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I really enjoyed this class. If you're considering it as a GE, it's a pretty solid option. I had no prior knowledge of the subject and I still felt like Kumar made everything really clear and fair. I fell behind on the readings quite often and didn't know anything about the subject before taking the class, and I still managed to get an A.
Kumar is absolutely amazing!!! I took this as a random GE that I was only slightly interested in because everything else filled up, but I'm so glad I took it. The class says you'll learn about Southeast Asian art as well, but with Kumar it's just focused on South Asian art. You don't need to buy any textbooks for this class because all readings are online and tbh you only really need to read enough to do the weekly assignments and you'll be fine without reading everything thoroughly. Lectures were pre-recorded due to COVID, but Kumar made them so interesting and I honestly feel that I've left the class with a greater appreciation and interest in South Asian art. Kumar was soooo understanding throughout the quarter and you can tell she genuinely cares about us as humans first and students second. My TA, Bran, was also super caring and very knowledgeable. Take this class if you need it as a GE!!
I cannot express in words how strongly I feel about Dr. Kumar!! She is not only a great lecturer but a lovely person as well. I found her to be exceptionally accommodating and understanding during this difficult quarter which was much appreciated.
The workload was relatively light: only two hour-long lectures per week with a few readings to go along with it (although I usually just skimmed through them as they could be a bit long) and a 1-2 page double spaced paper every week, except the week before and of the midterm. I also found the lectures to be very informative and engaging, despite the fact that they were pre-recorded for this quarter (to accommodate for the circumstances). Section was usually just a discussion of the topics from the previous week.
I'm actually a STEM major but took this class as a GE, unsure of how I would enjoy it. After this quarter, I would definitely say TAKE THIS CLASS!!! GE or otherwise! I have never taken an art history class before but this was certainly an interesting topic, and one that I have never studied before.
I've never really felt the need to write a review for a professor but I absolutely loved this class. If you have the opportunity to have Dr. Kumar teach you, take it! I took this class after really enjoying a different art history class (AH30) and I'd say in my own experience, Art History professors are some of the most caring and passionate professors. As a STEM student, I thought I'd struggle with this class but Dr. Kumar not only allows you to consider greater social themes that artworks had but also teaches the key art history techniques used for visual analysis. This class has required participation but it was usually like one big discussion of what each individual thought of the lectures and readings and occasionally we would be split into groups and have mini debates (I had Bran as my TA - incredibly helpful and caring). I had some technical difficulties during one of my busiest weeks of the quarter and not only did Dr. Kumar give me a week-long extension but also provided resources to aid in case of further technical difficulties. I really wish I could've taken this class in person but despite the isolation as a result of COVID, this class made me feel closer to my own cultural heritage and it was truly one of the most interesting classes I took during my freshman year.
TAKE THIS CLASS FOR YOUR GE!!! Professor Kumar was so understanding toward her students' needs during this turmoil filled quarter. She pre-recorded every lecture and would post it on CCLE, while also emailing us to let us know that she had posted them. In the lectures, she would always provide us with something good happening in the world to bring a smile to our face, like John Krasinski's Some Good News, and check-in on how we were feeling. The grade breakdown for this class is: Midterm Exam 25%, Final Exam 35%, Response Papers 30% and Section/Participation 10%. I also loved how she provided us with all the readings or videos we needed to get for the class, and extra resources to delve in deeper to topics that we were more interested in. The response papers every week were based on the topics we would talk about in our interactive discussions, and the midterm was based on skills that we learned how to do in our discussions, so I was never left confused or felt that anything was difficult. Discussions were also fun, shoutout to my TA Joanna, because they were interactive when discussion the information, but also my TA would start each week asking how we were and making sure we were good. Overall, this class was probably my favorite class all quarter, and I hope you all take it too!
I have never written a review for a professor, but I thought it would only be right to do one for Professor Kumar after my experience taking her class. Professor Kumar has by far been the most accomodating, nicest, and caring professor I have had at UCLA. She always checked in on us and provided things like videos or readings that could help ease the stress and monotony of being quarantined during COVID-19. When times might be more stressful for students, like during midterm season, she exempted assignments. Due to the incident in Minneapolis and the rising pandemonium regarding police brutality, Proffesor Kumar was the first of my professors to make accomodations for the final. Professor Kumar has been by far the most amazing professor Her lectures are filled with information, but it is all really interesting.
Professor Kumar has been more than accommodating during this class, especially since it was conducted online due to COVID-19. The class consisted of recorded lectures and live discussion sections. Attendance in discussion was necessary, but there were other ways to get participation points if needed. The workload consisted of weekly response papers, which were 1-2 pages (double spaced) of answering some questions about that week's lecture materials. One response paper was cancelled to give us more time and less stress when working on the midterm, which consisted of three artwork comparison essays. The final (supposed to be an exhibition proposal) ended up becoming optional to further alleviate stress from the students.
As someone who took this class as a last-minute GE, I really wasn't expecting much. I surprisingly found this class pretty interesting and rather rewarding, as the Professor focused more on how the artworks relate to the world around them, instead of listing fact after fact about them. I should note that her sentences are pretty packed with information, so it was a bit hard at times to understand all the things that were being conveyed to me.
It's okay if you're not an "art person" (I certainly wouldn't say I am), because I think the Professor makes sure that everyone has something to take away from the class.