Fall 2021 - I am going to keep it real with all of you, there is not one person who I know that took this class and loved it. For all of my LS majors, I am still deciding whether this class is worth the extra GE credits. For other humanities majors I advise against taking this class unless you're really into learning about Islam. I believe this class has potential but right now it is a little bit of a boring, confusing mess. The faculty involved in Global Islam are all very understanding and are really good at getting back to you. However, I found a lot of their instruction as vague. You are required to do about 3 hours of reading a week which is not fun because they are long and dense, but you have to read them and pay attention in class because you never know what will be asked on the weekly quizzes. The topic is very broad and although the professors try to centralize on the 4 "big themes", a lot of the information is random and doesn't exactly follow a pattern. Although I do like the professors as people, they somehow make the topic extremely boring. The research and writing specialists are nice, but are also not very helpful with the assignments. The grading structure is based on 6 things. Attendance 10%, Participation 10%, Weekly Quizzes 20%, Response Paper 25%, Final Paper 20%, CoCurricular Activity 5%. The lowest quiz grade is dropped. There are 4 prompts for the response papers, you only have to do 3 of them, 500-600 words each. Final paper, 5-6 pages max, is broken down into 5 sections including related questions, articles, thesis and outline, revised thesis and outline, and final draft. I had a really difficult time figuring out what the paper needed. The directions and rubric were unclear and vague. The cocurricular is just a 2-3 hr activity you do outside of class and you have to write a 2 page response on it. The key to doing well in this class is building a good relationship with you TA, doing all the assignments, and participating in discussion. Your TA is your grader for everything so questions or details on assignments should be reviewed by them. It is not inherently a difficult class, it is just a lot of work and it is not very fun. I do appreciate that faculty and staff are all a really nice and passionate about what they do but the structure and clarity needs a lot of work. Just prepare your friends and roommates for complaining about how much you dislike the class. I hope this helps.
Fall 2022 - Very interesting content, but the professor is what ruined it for me. Over five different students in the class that I've talked to have complained about the teacher being extremely rude to them. I had this same experience. Lesson is : don't bother asking her for help. It's unfortunate because she seems like the nicest lady but really doesn't seem to care about her students' success. In terms of workload, there are 4 five page essays due every other week and then one 10 minute oral presentation. Not terrible, but the essays are pretty hard and the TA grades harshly without much feedback. Overall, I don't recommend taking this course.
The class was fascinating. I learned quite a bit about the field of visual anthropology and the history of photography. Slyomovics gives you a lot of freedom to engage with the readings and coursework and express your ideas through all of her assignments. She allows creativity and doesn't force students into any real prescribed formats for her class. She is, however, a stickler for correct grammar, spelling, and citations. Plan ahead to attend her office hours, even if you are like me and had to skip part of another class to do so. It will save you time at the end of the quarter. We ended up waiting in an hour long line to get her to sign off on our project proposals (mandatory). BTW, get your proposal signed during office hours ahead of time to save yourself the headache. Slyomovics arranges her class throughout the quarter by themes and this helps to see broader contexts. All of the readings and websites and suggested field trips are useful for the exams and papers. If you are a lazy ass, you will most likely still get an OK grade, but if you actually care about learning and put some effort into the class and the materials, you will gain a ton of valuable knowledge... Its one of those classes where its totally up to you.