If you're looking for an easy global core, this is it. If you're looking for interesting content, this is also it. If you're looking for a very East Asian minded class, this is maybe not it. Prof Bartlett is great at communicating with his students and adjusting the workload to their needs. I'm not sure how much the actual class itself gave me beyond the readings besides a place to think about what we had read. The best part of the class was the videos he showed because they provided really interesting supplemental materials. When Prof Bartlett could sense that the readings were too much for people, he would take polls on how people were feeling and would adjust accordingly. He even adjusted so that you had the option to either take the final, write the second essay, or both, and grading was adjusted accordingly in an attempt to help you. In terms of content, not totally sure that this hit the spot for me in terms of East Asia. It felt more like a mental health class where the readings happened to be largely (but not all!) situated in East Asia by coincidence. I felt like there wasn't as much emphasis on East Asia as a whole and how its culture impacts these issues. That felt more like a side idea of the class rather than the main tenet. For example, I don't think either of the essays I wrote was specific to taking an East Asia class. Overall, I would definitely recommend this class, just not sure that it is super East Asia if that is what you are going for.
Probably the best professor I’ve ever had. The most engaged, passionate, dynamic teacher. He will make you interested in literally any topic of discussion. I’ve taken two of his classes and the workload was moderate but nonetheless incredibly worth it.
Nicholas Bartlett is probably one of the worst professors I have ever had in this school. I get that it's a pandemic, but he literally shows up to every single class 2 or 3 minutes late. He has openly told the class he makes his PowerPoint "very last minute"... Make it earlier then! He does not sound sure of what he's saying or what direction he is going to be going in during class. I get it if you have an emergency once or twice and you're scrambling to finish the lecture preparations, but this is the norm for every single class. His powerpoints are extremely unorganized and dull. He does not have logic in his line of reasoning for the lecture. He sidetracks SO MUCH that just last class, we began to talk about the actual readings in the last TWENTY minutes of class. The rest of the class was just him talking about whatever he wanted. Not to mention the workload... he assigned 96 pages of dense reading about depression last class. The class is not finished yet and I will come back to review him again at the end of the semester, but as of now, DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! It's interesting, sure, but he's awful!
Honestly, I personally loved the course!! Awesome professor, awesome TAs. Medium but manageable workload (average of 40-60 pages of reading per class, sometimes more / less) and no discussion section. The content is incredibly interesting (also sometimes sensitive -- for ex, we've talked about the differences in how anorexia has manifested in HK vs in the US -- but there are always trigger warnings) and touched upon topics centering around illness/mental illness (and also treatments for both), religion, magic, etc. The professor is obviously very knowledgeable and has lots of experience with what he is talking about. There are 6 pop quizzes scattered throughout the semester to make sure you come to class, but I honestly managed them by skimming the readings on my way to class (you need a 3/5 to get full credit). The essays are kind of difficult to write, but honestly, if you do what you're supposed to do and start early and just go to TA office hours to talk them through your ideas, they will guide you in the right direction. The final was 3 in-class essays (you pick from a list of about 10 prompts) , and you're allowed 1 double sided cheat sheet (which saved my life). You are absolutely screwed for the final if you don't do the readings in their entirety and remember them. I suggest taking small notes on them as you read, because my friends and I were fully confident that between the 5 of us, we could split the ~10,000 pages of readings and reread them over reading week. Spoiler alert, did not go well.
Bartlett is a very capable instructor who tries to provide a healthy balance between lectures and discussions in his class. Sometimes his explanations can be confusing since the discussions can get side-tracked and Professor Bartlett has a lot to say about the subject. Regardless, the class is very interesting and he is very enthusiastic to help students.