HIST 4203 Contesting Votes: Democracy and Citizenship throughout U.S. History (also AMST 4203) (HNA)
Thursday: 12:25-2:20 (online)
Professor Julilly Kohler-Hausmann
This advanced seminar traces transformations in citizenship and the franchise throughout U.S. history. Through readings, frequent short writings, discussion, and a final paper, the class examines the struggles over who can claim full citizenship and legitimate voice in the political community. It examines the divergent, often clashing, visions of legitimate democratic rule, focusing particularly on the debates over who should vote and on what terms. We examine the dynamics that have shaped the boundaries of citizenship and hierarchies within it, paying attention to changes in the civic status of Native Americans, property-less white men, paupers, women, African Americans, various immigrant groups, residents of U.S. colonies, felons, and people with intellectual disabilities. A significant portion of the class focuses on debates about U.S. democracy in the decades after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.