Alessandro Duranti
Department of Anthropology
AD
3.8
Overall Rating
Based on 59 Users
Easiness 4.0 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.0 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.8 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Issues PTEs
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Often Funny
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Would Take Again

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

64.9%
54.1%
43.2%
32.4%
21.6%
10.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

38.9%
32.4%
25.9%
19.5%
13.0%
6.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

43.0%
35.8%
28.6%
21.5%
14.3%
7.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

AD

Reviews (50)

1 of 5
1 of 5
Add your review...
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 24, 2021

Duranti makes himself available if you're ever confused on anything but I never did any reading for this class. I took it as a GE, and to be honest I got an A+ but I feel like I havent learned anything. I had Jarred as my TA and he's an awesome dude, and could be very clear but nobody in my discussion section actually did any work for this class. If you want to learn dont take this class, but if you dont mind writing and you think you're a decent writer, take this class and its an easy A.

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Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 23, 2021

Anthro 4 was an ok experience for me. My main issue with the class was the format of assignments Professor Duranti chose. The basic structure was 6 assignments with no release/due dates to just be given out at various points in the quarter - each was worth 20%, lowest one gets dropped. If you are happy with your grade after five, you don't have to do the sixth (or you can choose to not do one of the other assignments). No midterm, not final, literally nothing matters in this class besides your grades on these assignments (discussion sections are optional, no participation or anything). In theory, this is actually awesome, and it had its benefits, but unfortunately in the first 7 weeks of the class we had two (2) assignments... you get where this is headed. Even though the assignments themselves are really not difficult and Duranti directs you to the corresponding readings and gives some hints, the pacing of the workload was really not distributed equally. Maybe not a killer for everyone, but I found this to be pretty frustrating. My TA (Spencer) was great, he clearly really wanted to engage us and was super helpful if you went to optional discussion sections, but I thought he was a bit of a harsh grader on some things. For me, the reason this class was a "so-so" experience was that I found the subject (linguistic anthropology) to be really dense, hard to understand with the effort I was willing to put in (honestly, took this as a requirement, just wanted to get it done with limited interest in actual topic going into the class), and more reading than I was hoping to have (especially at the start, near 100 pages per week). Duranti however is clearly passionate, invested in our learning, witty, funny, and ALWAYS offering help and answering questions. I think the class lost some of its charm being online, but overall was a fine experience and not too difficult grade-wise to succeed.

Helpful?

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Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
April 26, 2021

If you attend lecture, do the readings, and show up in section an A+ is achievable. Professor Duranti is very passionate about linguistic anthropology, and it is evident in his teaching. Sometimes he would have music playing (or play music himself) while people were signing into zoom for the first minute or two of class. It set a nice tone to the class! The way he structures this class prepares you well for taking Anthro-M150 if you are on the anthropology path. I feel like previous reviews from people who say they learned nothing were likely not paying attention in class. You will get out of the course what you put in.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 30, 2021

Note: Taken Remotely on Zoom

Structure:
There are 6 assignments and only 5 are counted for your final grade, with the lowest grade dropped. Discussion sections are not required.

Pros:
The lowest assignment grade is dropped, meaning if you did well in the first 5 assignment, you did not have to do the final one.

My TA was Sara Castro-Font, and she was very kind and clear during section and responded to emails in a timely manner. She made discussion worth attending to understand the assignments better.

Professor Duranti gives out A+'s in this class.

Although the class schedule said this class was synchronous and online, Professor Duranti records the lectures, and as a student with responsibilities outside of school, it was a nice surprise for the remainder of the quarter.

For a large lower-division class, Professor Duranti is very accessible in office hours, and he has a lot of insight on the field if you are fascinated with the subject matter.

As confusing as it was, I found that the subject matter was overall really interesting, especially the readings about communication in death penalty court cases. We covered topics like objectivity versus subjectivity, agency, and linguistic relativity.

Professor Duranti was also very empathetic to us and canceled class during the coup.

Cons:
My section was on Monday, and they were often filled with bouts of awkward silence because no one had done the readings by then.

I found myself lost during lecture because the material is inherently difficult and abstract. It was difficult sometimes to stay awake or show up.

The first assignment was given out a few weeks after Week 1, which stressed many students out. Afterwards, they were given out on Fridays before the weekend. Although this was done to make it fair for students who did not have their discussion sections until the end of the week, it was a hassle to complete these on the weekend.

