Based on 10 Users
Hist 110B was a really cool class. If you have no prior knowledge about the Parthian or Achaemenid empires, Mousavi will give you all the background information you need to know. This class was pretty easy. You don't need to do any of the assigned readings, but you do need to go to lecture every day to fill out his sign-in sheet. Plus, all the info you need to know is in his lecture slides, and he's mostly clear about concepts. Sometimes he wasn't chronological about his lectures, so studying often involved figuring out how the historical timeline looked. Overall, this is an easy class and if you put in an ounce of effort you'll do fine.
I’m not sure how relevant this review is because I took this class online during the spring Covid-2020 outbreak. To be honest, I had some very difficult courses that spring quarter and Mousavi’s class was able to balance out my workload. Your overall grade is based on the midterm and final. Both exams which both consist of short essay answers. Some I’m not sure how relevant this review is because I took this class online during the spring Covid-2020 outbreak. To be honest, I had some very difficult courses that spring quarter and Mousavi’s class was able to balance out my workload. Your overall grade is based on the midterm and final. Both exams consist of short essay answers. Some of the readings can help you for the exams, but you really need to be in class for his lectures and take notes. This class is basically a history course about the Sassanian Empire in Iran from 224-651. It covers the rise of the Empire, it’s regional archaeological sites, the Empires battles with Rome, and each successive King until it’s collapse. I was very was skeptical about taking this class at first, but it seemed to have good reviews on Bruinwalk and I’m glad I did take it.
Overall, not a difficult class at all, but also not a particularly interesting one. It consists of a final exam and a short 5-7 page midterm paper. The paper is on a topic of your choosing related to archaeology, and the final is very very clear, short, and straightforward. You would have to actively try to fail to not get an A in my opinion.
Prof. Mousavi is a little dry and boring, and often too serious, and he has a very strange obsession with proper pronunciation, to the point where he gets upset if you have the slightest American accent when pronouncing an Iranian term, which is ironic because he speaks English with an accent (which is obviously fine, just ironic that he gets so perturbed when somebody doesn’t say something like “Naqsh-e Rostam” perfectly).
Overall, he’s not a bad prof or a bad guy, just stern and sometimes a little strange, and his class is straightforward and fairly easy to get an A. Just attend lectures, take notes, and study the material that he emphasizes in the review.
Honestly I enjoyed the class and the subject in general was very interesting. However, professor Mousavi can be a little unorganized and also very hard to reach over email. I had to email him twice in order to get a response out of him. The good thing about him though is that he wants you to pass with an A. I did very poorly on my midterm and he gave those of us who didn’t do well the chance to write a reflective paper to make up for the missed points. The reading honestly I found to be not that important because the questions on midterm were from his slides and lectures. As long as you show up and take notes you are guaranteed an A.
Honestly, professor Mousavi has been one of my favorite professors at UCLA. I took him when the pandemic started in Spring of 2019 and he is one of the only professors to make the whole online transitions easy and enjoyable. However, I'm pretty sure by the time you're reading this review you'll be back on campus contemplating to take his course. Take it! Especially if you're a STEM student or someone who will need to balance out a rigorous quarter. Reading is between 15-25 pages a week and your overall grade consist on the midterm and final exam. Both exams are 5 to 6 questions which require short essay answers and if you show up to lecture and read you'll do fine. As the course name indicates, this class examines Iran's archaeological history, its early material culture, and archaeological sites. He does post slides and he will give you a review session before both exams. If you're a stickler about returned emails then you'll probably be disappointed. He does not return emails very often so stick around after lecture for any questions you may have. In all, I would definitely recommend his course.
Take the class. Before the midterm and the final you're going to hate yourself and feel like you've put yourself on overload (especially if you wait to the last minute like me) but learn the material, be good at chronology and names. He is a very kind grader and he really wants all his students to do well. ABSOLUTELY do not cheat because he will catch you. He is a great professor and I'm happy I took 2 quarters or Iranian Civilization with him.