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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.
If you can take Professor Pena at all, please do urself a favor and do! I call GS 104 "class therapy" bc that's honestly just what it is, u get to move around and dance, readings are super easy, and the biggest assignment is a 5 pg paper that talks about ur trauma.
Such an amazing Professor who really cares about her students. 10/10 recommend taking her. This was hands down my favorite class and I just enrolled in another one of her classes!
Where do I begin??? If Prof Pena taught a new class every quarter, I would take! Take this and every class that she teaches!
wow. this professor is AMAZING
professor pena understands students like no other professor it amazed me how caring and supportive she and the TAs were. assignments were easy because they were graded based on completion. I love everything about this class and the professor. bi weekly prompts and a final paper that u can write from your bi weekly prompts
this class was so easy, but because it was easy it was so enjoyable because she truly understood the anxiety students can have and etc.
Professor Pena is one of the best professors I have ever taken at UCLA!
Definitely take her if you really want to learn!
Final is a mock trial, which is really fun and engaging!
No pressure in this class at all times!
Pena is a great professor and I learned so much from her. This class has NO EXAMS. The class consists of one page reflections per week, small group discussions, current event presentation (only has to be 30 sec. to 1 min. long), participation, and a mock trial (which is graded entirely by your teammates). Overall, great and easy class; I took hard classes Fall quarter and this class was a nice break and Pena was so amazing!
amazing professor and class. you'll get an A if you do the work. professor always mentions that the point of college is what you make of it so she doesn't grade on quality but instead completion. only take her if u truly want to learn!
professor pena is amazing. all of her classes are relaxed and easy but only take the class if you're truly interested in the topics.
the class consisted of only the final and weekly journals that were graded on completion and the final is a mock trial based on completion too.