- Semester: Fall 2022
- Course ID: 397S
- Credit Hours: 3
- Course Type: Seminar
- Grading Method: Pass/Fail Not Allowed
- Upperclass-only elective
|3:45 - 5:35 pm
This seminar concerns the laws, policies and politics that define political participation rights in our American democracy and therefore influence the ability to build and exert power in our society. We explore these rights from a variety of vantage points, considering what our democracy means for individuals, communities and governmental actors and how those understandings have evolved over time. As much as possible, current political events and policy debates — particularly those impacting our Texas democracy — are used to challenge and dissect the legal principles and ideas we discuss. Particular focus is given to the communities who have been excluded from positions of power over the course of this country’s history, particularly Black Americans and other persons of color, immigrants, young Americans, and less wealthy Americans.
No background in politics or political science is required.
At the end of the course, you should have a strong baseline understanding of the constitutional and federal law that shapes election administration and political participation rights, and recognize how that law has evolved over time. You are also expected to hone your ability to critically analyze and deliver legal arguments through classroom discussion and debate. Finally, the essay assignments and your final paper are intended to sharpen your written communication skills, especially your ability to express novel ideas and persuade a reader of your position.