James Gelvin

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Introduction to Asian Civilizations: History of the Near and Middle East See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 2.3 Workload 2.4 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness 3.7

Most Helpful Review

Professor Gelvin is easily one of the best professors I've ever had. Take as many of his classes as you can. Personally I think this class was just challenging enough that it pushed me to think differently and didn't bore me, but was not so challenging that I was crying in Powell every night until 2am. If you do the work, you'll be fine. And seriously Professor Gelvin is a GEM, go to office hours as much as you can, just to hear more of his thoughts.

(Fall Quarter 2019)
Fiat Lux Freshman Seminars See Full Profile

Overall 4.3 Easiness 2.3 Workload 2.2 Clarity 4.1 Helpfulness 3.9

Most Helpful Review

Gelvin is the dopest professor you'll find at UCLA. He is insanely knowledgable about the Middle East and all the conflicts which have occurred in the history up to the present day. I had him for a fiat lux called "ISIS, Syria and the Middle East" and it was honestly such a valuable class, definitely the best one I've ever taken, if you have the chance definitely take it! Also, Gelvin will always make time to answer everyone's question (so much love for that guy :D)

(Fall Quarter 2016)
Survey of Middle East from 500 to the Present: 1300 to 1700 See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 1.5 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

Apparently I'm cataloged in the minority group as well, but i just wanted to note to incoming Gelvinites that the work this man demands and the grades that he subsequently doles out are definitely not correlated. I am not contesting his value to the UCLA Hist. dept. as a knowledgeable professor in the affairs of the history of the middle east; he is a very intelligent individual. What was disappointing was his complete lack of care for students, as he does not allow protestation of test grades, as, in my case, the TA failed to add up the points correctly and subsequently i found myself in a genre of grade that has been unprecedented for me at UCLA. Guess there is a first time for everything, but he pissed me off enough to leave my first bruin-walk post.
Between the combination of his TA's that can't count, his redundant lectures that all seem to focus on the ECONOMIC history of the middle east, and his overinflated ego that leaves the class in awkward silences forcing people he's looking at to laugh, it's a bit much..

(June 1, 2010)
Survey of Middle East from 500 to the Present: 1700 to the Present See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 2.2 Workload 2.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

Professor Gelvin is awesome! This is the second class I've taken with him, so that tells you how great of a professor he is. His lectures are always super engaging, and he's really funny. He really cares about his work and his students, so he'll do his best to make sure you come away with knowledge about the Middle East. He's been very accommodating of his students during the pandemic. His class consists of two essays on assigned books related to the lecture topics and two short final essays. If you have any confusion about the assignments, he'll clarify them and occasionally provide some hints about how to do well. Overall, Gelvin is one of the top 3 greatest professors I've had at UCLA. Take this class!

(Spring Quarter 2020)
Early Modern State in Mediterranean See Full Profile

Overall 4.0 Easiness 1.2 Workload 1.0 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 3.5

Most Helpful Review

he is very self indulgent and in the three assignments, basically just wants you to repeat his point of view back to him. three five-six page papers and one ten page final or an in class final dependent on a class vote. the papers cover a lot of information and it was difficult to not exceed page limit but doable. I feel like I learned a lot in this class (history 109b) and really liked his lectures, but there were other people in the class who rolled their eyes every time he opened his mouth so it it subjective.

(Jan. 13, 2015)
Palestine, Zionism, and Evolution of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict See Full Profile

Overall 3.3 Easiness 2.0 Workload 2.3 Clarity 4.1 Helpfulness 2.9

Most Helpful Review

This guy is a genius, he is really smart, and an organized lecturer whom practically presents an outline of what he wants you to know. You have two papers, and one final (for which we got to vote on for an in class or take home final). He is a funny guy and he gives off an assholish persona which makes him that much funnier, seriously take him you won't regret it!

(June 23, 2011)
Topics in Middle Eastern History: Modern See Full Profile

Overall 4.2 Easiness 1.6 Workload 1.4 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 3.2

Most Helpful Review

I took his class on the Arab uprisings. Lectures are great - exceptionally well-organized, with just enough humorous asides sprinkled in to keep you awake. Grading can be difficult, but the class is worth taking regardless.

(March 30, 2012)
HIST 199
Directed Research in History See Full Profile

Overall 3.7 Easiness 1.5 Workload 1.5 Clarity 4.8 Helpfulness 3.2

Most Helpful Review

James Gelvin is a legend.

He was incredibly helpful when I worked for him. A very cool guy who took an interest in my work and really helped me in my endeavors.

A top class act.

(June 22, 2011)
Advanced Historiography: Near East See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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