James L Gelvin
Department of History
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4.2
Overall Rating
Based on 10 User s
Easiness 2.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.0 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.0 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.5 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Needs Textbook
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Useful Textbooks
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

36.0%
30.0%
24.0%
18.0%
12.0%
6.0%
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.

42.1%
35.1%
28.1%
21.1%
14.0%
7.0%
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.

29.3%
24.4%
19.5%
14.6%
9.8%
4.9%
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.

34.2%
28.5%
22.8%
17.1%
11.4%
5.7%
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.

40.6%
33.9%
27.1%
20.3%
13.5%
6.8%
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.

37.1%
30.9%
24.7%
18.5%
12.4%
6.2%
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.

23.2%
19.3%
15.5%
11.6%
7.7%
3.9%
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.

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Reviews (6)

1 of 1
1 of 1
Add your review...
Quarter: Spring 2020
Grade: A
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
June 25, 2020

Professor Gelvin is awesome! This is the second class I've taken with him, so that tells you how great of a professor he is. His lectures are always super engaging, and he's really funny. He really cares about his work and his students, so he'll do his best to make sure you come away with knowledge about the Middle East. He's been very accommodating of his students during the pandemic. His class consists of two essays on assigned books related to the lecture topics and two short final essays. If you have any confusion about the assignments, he'll clarify them and occasionally provide some hints about how to do well. Overall, Gelvin is one of the top 3 greatest professors I've had at UCLA. Take this class!

Helpful?

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Quarter: Spring 2018
Grade: A
June 26, 2018

I really enjoyed this class. I didn't know much about the history of the Middle East so I thought it would be interesting to take this course. Gelvin is a funny guy; he has that sarcastic New York humor which he often uses with his students. After his initial snarky remark towards them, you can tell that he genuinely wants to answer his students' questions. He doesn't use slides or post any lectures, but most of his lecture material comes from his books. You definitely need the books to write the papers! There were two 6-page papers, one on lecture material, and then one on an Ottoman novel. Additionally, the final was determined by a class vote so we had a take-home final instead of in class and that consisted of one 6-page paper and one 4-page. All of his prompts had multiple questions that needed to be addressed so it was definitely difficult to not exceed the page count. I feel like I learned so much from Professor Gelvin and would definitely take another class with him.

Helpful?

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Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
July 7, 2009

Gelvin is actually a great teacher. He is relaxed and jokes around with his students which is refreshing compared to the normal boring professor. His class itself is decently tough but not impossible. I barely took notes and crammed for both essays and final and didnt do bad. Although the final is kinda tough because you have to memorized pages of history. But its really not that bad. Greatr guy, way better then Maroney.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 28, 2009

I couldn't agree more with the post below me! Prof. Gelvin undoubtedly is a genius in his field, but when it came to actually teaching the history of the Middle East, he fell somewhat short. His lectures took on a more thematical approach rather than chronological; which combined with his frequent attempts at levity, lacked organization. As a history major, I expect that a history class will have some aspects of chronology, otherwise I might as well take a cultural geography class that emphasizes themes. Aside from his lectures, the two papers, as previously mentioned in the post below, were horrible. The first paper consisted of about 7 or 8 lengthy components in which one was supposed to fit into a 6 page paper. There was so much superflous information that one could have easily written a quality 10-12 page paper, but 6 was simply not enough. Even better was the fact that he refused to discuss grades with anyone, and if you complained to the TA's enough, they had the right to lower your grade without explanation. The bottom line is that Prof. Gelvin's class requires more work/stress than what is necessary in order to recieve a decent grade.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 9, 2009

It's obvious I'm an exception because I do NOT like Prof. Gelvin. I actually prefer Prof. Morony over Gelvin, and that alone says a lot. He's condescending and passive aggressive- two characteristics I absolutely hate in a person. He wastes time joking around with students, which is cool, if he's not gonna talk an extra 5 minutes at the end of class to make up for it. We were always let out late and I was consistently late to my next class. His class focuses on the why and how instead of the what. To me, though economy is important in developing the Middle East into what it is today, I don't want every lecture about it. I'm not taking an econ class. His papers are ridiculous. He asks so much for the second one and expects you to answer about 15 questions (5 total questions with 3 sub-questions each) in just a 6 page paper. He's too demanding. The questions on his final are so broad, I don't know how he expects his students to memorize the whole narrative of the M.E. from the 16th century on. If you don't have to take him, don't. But hey, my opinion is obviously the minority so you just might like the class as other people obviously do!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 24, 2009

