UC Berkeley History Lower Division, Fall 2008

History 4A, The Ancient Mediterranean World
Carlos Norena (4.8 out of 5)
MW 4-530, 105 North Gate

“Not only did he convey all the necessary information with eloquence and grace, he inspired and made me almost consider changing my major to history…The only difficulty of this class is the incredible amount of information it covers. Keep up with the class and you’ll enjoy it. Reading the textbook is not necessary. It just confuses the straight forward explanations Norena gives in class…Epitomizes “great lecturer.” Unbelievably knowledgable, very clear, and funny! 4A is a survey class, so there’s not a lot of time to learn about culture and society, but Professor Norena’s lectures were still a treat; I never missed one – I enjoyed them so much and I knew I’d fall behind if I did.”

Texts: The Portable Greek Historians: The Essence of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Polybius (Viking Portable Library) by M. I. Finley, St. Augustine Confessions (Oxford World’s Classics) by Saint Augustine and Henry Chadwick, The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin Classics) by Anonymous and Andrew George, Egypt, Greece and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean by Charles Freeman, Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, Shield by Hesiod and Apostolos N. Athanassakis, The Historians of Ancient Rome by Ronald Mello

History 5, European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present
Carla Hesse (3.9 out of 5)
TuTh 11-1230, 145 Dwinelle

“Clear, well-organized lectures. Rather cold and brittle, definitely not the most approachable person. Wears her far-left politics on her sleeve…I enjoyed her lectures, and I found her assignment policies/grading scheme pretty lenient…She presents very dense material, but does a good job of unpacking it to give a clear look into 500+ yrs of european history. The course digs deep both into events and mentality of the period…Don’t call her by her first name, and do whatever you can to give her the impression that she’s at the top of the academic hierarchy and is thus revered. She’s obviously very deeply insecure.”

Texts: Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (Collected Papers of Sigmund Freud) by Sigmund Freud and Philip Rieff, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning, The Communist Manifesto (Signet Classics) by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Martin Malia, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and A W. Wheen, The Prince (Penguin Classics) by Niccolo Machiavelli, Anthony Grafton, and George Bull, Hard Times (Enriched Classics) by Charles Dickens

History 6A, History of China: Origins to the Mongol Conquest
Michael Nylan (4.3 out of 5)
MW 4-530, 2 LeConte

“Made an effort to learn names in a 60+ class, was nice and approachable. She can go off on tangents in her lectures though which get confusing, but the main points are always repeated/emphasized…Knows her stuff, class was a good survey course. Material can get boring at times. Great GPA booster, GSI’s were very reasonable, exams were easy, and on top of that she gives a very generous curve…A few lectures were boring (ones on philosophy) but the others were interesting. She assigns a lot of reading, but given the way the midterms are designed, it is not necessary to read everything.”

Texts: The Cambridge Illustrated History of China (Cambridge Illustrated Histories) by Patricia Buckley Ebrey and Kwang-ching Liu, The Analects of Confucius (Norton Paperback) by Confucius and Simon Leys, Discoveries: Search for Ancient China (Discoveries (Abrams)) by Corinne Debaine-Francfort, Zhuangzi: Basic Writings by Burton Watson, Readings in Han Chinese Thought by Mark Csikszentmihalyi, China’s Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty by Charles Benn, The Elements of Style Illustrated by William Strunk Jr., E.B. White, and Maira Kalman

History 7A, The United States from Settlement to Civil War
Mark Peterson (from University of Iowa, no ratings found)

Texts: The Classic Slave Narratives (Signet Classics) by Henry Louis Gates, Give Me Liberty!: An American History, Seagull Edition, Volume 1

History 8A, Becoming Latin America, 1492 to 1824
Margaret Chowning (3.4 out of 5)
TuTh 2-330, 101 Barker
Chowning was certainly jazzed by her subject, but translated her enthusiasm into quantity rather than quality; more interested in memorizing millions of trivial (& hundreds of not-so-trivial) facts than critically examining the material…Makes material interesting and readings are helpful. Genuine interest in success of students and is sooo cool! very fair teacher and is a real person…Very interesting material. Clear and to the point lectures. Exams are very fair…She loves the subject but I found her class horribly boring. The final study guide had way too much info so I helped organize a 40-person study group and we split up the guide- it ended up being 70 pages long after all the data was compiled!”

