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  LiveWire / My Forums / Prof Reviews / Anthropology / Detail

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McKhann, Charles "Chaz"
Anthropology
Average Rating: 6.6
Reviews
Posted May 28, 2010 at 9:00pm
Teaching Style: Mainly Lecture
Grading: Average
Availability Outside Class: Average
Homework Load: Average
102 Cultural Anthropology

Overall Rating: 6.0

Neutral
Comments:
Chaz really loves two things; himself and the country China. No matter what class you take from him, expect to hear a lot about the culture of small, seemingly random ethnic groups of China and his research on them (see how that ties back to the first thing he loves...). He's very casual, rolls into class a little disheveled in football team sweatshirts and jeans. He then proceeds to lecture in a way that is ALL OVER THE PLACE. Lots of writing a name on the board and not explaining who it is for 10 minutes because he got distracted drawing a map of China. He'll then enthusiastically draw arrows and lines linking names together without explaining their connection. Then continues to talk about China. You get the idea... It's hard to follow along.

You can get by just fine without reading a single page of the fact-based textbook because he basically lectures out of it. However the tests are heavily based in assigned articles and the reader textbook so do those. He's super nit-picky on tests, he chooses a few specific details he wants everyone to pick up on and marks based on that. You have no idea what these seemingly arbitrary details are and there are no study guides so you basically have to write your little hand off in exams trying to get down everything possible.

He also gives you a participation grade which in my specific class of 45 people was ridiculous. He couldn't keep track of who had spoken and who hadn't (he attempted to mark it down for the first few weeks then gave up) and I have good reason to believe he resorted to randomly assigning grades with no legitimate reason or basis. (Eg. people who hadn't spoken once getting B's and people who had spoken numerous times with D's).

Overall, his classes aren't painful to sit through, he's can be entertaining. The material is interesting as hell which is a major saving grace of the class because his teaching style gets stressful if you're genuinely trying to learn and score well.
Posted May 15, 2008 at 12:50am
Teaching Style: Mainly Lecture
Grading: Hard
Availability Outside Class: Good
Homework Load: Average
Chinese Religion

Overall Rating: 6.0

Neutral
Comments:
Chaz's class had a ton of reading to do outside of class, and his lectures tended to be much narrower than the readings. Attending class and taking notes is the way to go, because the readings are LONG and there are many of them, all the time. His tests suck, because at least this semester we had to write a four-page paper and study for the test simultaneously, turning in the paper on the day of the test. He grades the essays pretty hard, and there's no study guide, so the more extensive the notes you take, the better. Study with other people, and check your notes against theirs, because he'll expect you to know things you wouldn't expect. His tests are big on identifying vocabulary and lots of concepts. Also, never use footnotes on your papers. Learned that one the hard way.
His classes and lectures can be boring, so get some coffee or something before coming to class. Also, his knowledge of Buddhism is shaky, so don't take everything he says as unquestionably true.
Posted Sep. 6, 2005 at 10:49pm
Teaching Style: Mainly Lecture
Grading: Average
Availability Outside Class: Good
Homework Load: Average
cultural anthro

Overall Rating: 6.0

Recommended
Comments:
He's nice and funny but tends to be a bit self obsessed. He's quite fair and is a valued member of the anthro department. I however, can't remember a single thing I learned in the class I took from him.
Posted Feb. 7, 2005 at 5:44pm
Teaching Style: Mixture
Grading: Hard
Availability Outside Class: Good
Homework Load: Average
Cultural Anthropology

Overall Rating: 8.0

Recommended
Comments:
The readings for this class were very interesting. Chaz is an entertaining prof so his classes are never boring. He is a hard grader but he is always willing to meet with you outside of class. He does have a tendency to go off on tangents during lecture, which can be either annoying or funny. He doesn't provide study guides so you never really know what will be on his tests.
Posted Feb. 2, 2005 at 9:00pm
Teaching Style: Mainly Lecture
Grading: Hard
Availability Outside Class: Average
Homework Load: High
Cultural, others

Overall Rating: 5.0

Recommended
Comments:
Expect lots and lots of reading. Chas has high expectations for your dedication to his class--hoping that you will want to read extra material, and absorb a hundred pages for next class. Lectures are notoriously scattered--if you are able to hold on all the way through and keep taking notes, the end result will be quite funny to look at a month later. BUT--he has a great knowledge base, and fun demeanor, and eyebrows so active they'll keep you entertained.
Posted Jan. 31, 2005 at 5:14pm
Teaching Style: Mainly Lecture
Grading: Average
Availability Outside Class: Average
Homework Load: Average
Chinese Society and Culture

Overall Rating: 7.0

Recommended
Comments:
In Dr. McKhann's class you can either do the reading or come to lecture, it usually isn't necessary to do both. Since the exams are almost exclusively over material covered in lecture, going to class tends to be preferable. The readings are frequently very interesting, but Dr. McKhann's lectures really don't add much to your understanding of the material. Often he just repeats what's been said in the texts. However, you learn a lot one way or the other, and the material is very interesting and well worth learning.
Posted Jan. 31, 2005 at 1:31pm
Teaching Style: Mainly Lecture
Grading: Average
Availability Outside Class: Good
Homework Load: Average
Chinese Society and Culture

Overall Rating: 7.0

Recommended
Comments:
Very knowledgeable, however his lectures are somewhat scattered. An entertaining teacher overall.
Posted Jan. 31, 2005 at 2:13am
Teaching Style: Mainly Lecture
Grading: Average
Availability Outside Class: Good
Homework Load: Low
Anth 102: Cultural Anthropology

Overall Rating: 7.0

Recommended
Comments:
Chaz is full of knowledge and good at lectures, but he doesn't really do discussions. However, he's a great guy and has some excellent readings and courses
Posted Jan. 23, 2005 at 3:32pm
Teaching Style: Mainly Lecture
Grading: Average
Availability Outside Class: Average
Homework Load: Average
Chinese Anthro

Overall Rating: 7.0

Recommended
Comments:
A good class with a number of highly interesting required texts. I particularly enjoyed China Urban, and would recommend the book to anyone interested in the social issues of post-mao China. McKhann truly knows his stuff.