Verdict:
I took this class as a transfer student and Communication major to complete my lower-division linguistics requirement. I would recommend it if you do not mind an unorthodox class structure and are a solid writer. Also, take this class if you are interested in the field of linguistic anthropology because Professor Duranti is very knowledgeable in the subject, and he is actually very accessible and really cares about your learning.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 27, 2021

Professor Duranti was an engaging lecturer and often adds personal anecdotes about his own research to entertain the class. His lectures are recorded if you can't attend the live sessions, but going over his slides for each week suffice for the assignments given. You don't have to buy the reader since he's very considerate posts the weekly readings of the course's required text on CCLE. I highly recommend you do skim the assigned articles and readings to at least have some knowledge in order to answer the short-essay prompts he assigns. Some students pass without doing the readings at all, but that depends on which T.A. you get, since some have more strict criteria than others. I had Alessandra as my T.A. and she was super sweet, organized, and explained the course material really well. Overall, this class was interesting, flexible, and had a light workload. Totally recommend it!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
March 16, 2021

Despite the raving reviews of Duranti, mines is going to differ. Compared to the other social science courses I have taken at UCLA, this class was by far the most disorganized which made it hard to learn. Although the material seemed engaging, the lectures were hard to understand and felt more like trying to decipher information. It didn’t help that my TAs discussion was lackluster to the point that only around 5 people would show up each week. Sure this class was an easy grade, but also it just felt like a waste of time. I would not recommend taking Duranti and rather choose a different GE where you will actually learn and are engaged in the class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
Jan. 25, 2021

Professor Duranti,
Was an amazing professor he really cares about all of his students and generally wants them to succeed. The workload is fair and the grading is all dependent on how much work you do.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
April 7, 2020

Duranti is a true homie. He is a bit disorganized (and he knows it too and jokes about it which I respect), but at the end of the day, he makes a point. I had Nicco as my TA and he was great. Every week we had thought-provoking discussions that I found my self discussing with classmates after as well. I'm pre-med so I thought I would just take this class as a GE and be done with it, but I was truly interested in the subject of linguistic anthropology.

As for the class, you've heard it already, there's no midterm, final, or paper. Rather there are 8 pop-tests throughout the quarter that are mainly based on the readings. They weren't too hard and your lowest one gets dropped and replaced with your highest score (which should be a 10).

Anyways, if you take this class PLEASE take it with Duranti.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A+
March 31, 2020

FAVORITE CLASS TAKEN YET!!! Professor Duranti is a great lecturer and is super helpful and open to talking about his own research and stuff. The books we read are really great! It is sort of a lot of reading for this class but honestly you can skate by without reading the articles thoroughly but I would recommend reading the books thoroughly. There are pop quizzes that you can't make up so you have to go to lecture but you get to drop your lowest one. They are like once a week. The questions on the quiz are detailed based on lectures and readings but most are true/false and then like 1 short answer question. The reason I say to read the books is because he normally gives 2 options for the free response: one super easy one from the book, or something extraordinarily picky thing that only a savant would remember. Take for example, "What was different in Franz Boas' grammatical description of Kwakiutl as compared with Bertonio's grammar of Aymara?" versus like an easy thing about the book. The quizzes are merely to make sure you're keeping up. That being said, they make up 80% of your grade and the other is 20% attendance/participation in section.

This class is great because what Duranti cares about is that you learn something and it makes you reflect on the world and about life as opposed to having to memorize verbatim who said what in 1981. I would 100% take a class from him again.

Was not the biggest fan of my TA, Hannah. I felt bad because it was 9am and was not in the mood to discuss linguistic anthropology and neither was anyone else in section. So that was more on us not being prepared, than her. Of course this was frustrating to her so I can't blame her. On the other hand, she is very approachable and nice in office hours or if you have a question in general.

TLDR; take this class!!!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
March 30, 2020

Beware that this class is taught in an unorthodox way. Duranti, who is a very accomplished academic, has decided on a method of teaching the class that involves the following:
- Your knowledge of what he says in lecture is not graded, but he tells you to take notes on his words because the slides he has will be uploaded for your viewing at any time. (Don't fall for his trap; you won't be graded on what he says. But he will tell stories and generally amusing tales, on top of added anthropological information, in case you want notes on that.)
- You will read 3 books over the duration of the course, and several other articles. You also have to know the content of the slides (note: SLIDES, which are uploaded, NOT what he says while showing them in lecture) as if they are readings.
- You will be graded almost entirely (80%) on the 8 pop tests he gives. This is the only practical reason to come to lecture.
- The tests evaluate your knowledge of the aforementioned readings; usually you have to recall details and themes from the texts, which can be tricky. Occasionally you will get an open-ended reflection question.
- The last 20% of your grade is half attendance and half participation, both only for your discussion. Definitely go, because if not, you're probably boned, and they will actually probably be fun (unless you really hate the books).
- Duranti admitted that at least one of the books he assigned he had not read before the course begun. (Granted, it had come out the previous year--I'm talking about A Death In The Rainforest by Don Kulick--but we read it in three weeks, and he could have read it sooner if he wanted to.) This tells me the class is pretty much improvised as the quarter goes on. This also means that some of the details in my description here could change before the next time he teaches this class. He has an improvisational attitude in general, included in his taste of music: jazz jamming.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
March 24, 2021

