Note: The following information is subject to change. Lecture: Professor Aron is an enthusiastic lecturer. The lecture slides are uploaded to the course website, but they mostly contain headlines. The professor uses the slides as a guideline and gives more in depth information in lecture. Discussion: Participation counts for 20% of grade. Depends on TA, but in my section (Aaron Freeman) we discussed the coursereader assigned readings. Some TAs may give extra writing assignments. Textbooks: The Foner textbook contains assigned readings. It can be used for papers but is not required for the midterm. The coursereader contains the assigned readings that are discussed in section and is the best source for quotes for the papers. Midterm: The midterm (20% of grade) is composed solely of information found on the lecture slides. It includes three sections. Section 1 consists of 15 people/events and you choose 10 and write 3-4 sentences about each. Section 2 consists of 3 primary source quotes and you choose 2 and write 4-5 sentences about each. Section 3 consists of 5 images and you choose 3 and write 4-5 sentences about each. Any event/person/image is fair game no matter how seemingly unimportant (i.e. Mungo Park). The exam is not difficult as long as you prepare. Papers: The class includes 2 papers (the second in lieu of a final). The first paper (20% of grade) is 1000 words and is fairly open ended. The second paper (40% of grade) is 1500 words and includes a choice of various topics. The TA grades the paper so they will set the required number of primary source quotes. I ended up with an A in the class.
Not that serious a teacher, which is okay, because all of us get tired of those professors with high standards. He basically reads off lecture notes, is super flexible and available if you need his help, and gives out easy assignments. But don't get lulled into a false sense of security in his class. I went in thinking this class was a piece of cake (and it is, mostly) but then I ended up with a terrible grade on the midterm. You still have to be alert and study. Don't let his niceness catch you off guard. It's still school!
Aron himself is very nice and passionate about what he teaches. His lectures are fairly interesting, and the workload is pretty light. There's an inclass midterm, and a final paper which is 2500-3000 words. Your grade will of course come down to your reader, and if you get a hard-ass reader who's out to prove something by grading strict as hell (which every reader seems to), you'll have a tough time getting above a B+.
Had him for history 13b...he was an awesome lecturer and overall really enjoyed the course! i'm a south campus major and i've never really liked history, but professor aron made the course pretty interesting! I'm selling the course reader and text book! If you need it call me at at 1-925-519-5614! This class is great to fulfill a GE...if you put in in the effort (which really isn't that much)...you will get an A!