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If you want to study with one of the great intellectual powerhouses in the English Department, take a class with Professor Maniquis. I have had him in both a small seminar (181E--Blake seminar) and a large lecture (108A--The Bible as Lit: Old Testament) setting, and he has been one of my favorite teachers at UCLA. Some particulars:
-He is just fucking cool.
-Any personal interaction you have with him is rewarding. Seize the opportunity. Talk to him about what you’re interested in and he will point you in the right direction. Talk to him about school, about books, about religion, about life.
-If you are interested in studying Romantics, TAKE MANIQUIS. I was in his Blake seminar—amazing. (Romantics: also take JD Lopez). Maniquis is interested in teaching you how to navigate through and eventually explore the texts. He isn’t interested in pushing his academic agenda or forcing you to approach the text from any particular angle; he merely takes joy in seeing his students get all nerdy and passionate about intellectual and creative ideas.
-His French is beautiful.
-Sometimes Maniquis goes out on tangents while lecturing. I purposefully say ‘out’ and not ‘off.’ Everything he says in lecture is pertinent; he is just so ridiculously well-read that you may not know what he is talking about some of the time. The key is to listen, to not be afraid to ask questions, and to engage with him.
-He loves his students.
-Obligatory sentence on grading: work hard on your papers and show interest in class because Maniquis is an extremely generous and fair grader.
-If you take his classes, be prepared to read a lot and learn even more. He’s one of the smartest and most lovable professors you will encounter at UCLA. He deserves the best caliber of students. Carry the torch.
I highly recommend taking 181E with Professor Maniquis, if you have the chance. The class was a seminar held once a week at the Clark Library, and the whole emphasis was on original student research. That said, I am so glad I took it with Maniquis. The man is an awesome lecturer but even better in a smaller seminar--he will just wow you with the depth of his knowledge and will make you think about certain things you would never have thought of before. He was really open to any ideas/topics we had for our research papers, so we were given a lot of space to explore our own interests. The Clark is a huge plus--they have extremely old and rare books (think as old as the 1500s) that you get to peruse through for your research. Overall, this class was a great experience and at a big place like UCLA, a gem. The class was fun, engaging, and more relaxed than others I have taken as an English major. Take Maniquis--you will learn so much about everything, seriously. Beautiful library, brilliant professor, and a scholarship to go with it--the class is an absolute must.
I took the Blake seminar with professor Maniquis this past winter, and believe me when i say.....WOW. such a valuable and truly worthwhile experience. If your only interested in an easy A and useless, regurgitated lectures then this is not your man. If however, you dream of a seminar experience that is both informative and personally relevant, then there is no better way to access the mind of William blake than through Maniquis's completely comprehensive approach. Rather than force details down your throat, Maniquis explores the overarching themes and really prophetic message behind Blake. I left class everyday bright eyed and bushy tailed...TAKE THIS COURSE, Blake's vision paired with Maniquis's informed analysis is something you won't wanna miss. He is one of the smartest and most provocative professors i have taken during my 4 years as an English major here at UCLA. His style is laid back and engaging, providing the ideal environment for those who truly wish to learn-not to plow blindly through midterms and finals. Professor Maniquis was ideal for the seminar style classroom setting, allowing his students to control a large part of the discussion while herding us towards the relevant points and core ideology behind Blake's work. Maniquis wasn't just about the facts, but about the philosophy-Take his course if your prepared to get a mental workout and really come to some stunning realizations about not only Blake, but life as a whole. Altogether a challenging and phenomenal course. Completely fair grading, just be engaged and attend class- One of the most valuable experiences and professors i have had in my time at UCLA.