All Ratings and Reviews for Robin Kelley
Overall, this class and Professor Kelley were wonderful! If you are looking for an easy GE that is also interesting and highly relevant, this is the one for you (provided that you find economic related topics interesting).
Course Overview: Grading consisted of two essays (25% each), completion of a group project (25%) and participation/attendance in discussion (25%). No midterm or final as the essays essentially took place of the exams.
Lectures: Lectures were recorded and were really engaging and interesting, especially in the second half of the class. Professor Kelley does a great job explaining movements against neoliberalism and how neoliberalism originated. You will definitely learn something in this class and question how our economy should work. While he did sometimes go on tangents in his videos, they were overall very concise and summarized key points well. He also held group office hours during class time and he is super passionate about what he teaches!
Discussions: Overall, discussions were somewhat poorly run, but this varies by TA. Essentially, we would spend the class time discussing the readings and you would have to lead discussion by preparing two questions for one week. Not too bad but sometimes discussion stalled and it was hard to make new points in class. We also had a group project which was basically a section wide slide show where each student made a slide. Not too bad and easy points.
Essays: Two essays in this class. The first one was more historical and the second one was based on current times (we had to propose policies to President-elect Biden about how to undo neoliberalism which was kind of fun). They weren't too bad (5-7 pages each), but be aware that the directions can be vague and that you can only use info from the readings & lectures (although they wanted you to use mostly readings).
Readings: Prof Kelley assigns A LOT of reading for this course, especially considering it is a GE. That being said, you don't have to really read everything in detail. Focus on the two books that he assigns and just have a general understanding for the other readings/articles. You will need them for essays and discussion, but knowing the key points is sufficient.
Helpfulness/Clarity: Prof Kelley was very helpful in explaining assignments further in office hours and through follow up emails. He was also very flexible given COVID and the Election.
Summary: This course was definitely eye opening and Prof Kelley is very passionate about what he teaches. Combined with the fact that it was pretty easy makes this a great GE!
I thought I would write a quick review for those who are planning to take this class as an online GE during summer:
There are basically only 2 aspects to the course if I remember correctly - one is to reply/post on the CCLE forum, and the other is a set of 3 papers you do over the 6 week period. All 3 papers are really really short (the first two are 5 pages and the last one is like 7 pages or something). Once I had detailed plans for each paper, I made 15 minute zoom appointments with my TA, who was really helpful. She gave me insight on what I was doing well and what needed to be improved. I ended up getting 100% on all 3 papers, and a A+ in the class. Dr. Kelley is really cool in real life but his recorded lectures were actually a little monotonous. The lecture lengths range, but it usually took me 3 hours to get through a 1 hour lecture because of the notes you have to take. He speaks really fast.
P.S. You don't actually have to do the readings, but you must have some general idea of what is going on because you will need to cite the book for the papers.
I would call this a pretty easy GE.
To be honest, I only went to about half of the lectures for this class. I was involved in something else really time-consuming this quarter and I just had to skip this class in order to make time for it. I still ended up with an A-.
I thought it was really meaningful to learn about the effects of capitalism on the world. It opened my eyes to a lot of things. However, the lectures can be a little dull and repetitive, especially for someone like me who does not have a strong interest/background in politics or economics. If you love these topics this class may be a little more engaging for you. Professor Kelley is a really cool, passionate guy, and I feel a little guilty for missing a lot of his lectures or spacing out during them. I wish I could have learned more from him but that's my fault.
There is a lot of reading, but I did not do most of it. I would just read some of the books/articles when writing my essays and I still did fine.
This class has 2 essays and a final group project. The final group project is with your entire discussion and can kind of be a huge mess, but it seemed to turn out okay for every group. Try to choose a topic/project format that is a little more unique to make it memorable to Kelley. Also, do not just focus on neoliberalism in America, make sure to mention its effects on the whole world/other countries. Groups that did this really impressed Kelley.
Also, this class is very very liberal, if you couldn't tell. If you are conservative you may feel uncomfortable with this class since it is essentially how capitalism is evil. Your essays will mostly be on the destructive effects of capitalism.
The course material is really interesting and Professor Kelley gives very interesting lectures. I would recommend this class if you're actually interested in the topic, if you're not I guess this is an easy enough GE.
There are no midterms or finals for this class, the two midterms are papers and the final grade is a group project with your entire discussion section. From what I've heard almost every group got a high grade. For the midterm papers, you can only use the course readings and lecture notes, so be sure to go to lecture. He also doesn't post his slides.
I really enjoyed this class and would recommend it.
This class was highly engaging and informative, especially if you're interested in economics and politics on a global scale. The readings can be long and dense, but it isn't necessary to do all of them in order to do well on the papers, although some of them contain information that can seriously alter your world view. I went to Kelley's office hours a few times and you can tell he's truly passionate about the topics and enjoys connecting with students. I definitely recommend this as a GE.
