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Professor Branting is an awesome lecturer. The class itself has a lot of information and reading, but on the whole is worth it if you are interested in the topic. He is very organized and to the point and welcomes students outside of class. Take this class if you want something interesting.
Anthro 8 is an extremely boring and taxing class. There is a ton of memorization which overshadows some otherwise interesting concepts. Brantingham focuses on key dates and sites on his midterm and finals. The papers are doable as long as you see your TA before you turn in the assignment. My advice would be not to take this class as a GE because many hours will be spent memorizing useless information. Brantingham is incredibly benevolent and willing to help, however, the class will bore you to death.
Things to like: powerpoint lectures, knowledgeable and enthusiastic professor, approachable, and very concerned about student learning.
Things to dislike: Sometimes can be boring
Overall, I think it would be just fine to take Brantingham. Compared to other professors, he's takeable. And he's a nice guy.
Prof. Brantingham is an enthusiastic lecturer and knows his stuff. He's approachable and always glad to see students at office hours. He encourages students to talk about their paper, as do the TAs, and will offer helpful tips on how to improve it. Anthro 8 covers a lot of material though, which makes studying for exams difficult if you're not good at memorization. Also, he assigns a lot of readings from the textbook, but you really only need to study/memorize his lecture notes to do well on exams. I don't recommend this course as a G.E. for people who aren't interested in the archaeology of human evolution (mostly hominid sites and first agriculturers are discussed) because lectures and readings will be dull if you're not into the topic. However, I think the structure of the course is a great intro for students who wish to get into the field.
Very fascinating class! I learned so much about the rise and development of humans. Brantingham is a good professor. He says "um" rather often which can be distracting during lectures but in general he gets across the information. Be prepared for a lot of info! Dates and time periods are essential to remember; not a good course for those who hate memorizing dates. Brantingham is a very amiable person and truly is passionate about his field and sharing this with students. The TAs and Brantingham are nice about grades although he did not curve the final which was very difficult. If this subject interests you at all this is a very worthwhile class.
strenghths: knowledgeable, concerned with student learning, encourages interaction outside of classroom, extremely organized, good communicator, very passionate about subject.
weaknesses: routine, very structured environment for learning
Recommended for anthro majors...make sure you're somewhat interested in archaelogy if you want to take this as a GE because intro to arch covers a very broad depth of material.
Three words: Brantingham is awesome. The fact that he's a junior professor might be the driving factor backing his concern for student learning. Never have I encountered a professor who actually asks for more students to come to his office hours! His lecture style is concise, yet thorough and although he often runs of out time, all of the slides are posted on the web almost immediately after the lecture is over. If you have the chance, take an honors discussion with him. He's very knowledgable about his field and is willing to share it with eager students. As far as exams go, they're difficult to study for because of the wealth of information presented, but rather reasonable in retrospect. You'll generally receive as much help on papers as you ask for. In other words, don't be lazy and wait until the week before it's due to ask for help. It ain't gonna happen. Anyway, I think someone should just let him know what a great job he's doing, especially as a newbie. Don't believe me? Take one of his classes and see for yourself.