Winter 2022 - I would recommend this class with Professors Peña and Bain. Not only will you learn about women of color who’ve made a major impact in social movements, you’ll also be able to form a strong community with the students. I personally enjoyed how the professors incorporated storytelling as a way to engage with the class. Not only that, this class is structured in a way where you learn not only from the professors, but also from students as well. And it is definitely refreshing to hear students’ takes on the course material as well as their own stories. Professors Peña and Bain are lovely, kind, supportive, engaging, and super flexible. As far as the logistics of the class goes, your final grade is composed of 5 reflections (on the readings), 5 political biographies (you’re allowed to miss ONE), class participation, and an interview transcription. The nice part is that the assignments are completion-based, which definitely eased the stress when it comes to grades while also giving us ample ways of showing our learning. However, when compared to classes with Peña (such as Gender and Law, and Bodies), I felt that the workload was slightly heavy since you had an assignment due each week. But nonetheless, the assignments are doable. Plus, the professors are flexible with late work; just don’t forget to communicate with them if you’re having issues. As long as you turn in ALL assignments by Friday of Week 10, you’ll be fine. :) For the reflections, they’re really straightforward and the professors clearly lay out sample questions on the syllabus for guidance. The interview transcription is when you transcribe your recording of an interview with an activist (who is a woman of color). I recommend using the Otter.ai app to record and transcribe your interview, which will save a LOT of time in the process. In addition to transcribing, you also had to include footnotes to contextualize many of the things said by the interviewee. The last part I will talk about are the political biographies, and they were some of the most challenging assignments of the class. Essentially, you chose a woman of color activist/thinker and you do research on their life and their important contributions. Then you draft a biography of them. (Fun fact: the professors will choose certain biographies to include in their anthology on women of color in social movements, especially if you thoroughly discuss their theory of change.) It will definitely take up your time, so plan accordingly and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Also don’t forget to take advantage of the UCLA Library’s resources if you need any guidance on research and writing! Even though this was a challenge, I learned a lot about how to tell a story and the important lasting contributions that women of color made in society. Overall, this is a worthwhile class and I learned a lot from the students and the professors. I would recommend this class if you’re looking for a Gender Studies or upper division elective.
Fall 2022 - Third year at UCLA and Professor Peña is by far one of the sweetest and smartest faculty. She has really interesting lectures with little to no homework- you're mainly graded on your participation and engagement in class. She has a really fascinating backstory and is crazy brilliant, but she's really humble about her success and journey throughout her life. I signed up to take another class with her for Winter quarter so I would definitely recommend taking her again.