Summer 2020 - Firstly, I will answer whether you should take this class or not: you should take it *if* you have an interest in history and/or religion. Although not compulsory, it will really help if you have taken a Literary Cultural Analysis class before. Secondly, the Professor/TA: I took this class in Summer 2020. Instead of Professor William, his TAs independently take/took this class (don't know how it is in general quarters). My TA was Andrew Danielson and if you have a chance to take Andrew as your TA, take it in a heartbeat. Simply, he is a great, interesting, and helpful teacher who is really passionate about this class and Ancient Near East in general. Thirdly, the class: Andrew's class was extremely manageable, even though it was a 6-week Writing 2 intensive class. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the class structure was changed and is different from the other reviews: 1) -Paper 1 Draft=10% -Paper 1 Revised=20% 2) -Paper 2 Draft=15% -Paper 2 Revised=25% 3) -A short summary of one of the assigned readings+Annotated Bibliography for Paper 2= 15% -Weekly discussion forum post and reply=10% -Watching the weekly writing videos=5% The textbook for this class, 'Karen Armstrong's Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths' will be your Bible for this class and is an inexpensive buy. You will be using it as the basis/starting point of your research for the two papers. Definitely buy it if you want to succeed/learn in this class.
I took Jewish Studies 170, the Dead Sea Scrolls, with him, and it was EASY. Although a lot of the class got a B on the midterm. But I got a perfect score. Basically write down what he says in class, otherwise you won't have anything to study for the tests, and it's not that hard. He's an ok teacher but his lectures seem a little disorganized. Still, his test questions come right from his lectures. Basically a copy-and-paste from your notes into the exam. Grading is based on attendance, one midterm, the final, and a 5-page paper.