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Pretty large amount of assigned readings, but also seemingly little consequence if you don't actually read for most documents. If you're the kind of student that is good at figuring out what documents you must read and what ones you can ignore, I suspect this will be a pretty easy class for you. I am not great with that skill, so I ended up doing a lot of reading.
What really irked me about this class was the professor's politics. It took me a while to figure out where he stood because even though his position on a given issue was pretty obvious (he was not very subtle about his opinions), he didn't seem to consistently lean one way or the other. He would make comments in favor of gun control and nuclear disarmament, in the next breath decry social justice. He'd constantly have tirades against imperialism, then spend the whole lecture on Nuremberg implying that the punishments in the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal were too harsh. Eventually, I realized: Professor Lal kind of has the political opinions of a teenager. Or at least that's what he appears to profess. Not left, not right, just contrarian. Perhaps this is just the concept of exposing young college students to new ideas-- but the ideas never really seemed to be ones the professor did not hold nor did they seem to be intentionally broadcast. I'm sure most students won't be bothered by this. But, if you suspect you might be, Prof Lal is not the professor for you.
Professor Lal has so much to teach you. I genuinely feel like I learned so much over the past 10 weeks. I love that he approaches history through a non-Western lens, and being that I did my schooling in the U.S., I was surprised to see how much I had failed to learn about the rest of the world and its history. There is a reasonable amount of essay-writing and I felt that my TA (Chul) graded fairly. If you start the essays on time you really should not have any issues whatsoever. That being said, there is a LOT of reading, so you need to make sure you are willing to do that because those readings are necessary for the essays. Most of the readings are interesting.