Prior to taking this course I had read the reviews for Professor Krimmel. They made me extremely nervous and scared. The apprehension disappeared quickly after the first class. I took this course during the Fall 2020 semester as an intensive Fall A course. Professor Krimmel is extremely kind and knowledgeable and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of her class. I wish I could take more courses with her. The theories mentioned in the previous comments can be confusing, but she does her best to explain them and provides plenty of supplementary reading material that clarifies them even further. Since we were online, we didn't have a traditional type of midterm or final. We also had a small class of 15 people which made it very much more of a seminar than it might have been in the past. We frequently discussed the material in breakout rooms which enriched my understanding of topics. In this format of the class, we didn't have a long research paper. Instead, everyone prepared a 10-15 minute oral presentation on a topic of our choosing in relation to responsible party governance. She provides us with the data needed to do the project, so there wasn't a lot of heavy research. I found that in giving an oral presentation to the class I was really able to thoroughly understand the theory and its relation to modern politics and trends throughout the 20th century. I'm not a poli sci major, but I wish I were so I could take one of her colloquia. Fantastic class with a great professor.
I was very disappointed in the class. The material is dry and the readings are long and dense (I don't think anyone read anything to completion the entire semester). The class discussions were almost always characterized by awkward silences, where no one knew what to say or was paying attention. It didn't seem like Krimmel knew how to ask any questions conducive to a lively discussion, or encourage people to speak. This was my first colloquium at Barnard and therefore my first 30-page research paper, and I was thrown to the wolves. There was no talk of how to successfully structure a research paper or what she was looking for, and I ended up having to look to the internet to write something decent. When I asked her questions directly, her answers were much less than helpful. Having taken two other colloquia, I now know that her lack of advice or structure for the research assignment is NOT normal. All of my other professors clearly outlined what they expected and were there every step of the way to help if we had any questions. I did not get this from Krimmel. I do not recommend this class to anyone, honestly. It was my least favorite class at Barnard and the one I struggled with the most. I wish I had known what other great colloquia were out there because if you can get in, there are MUCH better ones to take.
Public Opinion and American Democracy This course was not what I expected, the class was split into lectures and labs, and if you are not technically competent with code, expect a lot of time in office hours or contacting the TA. I thought the topic was interesting but steer clear if you don't have an interest in reading 100+ pages a week for class participation (small seminar = lots of discussion time) that is intelligent and demonstrates you read everything or working on problem sets involving R, which is the worst programming language ever used. If it was stata, I feel like it would've been much better.
This prof made me change my major from polisci. The entire class is based on memorizing the theories of obscure political scientists. The midterm and final are graded harshly based on how many details you can remember about each scholar's argument- knowing the general arguments is not enough. I learned nothing about how the government works in this class, only different scholar's perspectives on the purpose of political parties. It is all theoretical and impractical. Her Powerpoints are the most vague and unhelpful thing ever, they just consist of one word bulletpoints for her to talk off of. She posts them online but since they provide no content or information doing so isn't helpful. Do NOT take this class if you don't want to despise political science as a whole.
Professor Krimmel assigns a lot of reading (most people in the class do not do most of it) many of which are expensive books you have to purchase yourself. Her lectures are dry and I zone out quite quickly. And the midterm and final are extensive, difficult and you get points taken off for minor mistakes. The research paper attempts to let Barnard students finish a foundations requirement but it is tedious and unstimulating.
Prof Krimmel is fantastic! Incredibly knowledgeable in her field (not a single question throughout the whole semester was not met by a detailed and comprehensive answer) but also kind and caring about her students. Lectures were very detailed and often covered the readings directly, so a lot of the reading not necessary, but still learned an enormous amount. Only downside is that lectures were sometimes dry as they turned into a long list of facts (though she was always willing to take questions if there were some). However, she would try to make at least one of the two weekly lectures discussion-based, which was great. Superb course overall, gave me a very solid foundation in the academic study not just of political parties, but of American politics more broadly.