Paul Von Blum
Winter 2022 - Just take this class. No notes, just conversational and incredibly mind expanding. Class details: 1 paper, topic of your choice, related to this class. Von Blum isn't a tough grader, but he cares about HOW MUCH THE STUDENT CARES about the topic. So if your even slightly passionate about world topics, this is definitely the class for you! Our class looked at different centuries of art that had really cool political and sociological messaging in it. Very engaging class! For example, I loved the japanese internment camp art that he showed us, or the European art that touched on classism in earlier centuries. The class suddenly cared about history in a whole new way each time he was done lecturing. I really respected his approach-- just wanting us to CARE. So god forbid, when we start our careers someday, we are empathetic and well-rounded human beings. SUCH A GOOD CLASS. The person who commented below clearly doesn't understand the value of this professor. Judging by the year that comment was written, probably a corporate lawyer that no one respects by now.
Comm 175 is the class I took actually. Nice professor, make you think, and grade fair. Just two 6-7 pages take home essays as mid term and final. With a quiz which you should do fine if you read the "SUMMARY" for the readings. It is a 6 pick 5 short answers questions. Grammar is important and that's it! Really nice old man and teaches with passion for more than 40 years.
I took his Honors Collegium 29, Art of Social and Political Commentary, and learned more than in eight previous art history classes. Don't let his laid-back manner fool you. He is a real scholar who wants you to become engaged in the material. Oh, yeah, and he's a very generous grader!
Fall 2019 - I really don't understand all of the love for this professor. He seemed more interested in bragging about what a morally upstanding person he is than actually teaching us. He just came off so high and mighty and I found his arrogance really off putting, even though I almost always agreed with what he said. I found his many of lectures to be pretty useless, and it was often hard to focus because he would lecture for the entire 2 hours and 50 minutes other than a short break. He loved to repeat the same line over and over: "I hate racism! I hate sexism! I hate homophobia!" which I thought was cool of him at first but weird after he did it so many times, like he thought it was a hot take somehow. As for the class itself, you have to watch a movie every week, and there are 2 6-7 page papers and a short final. The final is super easy, I didn't study for it at all. I found a lot of the films he chose to be pretty boring or just odd choices in general with all the options available to him. We also had to use Packpack every week which was really tedious and the grading criteria was not clear at all. I also found section to be unhelpful since the class was already discussion-based, but attendance was required. My TA Micah would assign additional films for us to watch which was kind of unfair because the other TA never did for his students. Overall, this class was a pretty easy A but I really did not enjoy it, and I would not recommend Von Blum at all.
Von Blum was great but DO NOT GET ERIN AS A T.A.!!! Von Blum was an incredible professor, with only 2 papers- no tests- completely manageable work load. He also podcasts his lectures so you can make up any classes you have to miss online. This class would be perfect and an easy A, but Erin, the girl T.A. graded her sections so harshly that her entire class banded together to complain after realizing she did not give a single person in the class a grade higher then a B+ on the midterm paper. In addition to this, she added a zero credit but mandatory presentation to all of her discussion sections. Take Von Blum, but GET ANOTHER T.A. BESIDES ERIN PETTIGREW!!!