Duranti makes himself available if you're ever confused on anything but I never did any reading for this class. I took it as a GE, and to be honest I got an A+ but I feel like I havent learned anything. I had Jarred as my TA and he's an awesome dude, and could be very clear but nobody in my discussion section actually did any work for this class. If you want to learn dont take this class, but if you dont mind writing and you think you're a decent writer, take this class and its an easy A.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
March 23, 2021

Anthro 4 was an ok experience for me. My main issue with the class was the format of assignments Professor Duranti chose. The basic structure was 6 assignments with no release/due dates to just be given out at various points in the quarter - each was worth 20%, lowest one gets dropped. If you are happy with your grade after five, you don't have to do the sixth (or you can choose to not do one of the other assignments). No midterm, not final, literally nothing matters in this class besides your grades on these assignments (discussion sections are optional, no participation or anything). In theory, this is actually awesome, and it had its benefits, but unfortunately in the first 7 weeks of the class we had two (2) assignments... you get where this is headed. Even though the assignments themselves are really not difficult and Duranti directs you to the corresponding readings and gives some hints, the pacing of the workload was really not distributed equally. Maybe not a killer for everyone, but I found this to be pretty frustrating. My TA (Spencer) was great, he clearly really wanted to engage us and was super helpful if you went to optional discussion sections, but I thought he was a bit of a harsh grader on some things. For me, the reason this class was a "so-so" experience was that I found the subject (linguistic anthropology) to be really dense, hard to understand with the effort I was willing to put in (honestly, took this as a requirement, just wanted to get it done with limited interest in actual topic going into the class), and more reading than I was hoping to have (especially at the start, near 100 pages per week). Duranti however is clearly passionate, invested in our learning, witty, funny, and ALWAYS offering help and answering questions. I think the class lost some of its charm being online, but overall was a fine experience and not too difficult grade-wise to succeed.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
April 26, 2021

If you attend lecture, do the readings, and show up in section an A+ is achievable. Professor Duranti is very passionate about linguistic anthropology, and it is evident in his teaching. Sometimes he would have music playing (or play music himself) while people were signing into zoom for the first minute or two of class. It set a nice tone to the class! The way he structures this class prepares you well for taking Anthro-M150 if you are on the anthropology path. I feel like previous reviews from people who say they learned nothing were likely not paying attention in class. You will get out of the course what you put in.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
March 30, 2021

Note: Taken Remotely on Zoom

Structure:
There are 6 assignments and only 5 are counted for your final grade, with the lowest grade dropped. Discussion sections are not required.

Pros:
The lowest assignment grade is dropped, meaning if you did well in the first 5 assignment, you did not have to do the final one.

My TA was Sara Castro-Font, and she was very kind and clear during section and responded to emails in a timely manner. She made discussion worth attending to understand the assignments better.

Professor Duranti gives out A+'s in this class.

Although the class schedule said this class was synchronous and online, Professor Duranti records the lectures, and as a student with responsibilities outside of school, it was a nice surprise for the remainder of the quarter.

For a large lower-division class, Professor Duranti is very accessible in office hours, and he has a lot of insight on the field if you are fascinated with the subject matter.

As confusing as it was, I found that the subject matter was overall really interesting, especially the readings about communication in death penalty court cases. We covered topics like objectivity versus subjectivity, agency, and linguistic relativity.

Professor Duranti was also very empathetic to us and canceled class during the coup.

Cons:
My section was on Monday, and they were often filled with bouts of awkward silence because no one had done the readings by then.

I found myself lost during lecture because the material is inherently difficult and abstract. It was difficult sometimes to stay awake or show up.

The first assignment was given out a few weeks after Week 1, which stressed many students out. Afterwards, they were given out on Fridays before the weekend. Although this was done to make it fair for students who did not have their discussion sections until the end of the week, it was a hassle to complete these on the weekend.

Verdict:
I took this class as a transfer student and Communication major to complete my lower-division linguistics requirement. I would recommend it if you do not mind an unorthodox class structure and are a solid writer. Also, take this class if you are interested in the field of linguistic anthropology because Professor Duranti is very knowledgeable in the subject, and he is actually very accessible and really cares about your learning.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A+
March 27, 2021

Professor Duranti was an engaging lecturer and often adds personal anecdotes about his own research to entertain the class. His lectures are recorded if you can't attend the live sessions, but going over his slides for each week suffice for the assignments given. You don't have to buy the reader since he's very considerate posts the weekly readings of the course's required text on CCLE. I highly recommend you do skim the assigned articles and readings to at least have some knowledge in order to answer the short-essay prompts he assigns. Some students pass without doing the readings at all, but that depends on which T.A. you get, since some have more strict criteria than others. I had Alessandra as my T.A. and she was super sweet, organized, and explained the course material really well. Overall, this class was interesting, flexible, and had a light workload. Totally recommend it!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Winter 2021
Grade: A
March 16, 2021

