Special Studies in Political Theory: Frankfurt School
Spring 2020 - Branstetter is my absolute favorite educator in the Political Science department. He's a really fun(ny) professor, genuinely cares about his students' success, and prioritizes learning over grades. There is no hw, exams, or participation credit, just two 10-page group papers with the most lenient grading scale you can think of. The prompts are relatively easy to answer as long as you pay attention to lectures and communicate with your group. Because the lectures took place over Zoom, he recorded them and uploaded them shortly after class along with the slides. Some of the readings (which are free and uploaded online as PDFs) can be difficult, especially if you're new to socialist theory, but he does an amazing job of breaking it all down. Lastly, he was very understanding about the news of police violence/BLM protests towards the end of the quarter and adjusted the final paper so that it was optional AND extended the due date. I definitely recommend taking at least one class with him (any of them, honestly) during your time at UCLA because he really is the best!