Fall 2021 - Prof Ortiz is incredibly organized and communicative and sends out a weekly email with the plan for the week with everything you need to know. She's an alright lecturer and kind of skims over things sometimes. I have a background in most of the topics she talks about but I assume it might be a little confusing if you didn't since she names events/terms without describing them sometimes. I also asked a question once and she was a little rude about it saying "I don't know why you're asking about this." Overall though, I would take this class again and really enjoyed the first quarter of this cluster. I learned so much that I didn't know before and appreciate how this class takes on a different perspective than one I had in high school. Discussions kind of suck and are so draining (2 hours), but lectures are mostly very interesting. Weekly readings can be a lot but you can skim the long ones (you have to leave one comment on the document to show you read it, but it can be anywhere and about anything. there are deadlines but they don't take off any points as long as you comment before the end of the quarter). The class is really easy after week 8 when the main paper is due.
Winter 2021 - Absolutely loved this quarter! If you are looking at this review then you are probably already committed to the year long course. Professor Fong and Professor Brown were Professors added in this quarter and they were very engaging and would play music at the beginning of lectures. Professor Bunten and Ortiz were great Prof's as usual. Professor Ortiz also really was compassionate and understanding this quarter, she's actually so sweet! Grading: Participation (40%): Same as last quarter (during covid) 40% of your grade is easy participation points if you just do the readings, do lecture participation, and talk during discussion. Media Paper (30%): They shortened the media paper from previous years so now its only a 1500 word paper, and they just want to see your writing improving across the quarters. Final (30%): They implemented "biweekly" reflections and the average of those one-pager's was your final exam grade. (Ortiz even cancelled two of them because of our media paper deadline so the writing in this class isn't too overwhelming.)(She might not do the reflections after covid though) Take Laura Terrance as your TA if you can! She is a really sweet, knowledgeable, and welcoming TA. Her grading is also extremely fair if you put in a good effort! Final Course Grade: A+ Participation: 100%, Media Paper: 97%, Final Exam (reflections): 100%
Spring 2022 - The Special Topics - Art, Activism, and Social Movements was very thorough in terms of explaining the meaning behind politically and socially motivated works of modern and historic art. This course was taught by Elizabeth Dayton, whose humor often made the class way more enjoyable. As long as you have the gist of weekly readings and really put effort into writing requirements, you will be fine.
You can call it an "easy course" because there is no midterm or final, but this class is by no means an easy A. You will find lectures and discussion sections pointless because they are so unstructured and irrelevant. The readings will be pointless because there are no exams. Everything that can be learned from this entire course can be learned through simple research online or through simply having a conversation with a member of surrounding Latin@ communities. Don't waste your time on this course I can assure you that you will be left with boredom and regret. Do something more exciting like actually going out and talking to some Latin@s and discovering these issues through your own experience. Don't waste your time on the course, trust me, don't do it, don't do it.