Texts: The Limits of Racial Domination: Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660-1720 by R. Douglas Cope, Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 (Cambridge Latin American Studies) by Inga Clendinnen, Colonial Lives: Documents on Latin American History, 1550-1850 by Richard Boyer and Geoffrey Spurling, Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest by Matthew Restall, Colonial Latin America by Mark A. Burkholder and Lyman L. Johnson, Barbaros: Spaniards and Their Savages in the Age of Enlightenment (The Lamar Series in Western History) (or you could buy it for the Kindle!) by David J. Weber, The General in His Labyrinth (Everyman’s Library) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez,

History 10, African History
Tabitha Kanogo (3.3 out of 5)
TuTh 1230-2, 30 Wheeler
“Her lectures could be boring at times. She can be funny. She does try to include the class, which helps a bit. Her tests were fair, and you could definitely tell what was going to be on them…Rambling and incoherant…the professor is excellent, especially on one-one basis…This professor is excellent. I think more student should be exposed to Professors with diversity, and real world experience…Lectures ramble, and her accent is tough to penetrate.”

Texts: Things Fall Apart: A Novel by Chinua Achebe, Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography–The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa by Mark Mathabane, Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938-1961 (Social History of Africa Series) by Allen Isaacman, Memoirs of the Maelstrom: A Senegalese Oral History of the First World War (Social History of Africa) by Joe Lunn, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya (buy Kindle version!) by Caroline Elkins

History 11, India
Gene Irschick, 2.9 out of 5
MWF 2-3, 122 Wheeler

“Yes, he swears, yes he can be at times disorganized but history 11 is a must tkae class. It is also important to realize where isrchick’s research field might have been and thus for that reason he might not put that great an emphasis on modern india…Good prof, really cares about his students, though his lectures are confusing. Readings, though, often clarify lectures so DO THEM! Assignments are very straight forward. Do exactly what they say. Loves Foucault…HE IS CRAZY! I have never heard a prof swear the way he does. You are starting to day dream of zone out the all of a sudden “****” comes out of his mouth and you are like “what the ****? did he just a ****?”

Texts: Burmese Days: A Novel by George Orwell, Speaking of Siva (Penguin Classics) by Anonymous and A. K. Ramanujan, The Bhagavad Gita (Harvard Paperback, 34) by Franklin Edgerton, Growing up Untouchable in India by Vasant Moon, Subalterns and Raj: South Asia since 1600 by Crispin Bates, Babur Nama (Penguin Classics) by Dilip Hiro

History 12, The Middle East
Beshara Doumani (3.6 out of 5)
TuTh 1230-2, 105 North Gate
“Because he’s so obsessed with being balanced he ends up glossing over a lot of things and presenting a pro-Israeli perspective…I found Professor Doumani’s class to be among one of the best MES related cuorses offered at Cal. The class was well structured, the claims were substantiated and backed with as much evidence as you could possibly expect from an undergrad course. Prof Doumani was helpul, refreshing, and deeply insightful…pretty impressive for an intro class…i was a history major, but unsure on what my emphasis would be. after his class i decided on the middle east.”

Texts: Men in the Sun and Other Palestinian Stories by Ghassan Kanafani and Hilary Kilpatrick, A History of the Modern Middle East by William L. Cleveland, Beer in the Snooker Club (Twentieth Century Lives) by Waguih Ghali, Struggle and Survival in the Modern Middle East by Edmund Burke III and David Yaghoubian

History 14, Introduction to the History of Japan
Andrew Barshay (4.2 out of 5)
TuTh 330-5, 20 Barrows

“A good professor though there is nothing spectacular. He really knows his stuff but the lectures can be very boring. The midterm he gave was easy, but his final was much more harder. Tons of reading but I guess like most classes, it also depends on what your GSI is like…Class was relatively easy, readers for this course were really bad. Inconsistent in grading…Great great prof. He was extremely knowledgeable about the subject matter and managed to keep a 2.5 hour class engaging. Also very nice and approachable. The readings were interesting and the grading and assignments were straightforward and fair… He is funny too and very knowledable about Japan. I recommend;)”

Texts: Native Sources of Japanese Industrialization, 1750-1920 (Philip E. Lilienthal Books) by Thomas C. Smith, The Japanese Experience: A Short History of Japan (History of Civilisation) by W. G. Beasley, The People’s Emperor: Democracy and the Japanese Monarchy, 1945-1995 (Harvard East Asian Monographs) by Kenneth J. Ruoff, Kitchen (A Black cat book) by Banana Yoshimoto and Megan Backus, Kokoro (Dover Books on Literature & Drama) by Natsume Soseki and Edwin McClellan

(All ratings from Ratemyprofessors.com)

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