Despite the raving reviews of Duranti, mines is going to differ. Compared to the other social science courses I have taken at UCLA, this class was by far the most disorganized which made it hard to learn. Although the material seemed engaging, the lectures were hard to understand and felt more like trying to decipher information. It didn’t help that my TAs discussion was lackluster to the point that only around 5 people would show up each week. Sure this class was an easy grade, but also it just felt like a waste of time. I would not recommend taking Duranti and rather choose a different GE where you will actually learn and are engaged in the class.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
Jan. 25, 2021

Professor Duranti,
Was an amazing professor he really cares about all of his students and generally wants them to succeed. The workload is fair and the grading is all dependent on how much work you do.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
April 7, 2020

Duranti is a true homie. He is a bit disorganized (and he knows it too and jokes about it which I respect), but at the end of the day, he makes a point. I had Nicco as my TA and he was great. Every week we had thought-provoking discussions that I found my self discussing with classmates after as well. I'm pre-med so I thought I would just take this class as a GE and be done with it, but I was truly interested in the subject of linguistic anthropology.

As for the class, you've heard it already, there's no midterm, final, or paper. Rather there are 8 pop-tests throughout the quarter that are mainly based on the readings. They weren't too hard and your lowest one gets dropped and replaced with your highest score (which should be a 10).

Anyways, if you take this class PLEASE take it with Duranti.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A+
March 31, 2020

FAVORITE CLASS TAKEN YET!!! Professor Duranti is a great lecturer and is super helpful and open to talking about his own research and stuff. The books we read are really great! It is sort of a lot of reading for this class but honestly you can skate by without reading the articles thoroughly but I would recommend reading the books thoroughly. There are pop quizzes that you can't make up so you have to go to lecture but you get to drop your lowest one. They are like once a week. The questions on the quiz are detailed based on lectures and readings but most are true/false and then like 1 short answer question. The reason I say to read the books is because he normally gives 2 options for the free response: one super easy one from the book, or something extraordinarily picky thing that only a savant would remember. Take for example, "What was different in Franz Boas' grammatical description of Kwakiutl as compared with Bertonio's grammar of Aymara?" versus like an easy thing about the book. The quizzes are merely to make sure you're keeping up. That being said, they make up 80% of your grade and the other is 20% attendance/participation in section.

This class is great because what Duranti cares about is that you learn something and it makes you reflect on the world and about life as opposed to having to memorize verbatim who said what in 1981. I would 100% take a class from him again.

Was not the biggest fan of my TA, Hannah. I felt bad because it was 9am and was not in the mood to discuss linguistic anthropology and neither was anyone else in section. So that was more on us not being prepared, than her. Of course this was frustrating to her so I can't blame her. On the other hand, she is very approachable and nice in office hours or if you have a question in general.

TLDR; take this class!!!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Winter 2020
Grade: A
March 30, 2020

Beware that this class is taught in an unorthodox way. Duranti, who is a very accomplished academic, has decided on a method of teaching the class that involves the following:
- Your knowledge of what he says in lecture is not graded, but he tells you to take notes on his words because the slides he has will be uploaded for your viewing at any time. (Don't fall for his trap; you won't be graded on what he says. But he will tell stories and generally amusing tales, on top of added anthropological information, in case you want notes on that.)
- You will read 3 books over the duration of the course, and several other articles. You also have to know the content of the slides (note: SLIDES, which are uploaded, NOT what he says while showing them in lecture) as if they are readings.
- You will be graded almost entirely (80%) on the 8 pop tests he gives. This is the only practical reason to come to lecture.
- The tests evaluate your knowledge of the aforementioned readings; usually you have to recall details and themes from the texts, which can be tricky. Occasionally you will get an open-ended reflection question.
- The last 20% of your grade is half attendance and half participation, both only for your discussion. Definitely go, because if not, you're probably boned, and they will actually probably be fun (unless you really hate the books).
- Duranti admitted that at least one of the books he assigned he had not read before the course begun. (Granted, it had come out the previous year--I'm talking about A Death In The Rainforest by Don Kulick--but we read it in three weeks, and he could have read it sooner if he wanted to.) This tells me the class is pretty much improvised as the quarter goes on. This also means that some of the details in my description here could change before the next time he teaches this class. He has an improvisational attitude in general, included in his taste of music: jazz jamming.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 5
3.8
Overall Rating
Based on 59 Users
Easiness 4.0 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 3.0 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 3.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.8 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (15)
  • Issues PTEs
    (2)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (10)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (9)
  • Often Funny
    (14)
  • Snazzy Dresser
    (8)
  • Would Take Again
    (9)
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