Ursula Heise

Nov 2002

While Heise is very nice and attempts to get to know everyone in class, her teaching style is annoying, since the class ultimately dissolves into a friendly argument between her and one of the regular contributors. She seems incapable of lecturing without her notes, and when disputed she often changes the subject until she can go home and look up the answer, which she presents with a flourish next class. This was irritating, but not as much so as the way she so often mentioned authors we don't read in the class (Woolf, Sartre, Camus, etc). If she wanted to talk about them, she should have assigned them (although the assigned readings were mostly very good). If you want to turn class into a drinking game (even at nine in the morning), take a shot every time she mentions Joyce's Ulysses (which, of course, we don't read). Heise is far from insightful about the texts, and the course is ultimately not very useful for upperclassmen, but it's not a bad elective if you happen to be interested in the topic. This would be a good class if you could do the reading and papers on your own, but unfortunately she takes attendance.

Apr 2001

Heise, although quite a nice person, is far from the best lecturer I've come across. Her lectures don't draw too much out of the reading, and her style often seems uneasily frantic. Even with a huge lecture class, she tries to get student comments (and keep strict attendance). The readings she assigned were fantastic, but many people who started out in the class decided to drop it, and just do the readings. I wish I had done the same. For someone with such excellent taste in books (and hypertext novels, films, etc) she has surprisingly little to say. The grading is surprisingly easy, but sitting through class is not always so. Also, there were some moments when she was simply wrong about factual material in the text.