prof is the best but goddamn this course was hella boring. I took it because I needed to fill gened reqs but holy I regretted it a month in. you have to read an entire book in a week. if you've never had an interest in anthro then don't take it but the professor is super fun. nothing against him but the class itself was super meh
It is clear that Prof. Naor is very passionate about the subject. However, I do want to mention that (at least with the online modality) if you do pay close attention to what he is saying, the words don't make much sense. I ended up not paying attention in lectures from around the halfway point in the semester (week 7/8) and honestly my grades got better from there once I devoted my time to focus on the readings and how they applied to the papers. All of Naor's slides consist of quotes from the readings and no new information - except for one lecture about Pirates. The papers are weighted differently - which allows you to absorb and apply feedback without questioning what the prof is looking for on a big assignment.
This is the worst course I have ever taken at Columbia and I would come close to saying it is the worst course I have ever taken PERIOD. First of all, Naor is kind of the definition of mansplaining. He rags on and on about issues that he normally fails to give context to and then expects you to have written down everything he says. The course starts off with him describing a very specific trial without even giving the slightest bit of history about the mafia. He assumes you are up to speed which leaves the whole class disinterested and confused. The entire semester follows a pattern of Naor assigning the stupidest stuff where you have to find one line in 100-page texts. I wouldn't recommend this class to my worst enemy. Do a favor and avoid this teacher and class at all costs!
Naor is a very dynamic professor, very engaged with the content he teaches. However, it is really hard to take notes in that class because everything is relatively abstract and discussed in terms of examples. Therefore, the written assignments really depend on whether you have done the readings or not. Listening in class is recommended but to be honest I think you would get away with not even attending from time to time. It's a good introductory course in anthropology, but again if you like to know the content you're learning right away, it might be a little bit frustrating. In that class and with that professor, it's really only when you write essays that you realize that you are learning about new concepts.
I have never written a CULPA review, but Naor is one of my favorite professors I've had so far at Columbia. He is very laid back and understanding. He knows that we are not reading every word of the books and wants us to get the gist. He is easy to approach and wants to help you (I even came to him about work in another class). He is very knowledgable and quite down to earth for an anthro professor. That being said, his essay prompts are very difficult and take a lot of thought, even though he is not a harsh grader. All in all, I would 100 recommend him and would like to take another class of his.