Angie is a wonderful seminar leader. She encourages questions and participation, and is willing to divert the class to talk about current events (hint: she loves Egypt!) and share her personal academic interests. Because she is kind, this seminar was a comfortable space from day one. If she felt herself losing everyone, she kind of said "This isn't working is it?" in her self-assured way and just ended class early. Definitely a teacher you should take if you have the opportunity - you will learn alot about the subject (in this case, secularism) and learn to better engage with texts along the way.
Though I agree with the below reviews on Angie as someone who will really challenge you to think and has a great passion for the texts she teaches (for anthropology in general), I can also understand the negative reviews. I took a 5 person seminar with Angie, (Politics of Sensibility and the Sensory Order), and highly recommend it. A small seminar setting is where Angie really shines as a professor. However I can see how her style of back and forth discourse and her tendancy to latch on to a certain aspect of the text and explore it in depth would be detrimental to a large intro level course such as Interpretation of cultures. If you get the opportunity to take an upper level Anthropology seminar with Angie, however, I would strongly encourage it.
I took her during her first semester teaching at Barnard. Her enthusiasm for the material, and for Anthropology in general, made class very enjoyable. The class was early, 9:10 I believe, yet I never found myself falling asleep because the discussions were interesting and each person in our group had ample time to speak. Angie was very approachable and encouraging during office hours. Her analysis of the texts gave me an advantage when they were assigned in other classes. My only regret is not keeping my notes from her class, because they would have been very useful in other classes. I plan on taking one more class with her to fulfill an elective, if possible.
Angie Heo is amazing to work with closely. I have only taken really small seminars with her (5 students+professor) and it has been so rewarding. I cannot speak to the larger classes, but in small seminars the conversation flows very freely. She will challenge you to think in different ways- be prepared to think hard and back up your ideas with very close references to the text. Her classes taught me how to read more closely than I ever had, a very valuable skill when it is so easy to skim readings and get by in school with A's. She is very open to creative thinking, as long as it is grounded in the readings. She is not a professor who will humor your tangential philosophical ponderings. I enjoy her classes, but can't imagine taking them as a freshman or sophomore. And her enthusiasm is real- she loves working with her students
Angie Heo is extremely nice and sort of endearing, but she does a horrible job of explaining things. The only way I managed to understand anything in this course was by looking up concepts on Wikipedia (and being surprised at the clear and succinct explanations I could find, in contrast to her rather jumbled and extended ones). Additionally, she wanted the class of about 50 to "feel like a discussion" and so a lot of class time was wasted sitting around awkwardly until someone made an attempt at responding to her obtuse questions and prompts. That said, the exams were not very difficult, especially if you do a little research while studying (...Wikipedia) and a lot of the reading assignments were fascinating. There was a rather difficult final paper--we had to read one of two ethnographies and then write 10 or so pages about it in relation to the course ("analytic summary"). Perhaps the ethnography I chose was just the more difficult one (A Space on The Side of the Road, if she continues using the same two books), but I felt that her class did very little to prepare me for the ideas and vocabulary presented in the book and thus the paper was difficult to write (but I ended up with an A in the course, so maybe she wasn't expecting much or maybe everyone else had similar issues). All in all, I would suggest taking this course, but with a different professor if possible.
Professor Heo attempts to teach some of the more complex points of anthro and fails miserably at achieving clarity despite tedious repetition. Interpretation of Culture focused mostly on the history of the discipline and didn't give a sense of what the field is currently like. I left the class feeling as though I had a loose sense of what some of the obscure anthro jargon means, but nothing much else. Heo is well-meaning and quite nice, but really doesn't make the lectures understandable. That said, however, if you repeat back on exams exactly what she said in lecture even though you don't understand what she is talking about, you will get an A.
This seminar was one of the most disappointing classes I have taken so far here. I want to say that Angie Heo is nice and/or well meaning, but despite this, it translates to a seminar atmosphere that is at best insipid and at worst excruciatingly frustrating. She will interrupt at will to make space for her own opinions and quickly cut down views she disagrees with, creating an atmosphere extremely inconducive to discussion. This might be the kind of classroom culture you would expect, and put up with from a veteran scholar-with-complex, who nevertheless manages to impart both interest and knowledge. Unfortunately, her views were disorganized and at times incoherent, and it was difficult to accord her much academic respect. Worst was the patronizing insistence that the content of the text be slowly regurgitated for the better part of an hour, instead of tracing its themes and ideas and actually discussing them or advancing new ideas and views . The result - a class that felt more like a resented language drill session than an upper level seminar in which the majority of people had solid fieldwork and/or a backing in both anthropology and the Middle East. To her credit, she makes herself extremely available outside of class and seems quite engaged and excited, even earnest. The texts read are a mixed bag, but a solid and useful set with regards to the region. Her research interests are fascinating too - though after this semester I can safely say I'll be avoiding her courses in the future.
Angie Heo is a great, enthusiastic professor who really feels passionate about anthropology. Although her lectures might get a little disorganized at times, she does try to present the material clearly and thoroughly. She does try to provoke class discussion, and is truly interested in what the class has to say. Most of the readings are very thought-provoking, and interesting. The books on the syllabus are great reads. She always encourages students to come to her office hours to talk about anything about anthropology.