I took her Korean American experience class, which is not difficult. One midterm, paper, and take home final are easy. But to be honest, I think she is probably one of the worst Asian Am professors I've had. I thought that some of these reviews might be biased, but after taking her class I have to say some of the concerns are definitely spot on. Firstly, professor park makes very uncomfortable(if even borderline racist) remarks when comparing Koreans to other races. The worst is when she laughs after those remarks. I'm not sure if its a nervous laughter or uncontrollable, but seriously she needs to stop doing that. She alienates so many of her non-Asian students through her remarks and I saw almost half of them drop after the first week. Makes me really worried that she says she's going to be teaching a course on racism next quarter. Her lectures are meandering and most students can't even follow her reasoning. She ALWAYS goes past the lecture time, which is pretty inconsiderate of her since most students have other classes to attend. Also, she puts such a huge emphasis on the LA riot and Korean-latino relations because of her research and makes us do a bunch of unnecessary and irrelevant research on it too. She also provides so many readings that she will never discuss in class. She makes you read the manuscript for her book, which for the most part is convoluted and nobody cares about. Basically, a waste of my time taking this class.
I am a senior Asian American studies double major with Psych. I have taken many classes in both fields and I LOVE Asian Am. However, this is the single worst class I have ever taken at UCLA. It is not hard or complicated, but the professor (Park) is absolutely awful. Not only does she not care about her students, and not encourage class discussion, her assignment to interview a "latino customer" person and a "korean store owner" is absolutely ridiculous and frankly was insulting because of the racial slurs and stereotypes it actually ENCOURAGED. Her lectures are biased and she displays hints of racism if not surface level biases that she attempts to brainwash the class with. This class was insulting because she is racially insensitive and she frequently blurts out biased opinions in her pointed remarks. She has said stupid things like "second generation koreans do not study as much because they are more american," or "what does it mean for koreans if they all become ministers" (while laughing because she thinks they should "become lawyers and doctors instead"). Do not take this class or any other class with this professor, she does not represent anything related to Asian American studies because it is an amazing major.
Spring 2022 - This class was very....interesting, and I was admittedly hesitant going into it due to the other reviews. The class required one midterm and one paper throughout the quarter. The midterm was a series of short answer questions, and she gave very conflicting answers on how she wanted it to be graded. I would say hit every point she mentions on the midterm exam sheet and you should be okay. The final paper was an ethnographic style analysis of a topic of your choice related to COVID-19 and race (again, the directions were kind of vague, but TA tried his best to break things down.) For lectures: It was extremely hard to follow along in lectures, because not only does she use outdated language (ex. 'the Blacks were very upset by..) but the presentation slides used were overall non-cohesive and unclear. Essentially, she is repeating everything from the reading. Attendance is occasionally checked. Reading: I would say do as much of the reading as you can leading up to the midterm, but then after that, you can focus on the material pertaining to your paper. Fortunately, the reading topics themselves are clear and engaging, and I did get a more in-depth perspective of the LA riots (the book that she wrote.) I feel like sticking to the (very much so outdated) reading helped a lot, albeit a little repetitive by the end of the quarter. Overall workload: It is manageable, just make sure you run the directions past your TA as for what they are looking for in your papers because following along with the professor is very confusing. As someone with a heavy courseload and student-worker, I got through the quarter without dedicating an unfair portion of time. This class felt a bit tedious but not unmanageable.
prof park is extremely intelligent, but often misunderstood. if you have a knack for understanding accents, there shouldn't be much of a problem taking one of her classes. i would still say to make sure you get a good TA that can emphasis her points and the material. Also, prof park showed concern for students to do well and is a very nice person in general.
Spring 2022 - Professor Park is not at all a great professor, and I would not recommend taking her. She obviously is well-educated within her area of expertise, but that does not translate to how she teaches. Her lectures are incredibly confusing and do not follow a set theme, she does not listen well to student feedback (although she claims that she does), and she kept changing course requirements well into the quarter. She somehow made an interesting topic like Constructing Race incredibly grueling.