Politics of Reproduction

Description: (Same as Gender Studies M164.) Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Title refers to intersection between politics and life cycle. Topics include social construction of gender and population, reproductive issues, politicization of mothers, motherhood, and mothering, surrogacy, and new reproductive technologies. Letter grading.

Units: 4.0
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Overall Rating 2.9
Easiness 2.0/ 5
Clarity 3.4/ 5
Workload 2.0/ 5
Helpfulness 3.1/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Spring 2022 - The lectures for this class were very dry. We had about 4 slides per class with some plain text on them, and the professor would just talk about the current state of reproductive politics (abortion, eugenics, environmental justice, surrogacy, artificial reproductive technology, egg/sperm donation) and other relevant material in a somewhat unstructured way. We rarely had any sort of discussion in lecture, though when we did it was definitely engaging. I think there are many ways in which these lectures could have been improved to be more engaging. More organized and visually appealing slides, talking among peers about topics we were covering and sharing personal experiences or opinions to name a few. The material is incredibly interesting, I just feel like the professor did not really do anything to make us more interested or involved. The reading for this class was heavy and intense (sometimes over 100 pages per week). But, the assessment we had, in the form of weekly written reflections (about 4-5 pages double spaced) on those readings and three final papers (5 pages double spaced each)on course topics, seems like a fair and holistic assessment. In the midst of finals week right now, it seems very overwhelming to have to write three five-page papers. I always thought the weekly reading took way more hours than any other classes I was in. In that sense, I think the professor underestimates the time and effort that what she assigns takes. It is a lot. But, given that we have no midterm if you are self-directed enough to keep up on all the readings and manage your time well, it is a fair way to assess us. This material would not be good in test format, so essays are a smart choice. Maybe one fewer essay prompt for the final would be more realistic though. The professor was COVID-conscious and made accommodations for those who tested positive to attend class via zoom. However, the attendance policy was rather strict and a decent portion of our grades (required for discussion and lecture). We did not connect with peers at all in this lecture, which was a bit disappointing. The material opens the door for debate or discussion perfectly, but she never really took advantage of that as a way to make class engaging. Instead, she would (monotonously) lecture us for every class. I wish there would have been more peer connecting or even engagement with the TA or professor herself. I really did enjoy this class. The readings, though extremely time-consuming (upwards of 3-5 hours each week), were incredibly interesting to me and I feel that I learned a lot from them. If you put in the time and effort on your own, you can gain a lot from this class from the readings alone. Sadly, I was never engaged in lectures and can not say that I gained much from the lectures. The professor just kind of reiterated the material from the readings and it was unfortunately very boring and most people would multitask on their laptops. This class has the potential to be incredible. I just can not say lectures were that. Nonetheless, I am happy I chose to take this course and challenged myself with the readings. I will carry the information from the materials I read forever! It's such a relevant topic, especially as a woman in America!
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
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