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Professor Harwell is incredibly knowledgeable and clearly a master of his field. He can seem a bit shy speaking with students at first, but he is always willing to answer questions and very clearly cares for his students' education. I will admit I had no interest in the Northern Renaissance before I entered his class, and while I still wouldn't consider myself an enthusiast, I learned so much that I really don't regret taking the course. The readings can be a bit dense, but if you stay on top of them and spend the time to work them out, you won't be sorry. We had one take home midterm and one multiple choice final for the whole quarter, so definitely be sure to do the readings.
Take as many courses as you can from this man! He, without a doubt, is the best professor I've had at UCLA. He makes learning enjoyable, describing the art is ways that are articulate and understandable. The reading is wonderful and interesting and the workload is so doable it actually becomes enjoyable. You can ask him about anything, and he'll always be there to happily clarify. It would be sinful not to take this gem of a professor! DO IT!
I have taken two courses with Professor Harwell, and he is one the best professors I’ve encountered. His lectures are very clear and linear, which makes them easy to follow. The reading assignments are very relevant to the lectures, and though they can be a bit dense, I also found them to be quite rewarding. He is clearly an expert in his field, and his lectures not only provide a foundation for understanding the existing scholarship on a topic but also advance his own innovative theories.
Grading wise, I don’t think it is difficult to do well if you come to class and do the readings. You get to choose which questions to answer on take-home essays, and you are graded on how well you answer the questions with both lecture and reading material. This type of exam was not only much less stressful for me than traditional exams, but I also found that I got a lot more out of it because I was being asked to analyze the course material rather than just memorize things. I think Harwell wants students to take away key points rather than just being able to do slide IDs, and I appreciate that a lot. That said, I don’t think it’s an easy A if you’re not genuinely interested in the topics and a good note-taker – the readings can be difficult, the lectures are jam-packed with info, and the subjects are often esoteric, so you’ll probably be bored if you don’t like the subject.
Overall, I think Harwell is a wonderful professor for students who like his subject area and those who enjoy a traditional lecture style. He tends not to take questions during lecture, but if you talk to him after/before class, he is very helpful and will answer questions quite directly. I will definitely be taking him again.
I have taken AH108A - Northern Renaissance Art and AH AH109C - European Art of the 18th Century with Harwell.
Honestly, Harwell is probably one of the most intelligent professors I've had at UCLA, which makes for a great lecture, if you enjoy the subject he's lecturing on.
His assignments (if there are any) are fairly straight forward and easy to do. And in my experience his tests are multiple choice, although a bit tricky. Answers consist of A, B, C, D-all of the above, or E-none of the above, which can be tricky, but he does curve if it's in the best interest of the class.
I have enjoyed Harwell's classes, but his area is not my favorite.
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