While there were many in the class who probably walked away wondering what the hell they just did this semester, I thoroughly enjoyed the class. I also did the reading when it seemed unrequired. There were some very different opinions amongst the students in the class about topics which sometimes dominated the discussion. Professor Knight was bothered, obviously, by this. Each student was required to make one formal presentation on a topic relating to women which took up practically the entire months of October and November - but were interesting, but I would have rather talked more about the reading.
Overall not a bad class. I learned something about women in politics and didn't have to kill myself to get a good grade. Class discussions could be very interesting but also in need of a balancing voice to counter the "women-are-all-powerful-and-better-than- men" vibe that reared its head at times. As far as workload, readings could be skimmed or skipped. I read only what I found interesting and did fine. No need to buy any of the books for the class; all are on reserve and used once or twice. That said, I learned a lot from my own research topic and two presentations. Knight is very loose with assignment topics, so anything with a woman in it is fair game.
She definitely knows a lot about the topic and is up to date with all the latest materials written about women and politics. she has interesting readings assigned for discussion each week and most of them are very current. However, you hardly have to do any of the reading for the class to be able to participate in the discussion and get a good grade. Everyone has 2 5-10 minute presentations summarizing a chapter from 2 different readings throughout the semester so you learn a lot regardless. The class is mainly discussion and most barnard students are lively and smart participants so the class is very engaging and the period goes by fast. Knight does a good job directing discussion but most of the class will depend on the other students and not her teaching ability.