I want to start off by saying that I lean left politically. With that being said, I will admit the lectures and readings are highly biased. There is virtually no opposing opinions on many issues discussed. And Prof. Kelley's views are apparent and affect the content. Most of the students in the class also have similar political beliefs. I am not saying this is wrong, just something to consider. If you are an Econ major, like me, I would recommend taking this class to get a different, more humanistic view on economic issues. I do feel like I learned a lot and the discussions were very interesting. The group project was horrible, especially because the quarter I took the class was online. There isn't really any way around that. If you do the bare minimum (skim readings and just listen to lectures, discussion is mandatory) the essays won't be too bad. Overall, I would recommend this class.
This is probably the most rewarding GE I have ever taken. I got my A+ by reading all the materials, attending all the discussions, and going to lecture. Biggest pieces of advice are 1) keep up with those readings, sometimes they’re crazy long and if you put them off you will struggle to catch up and 2) attend. Lecture. I cannot emphasize this enough because not only are they engaging but when you are writing your essays it is WAY easier to cite from his lecture than from a reading. There are no exams but 2 essays and a group project. That group project was the most frustrating thing I have ever done. No exaggeration. Me and one other girl were pulling most of the weight which is the only reason it got done. I say this not to brag but to warn you that it was the only part of this class I really didn’t like. When you get there BE ON TOP OF THAT because it’s 25% of your grade and he presents it in front of your 300 person lecture class. Despite that, I’d still take it again because it was so interesting and rewarding.
This class is not at all what I thought it would be. A lot of the information given to us I would look up after lecture and it is just false. Kelley has radical left wing beliefs and to get a good grade in this class you just have to write about how capitalism in the root of all evil and government intervention is good and everyone is racist.
There are little facts used to back up any information in this class. There are things you are told to think and say and get punished if you disagree. The course completely disregards economic facts or quite frankly, anything that is taught in classes that actually uses evidence.
This class is the definition of a "radial left social justice-oriented course".
In terms of grading
Just go to class for clicker questions.
Midterm grade and final paper grade depend on TA. My TA was awful - gave everyone in the class a B- on the first paper (we asked around) and then increased everyones final paper grade by 10%.
There is a stupid final project at the end where each discussion provides one project - everyone gets the same grade. Quite frankly the definition of communism. Some people work hard for 2 weeks while other sit on their ass and get the same grade.
Don't bother doing reading and only do relevant readings when given paper topics.
I am the friend of the first reviewer who signed them in. I went to almost every lecture, and tried to listen to Kelley. I can confirm that this class is stupid. A lot of the history Kelley spent hours talking about, I could have Googled and learned more effectively. All arguments Kelley made in class seemed like an exercise in brainwashing young minds against the principles of capitalism.
I can also confirm that the changes in the syllabus were annoying and inconsiderate of the students' schedules. Students, who were responsible for finishing these papers at the whims of their professor.
In addition, the group project is also stupid. Assigned groups, first of all, never work. I personally had to deal with a whiny, crybaby group mate, who made my life much more difficult than it had to be.
The entire grade depends on your TA, so if you end up with a shitty TA, god only can save you.
I hated every minute in this class, because attendance is required. But guess what, my TA revealed to us in 9th week, that lecture attendance might not have any weight in the final grade. And so continues this professor's rule of lying to his students.
History 12B was an extremely easy GE--I highly suggest it. But be fair warned if you have no interest in politics, you will be bored with the course material. Professor Kelley was a nice professor and was occasionally funny in class.
Your class grade is complied from four things:
- you have 2 papers (One around midterms and the other during the last week)
-a final group project with you whole discussion(relatively easy didn't require too much input of effort...hopefully TA is a good facilitator)Due the second to last week
-Attendance to you DISCUSSION, Not Class. Professor Kelley does not take any type of attendance for lectures so you can skip some here and there. But make sure to attend you discussions.
Professor Kelley goes off slides, but he adds onto them--doesn't read word for word
Rarely post the slides online; occasionally he will and he'll mention in class that he will. Most of the time the slides were not posted--so take notes.
Highly recommend you take notes you will need them for you papers
-Professor Kelley gives a lot of reading, I did none of it--got an A in the class.
-You are required two books you can find pdf's online so you don't have to but them.
-The making of global captialism: https://the-eye.eu/public/concen.org/Criticism%20of%20Capitalism%20and%20Globalization%20-%20Collection%2010/Panitch%20%26%20Gindin%20-%20The%20Making%20of%20Global%20Capitalism%3B%20the%20Political%20Economy%20of%20American%20Empire%20%282012%29.pdf
-we're all fast food workers now: https://andrewchernoff.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/we_are_all_fast-food_workers_now_by_annelise_orlec.pdf
The two papers are:
- 5-7 pages
-you can not use outside sources(you must use notes from lecture or from the assigned readings)
-grades depend on your TA, so hopefully they grade easy, if not make good relationship with them
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