Holocaust in Film and Literature
Fall 2019 - Hi, I'm going to be going on an IN-DEPTH review of this course from the perspective of a student who is definitely a procrastinator and isn't very fond of reading, but arguably a decent test taker. If this sums you up, or hits even close to home, I would read this for an idea of whether or not you want to take this class. Also I took this course Fall of 2019, if that matters. LECTURE: First off, the professor says the lectures are mandatory, but she doesn't keep track so it's fine if you don't go to lecture. Most of her lectures are just her reading off the slide and is definitely not super useful for the only test in her class, the Final. Plus she BRUINCASTS all of her lectures, so bonus motivation to not go to lecture. By about week 3, half of the students stop attending lecture lol. TA: TAs are basically a massive chunk of your grade, so hopefully you get a good one. I had Erika Yagi, who was honestly amazing. If you do get a choice, I definitely do recommend her. I got lucky since our first TA dropped the course, so we got her. DISCUSSION SECTIONS: Discussion sections are a MUST as attendance is basically 10% of your overall course grade. PAPERS: There are 3 papers (Maybe 4 if you are unlucky). There are 2 response papers usually regarding books and movies you are SUPPOSED to read/ watch. PERSONALLY, I think you can get away with just reading sparknotes/ summaries of the book, because the prompts are usually based on broader themes and interrelations between multiple pieces of literature. The only book I read was Maus I, which was a comic, and definitely an enjoyable short read. The third paper is a memoir on a book by a specific Holocaust survivor, assigned by the professor. For this one I would recommend reading the book as I was unable to find any summaries online. However, based on your writing capabilities I would say you can still get by as I got a 100 on the paper by simply reading like 5 reviews about it (which was all that available lol) AND if you ARE UNLUCKY, there is supposed to be a project which the TAs get to decide how it is going to work. It was supposed to be a paper for us, but the TAs changed it to a group presentation which definitely was much easier. ALSO, The Prompts for the Essays don't come out till like week 7. So it's not like you can get ahead. The first one comes out in around week 7, the other two come out around Week 8/9. BOOKS: The books are marked Required, but honestly, just read the summaries if you are an above average writer. You should be fine. But otherwise, the books are necessary to do well on the final, so weigh your strengths (and how hard your TA grades too). The book for the memoir is one I recommend you buy because there aren't any summaries online, at least for the book I had (All The Things I Never Told My Father) MOVIES: There are a good number of movies to watch, which are part of the final. They are PROVIDED on CCLE. Some of them are very interesting, while others not so much. Personally my favorite was Schindler's List by far. Rosenstrasse comes a close second. 1945 was also not too shabby if I remember correctly. Triumph of the Will is very boring and is basically an hour long propaganda with almost no commentary. Shoah is by far the work, I couldn't even get through the first part of it (I believe there is 4?) It is a 9 hour long DOCUMENTARY. MIDTERM: There was no midterm for us. So YAY! FINAL: Honestly the single most hardest aspect of this class. The final single-handedly is the reason I did not get an A in this class because it dropped me practically 9.5% on its own, which effectively dropped me to the border between A- and B+. There is two long essay questions, you pick one to answer. Ten Paragraph length question, you pick 9 to answer. 5 One sentence answers, you do all. There are 2 Extra Credit questions, but they are VERY VERY Specific topic that I'm not even sure the professor goes over. Also not worth many points. The questions are all analytical and require you to connect readings/movies throughout the course, as well as ideas covered in lecture/slides. There are some specific people you need to know about to a good degree. But again, the single most difficult aspect that keeps this course from being an "Easy A" class. STUDY GUIDE: Yes. Provided a week before finals. EXTRA CREDIT: Yes. Upto 3% of your total class grade based on multiple different things you have to do. GRADED ON A CURVE? No :( I know, I'm sad too. PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: ...yes? I mean workload-wise it was very easy. I'm not sure if I could've got more than A- though had I put in more effort. You weigh your ability based on how much you know yourself. Hope this helped and that I covered all the necessary information regarding the course. Good luck to those who choose to take the course. ##
Winter 2016 - I was really looking forward to taking a fairly easy GE and this class seemed like it would be very interesting, but I was disappointed. Kim gives unclear, boring lectures. Quiz questions are not straightforward or based directly off of the reading or work you complete. Although there are many intriguing books and films out there on the Holocaust, the ones selected to be analyzed in this class are extremely boring and difficult to get through. Do not recommend this class.
Winter 2022 - I expected this class to be a walk in the park, as Bruinwalk suggested. However, I was so very wrong. Professor was alright, but literally we could not go a lecture without TA Anna Brungardt interrupting to make a “point of privilege.” For example, in Week 3, she made a whole deal about avoiding the words “insane” and “crazy” in our weekly 2-page reflections because using those words are “ableist and appropriate the real lived experiences of someone with mania or hysteria.” I am not even kidding; this was said in class. I got points taken off of my reflections for writing “It is insane to me when I fathom how many lives 6 million lives is.” I was docked so many points for not being the most PC person in the class. I tried but I can never be as woke as the TA, and when I voiced my concerns that I don’t understand how she would like for assignments to be done, she corrected me on my privilege. It was week 8 at this point, so it was too late to drop or P/NP. There was A LOT of readings and movies to watch: like 3-5 hours a week every week. The final was 3 hours long and 9 pages of intense writing about close readings of a graphic novel character’s costume or a close reading of why a 2 degree angle is vitally important in preserving memory. If Anna Brungardt is your TA, run for the hills b/c Todd Presner will enable her behavior and do little to assist you in being successful in the class.
I thought that he was a great professor. This class was very interesting. I would say to just bring your computer, and type everything that he says about the book. There were five 2 page papers about analyzing the books that we read in class (my average grade for these was an A-). One take-home midterm, which was easy (I got an A on this). Depending on which TA you got, the amount of pages for it varied. My TA only required one page per essay prompt (there were 3), but some of the other TAs required at least a page and a half to two for each prompt. Final wasn't take home, and you had 3 hours to write 3 essays. They were easy, though. Again, analyzing the text. It was a little challenging, though, because towards the end I got pressed for time (I wasn't able to write conclusions for the essays). Easy and interesting professor. Easy class, easy A. Definitely recommend. If Kfir Mordechay is one of the TAs, GET HIM!!!!!! :)