Elizabeth Bernstein nearly caused me a nervous breakdown at the end of last semester. She is power-hungry and a bully. Furthermore, she does not correct students when they mis-gender a trans person during a discussion of a film or a text with transgendered characters, and I think that this is irresponsible of her as a professor and as the controller of the classroom. If you want to do your own research and make students cry on the side, don't teach at Barnard.
Professor Bernstein is an engaging lecturer, and she presents some interesting theories about an interesting subject. She fostered a lot of new ideas for me that I really appreciated. However, she can be fairly condescending. She would outright laugh at some students' questions or commentary. To her credit though, she does allow for a lot of class participation and discussion. I would recommend Bernstein simply for her knowledge of what she teaches (which is extensive), but you should know what you're getting into, particularly the workload.
This was a great class. Although it got off to a rocky start with very dry lecturing about gender and sociology theory, it has turned into a mostly discussion based class on all aspects of gender. The lecture portion is almost always based on theory and applied in very approachable ways. Professor Braine is a very articulate lecturer, although her style can be a bit too academic and dry at times. Overall though, definitely worth taking.
I think this woman is evil. Really. My favorite illustration was when she silenced a student for disagreeing with her interpretation of a news story. Is that really the best way to foster intelligent class discussion? The class, however, is just what all of the other reviewers describe. It is a fascinating subject, the readings are good, and the assignments, though difficult, will force you to produce something you are really proud of. It's just a shame that you have to deal with this cold, pretentious, and monotonous professor to reap the benefits.