures are slow, verbatim, slide-readings. Honestly, I tuned out for half of this class because of how repetitive it was. I wish it focused less on the value of older people and had more on how to facilitate healthy aging. The final group project (groan) had almost nothing to do with the content drilled into you during the course... it was a pie-in-the-sky climate change mitigation(???) design project. There is also an interview project which I found interesting.

Apr 2021

Literally do not take this class. First of all, he barely lectures. He goes on tangents, never stays on topic, interjects unnecessarily with his weird social and political commentary, and barely reformatted class to be on Zoom. He worries more about his podcast than teaching this class and is extremely unaccommodating and understanding. It's almost as if we weren't in a global pandemic for this past year. extremely unavailable, doesn't have office hours, and is overall horrible. do not take this class.

Feb 2021

TAKE. THIS. CLASS. I took this class with Professor Carnes my Freshman Fall while in my midwest, childhood bedroom during COVID. This class was easily the best thing that happened to me during that entire semester. Professor Carnes is the BEST storyteller I've ever learned from. In the first lecture, he provides a quote from W.H. Auden that sums up the entire semester. From then on, he slowly frames his lectures around a few main points. To be clear: those points are NOT politically driven. He makes it a point to present the class from a largely neutral stance, although he does make some funny jokes about situations like watergate. I also want to speak specifically on this class in the context of Zoom and COVID. Carnes was easily one of the most understanding professors I had, which was so necessary for me starting college from home. During the semester, Carnes reduced the length of the midterm, the final, our last project, and gave everyone an additional "free A" on one of the final exam questions because he liked our second projects so much. I cannot express how much I'd recommend this class to others. Carnes made me excited to go to class, and even excited to write the midterm and final essays because the questions he asked were so dang thought-provoking.

Feb 2021

fair warning to STAY AWAY from john mcwhorter's intro linguistics class. the professor is extremely funny, yes, but a horrible and unkind teacher. he is extremely vague and teaches complex concepts that necessitate some sort of visual (ex: like syntax) without a PowerPoint or any sort of interactive material -- he didn't bother to reformat his class in any way for the virtual learning environment, instead opting to just bulldoze through the material in an entertaining but insubstantial and tangential manner, as he puts it, "podcast-style." further, his lectures DO NOT prepare for the extreme difficulty of his homework in ANY regard. I've talked to at least ten different people in the discord server and in office hours and we all have no fucking clue what is going on and. the TAs (some of them at least; Yael is incredible and the only reason why I am passing this course) are the only saving grace of this course, and explain concepts so much more clearly in office hours; this class should be 4 credits because office hours are basically mandatory if you want to get a passing grade on the homeworks. he is also extremely strict/does not care about the fact that we are in a pandemic and replies to requests for extensions in a very curt (read: 2-3 words) and insensitive manner. tldr: don't buy into the mcwhorter hype and DO NOT take this class with him. maybe it's better in person, but this intro humanities class is the most time-consuming and stressful class I'm taking this semester. his podcast and ted talks are pretty cool, but he is not a good professor in any regard.

Feb 2021

Don't take this class. Just don't. I took this course solely because I needed another credit to make the cut-off for a full-time student, and I have never regretted taking a class more than I regret taking this one for a few reasons. First, I feel like I'm learning absolutely nothing. It's almost impossible to keep track of what's going on in the class, it's a struggle to pay attention so much so that I've taken to just painting my nails or playing Mario Kart in class. It's partly because nothing they say makes any sense, but mainly because of my next point. I have a running list of microaggressions I've experienced in this class, including but not limited to: 1) a girl in the class talking about how societal beauty standards are based on white supremacy (true) and one of these professors said something along the lines of "I'd argue that it's not white supremacy, but white subjectivity" which just is blatantly erasing systemic racism; 2) one of the professors asking a student of color if her parents didn't know how to spell because her name is spelled differently than the typical spelling and then proceeding to mispronounce her name in the following class; 3) professors having us read something Paul Levitz himself wrote that described a comic character as "American but perhaps a touch exotic". It's just a bunch of casual racism and ignorant comments about race, gender, sexuality, etc. They seem constantly uncomfortable when topics of racial issues in comics/graphic novels come up, and they clearly just do not know what they're talking about when it comes to marginalized communities throughout the history of comics. It's a terrible class, and these are terrible professors. Hard pass.