WOW...I love Prof. Gelvin. He is the $h*t. As easy as you want it to be. Here it is, all that you need to do is review just the notes from class and you'll get an A. His exams are essay based and not that articulate about how analytical you critique it. Just make a friend so you both review it makes it even easier. He is NOT boring, you'll WANT to go to lecture...you MUST take Gelvin at least once during your UCLA career. you wont regret 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: Spring 2020
Grade: A
June 25, 2020

Professor Gelvin is awesome! This is the second class I've taken with him, so that tells you how great of a professor he is. His lectures are always super engaging, and he's really funny. He really cares about his work and his students, so he'll do his best to make sure you come away with knowledge about the Middle East. He's been very accommodating of his students during the pandemic. His class consists of two essays on assigned books related to the lecture topics and two short final essays. If you have any confusion about the assignments, he'll clarify them and occasionally provide some hints about how to do well. Overall, Gelvin is one of the top 3 greatest professors I've had at UCLA. Take this class!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Spring 2018
Grade: A
June 26, 2018

I really enjoyed this class. I didn't know much about the history of the Middle East so I thought it would be interesting to take this course. Gelvin is a funny guy; he has that sarcastic New York humor which he often uses with his students. After his initial snarky remark towards them, you can tell that he genuinely wants to answer his students' questions. He doesn't use slides or post any lectures, but most of his lecture material comes from his books. You definitely need the books to write the papers! There were two 6-page papers, one on lecture material, and then one on an Ottoman novel. Additionally, the final was determined by a class vote so we had a take-home final instead of in class and that consisted of one 6-page paper and one 4-page. All of his prompts had multiple questions that needed to be addressed so it was definitely difficult to not exceed the page count. I feel like I learned so much from Professor Gelvin and would definitely take another class with him.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
July 7, 2009

Gelvin is actually a great teacher. He is relaxed and jokes around with his students which is refreshing compared to the normal boring professor. His class itself is decently tough but not impossible. I barely took notes and crammed for both essays and final and didnt do bad. Although the final is kinda tough because you have to memorized pages of history. But its really not that bad. Greatr guy, way better then Maroney.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 28, 2009

I couldn't agree more with the post below me! Prof. Gelvin undoubtedly is a genius in his field, but when it came to actually teaching the history of the Middle East, he fell somewhat short. His lectures took on a more thematical approach rather than chronological; which combined with his frequent attempts at levity, lacked organization. As a history major, I expect that a history class will have some aspects of chronology, otherwise I might as well take a cultural geography class that emphasizes themes. Aside from his lectures, the two papers, as previously mentioned in the post below, were horrible. The first paper consisted of about 7 or 8 lengthy components in which one was supposed to fit into a 6 page paper. There was so much superflous information that one could have easily written a quality 10-12 page paper, but 6 was simply not enough. Even better was the fact that he refused to discuss grades with anyone, and if you complained to the TA's enough, they had the right to lower your grade without explanation. The bottom line is that Prof. Gelvin's class requires more work/stress than what is necessary in order to recieve a decent grade.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
June 9, 2009

It's obvious I'm an exception because I do NOT like Prof. Gelvin. I actually prefer Prof. Morony over Gelvin, and that alone says a lot. He's condescending and passive aggressive- two characteristics I absolutely hate in a person. He wastes time joking around with students, which is cool, if he's not gonna talk an extra 5 minutes at the end of class to make up for it. We were always let out late and I was consistently late to my next class. His class focuses on the why and how instead of the what. To me, though economy is important in developing the Middle East into what it is today, I don't want every lecture about it. I'm not taking an econ class. His papers are ridiculous. He asks so much for the second one and expects you to answer about 15 questions (5 total questions with 3 sub-questions each) in just a 6 page paper. He's too demanding. The questions on his final are so broad, I don't know how he expects his students to memorize the whole narrative of the M.E. from the 16th century on. If you don't have to take him, don't. But hey, my opinion is obviously the minority so you just might like the class as other people obviously do!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: N/A
Grade: N/A
Feb. 24, 2009

WOW...I love Prof. Gelvin. He is the $h*t. As easy as you want it to be. Here it is, all that you need to do is review just the notes from class and you'll get an A. His exams are essay based and not that articulate about how analytical you critique it. Just make a friend so you both review it makes it even easier. He is NOT boring, you'll WANT to go to lecture...you MUST take Gelvin at least once during your UCLA career. you wont regret it.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 1
4.2
Overall Rating
Based on 10 User s
Easiness 2.2 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.0 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 2.0 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 3.5 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Needs Textbook
    (2)
  • Engaging Lectures
    (2)
  • Useful Textbooks
    (2)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (2)
  • Snazzy Dresser
    (2)
  • Often Funny
    (2)
  • Would Take Again
    (2)
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