Armenian History: Armenia in Modern and Contemporary Times, 19th and 20th Centuries
Spring 2023 - Aslanian is an excellent instructor. Through 10 weeks, he covers an extraordinary amount of material, never sacrificing depth for breadth. Even if you know next to nothing about Armenia, you will come away with a vivid picture of the nation's past and present. The negative review of this course rom this term is misleading and bitter in its assessment of the course. While Aslanian did have a habit of going over classtime by a few minutes, this was often due to technical issues during the class or (perhaps overly) comprehensive responses to student questions. Aslanian did an excellent job of encouraging students to participate in class discussions, going so far as to structure large parts of several classes to center around discussions of the course material. I found these discussions to be interesting, even though Aslanian took an active role in correcting students when they made historical errors in their arguments. This may come across to some students as being 'mean', but I learned a lot from Aslanian's correction and never felt as though he was acting out of a desire to rebuke or put down a student's contributions. On the contrary, he consistently rewarded and praised students who made meaningful contributions. Aslanian gave comprehensive and detailed answers to student questions during class while also encouraging students to submit parts of their midterm and final papers for feedback before the due date. I did not make use of this myself but it was very comforting to know that I could get preliminary feedback for the major assignments. Aslanian provided detailed feedback to each of the papers and I felt that both were fairly graded, perhaps more stringently than other history classes I've taken. I learned an immense amount taking this class, but it requires a significant time investment. If you are genuinely interested in Armenian history and are willing to put in the time to do the readings, come to lecture (Aslanian took attendance every class), participate, and pay attention during classtime, you will find this to be a very enriching and rewarding course. I highly recommend it. I only wish I had the chance to take Aslanian's other classes on Armenian history.
This class requires a lot of reading which would not be so difficult if the book had a concrete structure. The chapters that are written by Hovannisian are all over the place. He puts so much information and so many facts but at the same time he forgets to explain them. Sometimes he talks about different dates in the same paragraph and makes it hard to follow the reading. The book is very dense and covers a lot of material. Take a lot of notes during lecture. He goes back and forth between events and this can make the lectures more and more confusing. You have a midterm and a final and a book summary. The book summary is about the book that his grandson wrote. It's not the best book. It has a series of disjointed thoughts and ideas and can improve a lot in structure. It seems as though his grandson was thinking while as he was writing the book. The midterm and final are not too bad. Just make sure to write a great essay. He tests you in an I.D. format so be sure to have a clear essay and a clear thesis. he gives study guides so be sure to go over those and write out the essays and memorize them. He knows a lot of info and is educated but when it comes to lecturing, I can say that there are better professors. Yes he knows his stuff, but he does not know how to articulate that so you can follow his lecture. He may be rude and blunt at times but he is nice guy.