Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
Seeing as there's no other reviews, I will try to be honest and thorough. This class is offered every spring quarter with very limited spots, and if you get the opportunity to take it, I highly recommend!
Takeaways: a broader understanding of Asian American history; if you are Asian American, a greater appreciation of your ethnic background; a lot of GE requirements covered (WII, Foundations of Society and Culture - Historical Analysis, diversity)
Teaching style: engaging lecturer, concise slides, appropriate pauses for questions, emphasizes key ideas very clearly (make sure to write down what she says!), laptops permitted only in the front half of the room (don't text or fall asleep, she will call you out!), lectures are NOT posted online and you are NOT allowed to take photos, so pay attention and take notes!
Readings - There is a LOT of assigned readings, the majority were relevant to lecture, but not super necessary for exams. If you are short on time, be sure to at least skim them and grasp the key themes and a few examples that illustrate points from lecture, especially if it discusses a minority population
(Short) Presentations - This varies by TA, but mine had us do a 5 minute presentation on a key historical moment and personal history. My friend's TA had her students lead discussion by presenting questions about the reading. However, this isn't anything to stress about.
Journal Reflections - You will need to complete 1-2 page reflections on the topics in the readings for 4 weeks. Do this as early as possible.
Oral History Paper - You will need to interview a 40+ year old person of Asian descent and use their story as evidence in a 10-page paper that connects it to the overarching course themes (imperialism, immigration, etc.) Be sure to ask Dr. Fong or your TA if you are unsure about any part of the process. Be sure to construct a solid thesis and have body paragraphs that tie back to that thesis. Depending on your person, it may be difficult to flesh out an argument to 10 pages so I advise you to outline thoroughly ahead of time for every paragraph (I ended up having about 11 paragraphs). Keep in mind that this paper is almost half your grade, so allow enough time for revision and feedback.
Since this is a writing class, both are formatted such that there are only writing prompts, with one essay and two shorter responses. The essay is the majority of the points. Be sure to complete the study sheet she provides and really think about how to connect the ideas because that will set you up to do well on the essay. The shorter responses are pretty straightforward, just make sure you study your lecture notes and key ideas from the readings well.
Course breakdown: Discussion (20%), Midterm (20%), Final (20%), Paper (40%)
Probably by far one of the worst classes I have ever taken. First off, the amount of liberal propaganda (at least in discussion) is rather sickening. The reading is very repetitive and rarely interesting. Her lectures are pretty useless (pretty much just regurgitates the reading) and she doesn’t post the slides. She’s very reluctant to help students to prepare for the exams. The exams are usually one long essay and 2-3 “short” answers (needs at least two paragraphs). The gradings are completely up to your TA’s and could be somewhat arbitrary. The guest lectures were complete wastes of time. You can definitely find a better writing 2 GE to take
I loved this class! It made me want to minor in Asian American studies. Dr. Fong is an amazing lecturer. It was my first quarter at UCLA and I felt like it was a good introductory course to UCLA. I found the readings fairly interesting and there were multiple extra credit opportunities.
I got an A on the midterm, final, and final paper. If you do the readings, attend lecture and section, and go to your TA's office hours about the paper once, you should be set. I will say that she takes this class seriously so don't take pictures, go on your phone, or sleep — she is not afraid to call you out. I liked that this class fulfilled a GE, diversity, and Writing 2. If you want a class that knocks out some requirements, I would highly, highly recommend. It was definitely my favorite class of the quarter and I loved learning more about the history of Asian American communities because it is not always addressed in other classes.
Honestly one of the most meaningful classes I've taken at UCLA. Dr. Fong makes the material personal and relevant and I even know of some people who sat in her lectures - without being officially enrolled - just to learn about Asian American history.
Yes, as mentioned below, discussions tend to sway towards the liberal side but that's not unreasonable considering the topic of the class. Be sure to invest time in your final paper and go to office hours with your TA since they are usually awesome resources and tend to be the ones doing most of the grading.
Definitely not difficult to get a good grade if you put in the work too!
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