Democratizing Democracy: Expanding, Suppressing, Idealizing, and Ignoring the Right to Vote in America (FNDS 1202)

This course will explore voting in America, examining both historical and contemporary perspectives on how this fundamental right has been expanded, suppressed, idealized, and ignored throughout history.  

From constitutional conventions to suffragist movements, from civil rights legislation to “rocking the vote” and other contemporary reform movements, we will examine arguments about and for the act of voting and the expansion of voting rights.  Students will be given freedom to explore the broad topic in a manner consistent with their interests.  

This course covers topics in the disciplines of Communication, History, Political Science.



Who should take this course?

Incoming first-year students, who are interested in history, political science, communication, or political affairs.

More about this course

Course number: FNDS 1202

Number of Credits: 4

Search UM-Dearborn Class Schedule to find out more.

Dearborn Discovery Core requirements met: Critical and Creative Thinking


Meet your faculty member: Troy Murphy, Associate Professor of Communication

One of the benefits of taking a Foundations course is gaining a faculty mentor that can support you throughout your college career. Get to know Troy Murphy, faculty member for Democratizing Democracy: Expanding, Suppressing, Idealizing, and Ignoring the Right to Vote in America.

Troy Murphy
Troy Murphy

Troy Murphy teaches courses in the Public Communication and Culture Studies discipline, and has also taught in the American Studies and Civic Engagement programs. His teaching and research focuses on 20th Century public discourse and the most important speeches and social movements that have (re)defined American history.

In a former life (yes, he’s been at Dearborn a very long time, but not forever), he worked on political campaigns in several different states and spent a couple of years on Capital Hill as a press secretary for a US Senator. He agrees that democracy is the worst form of government except all others that have been tried (Churchill supposedly said it first, but who knows?), and considers it both a great challenge and great fun to study communication and democracy, perhaps more now than ever. This is Professor Murphy with his dog named Yahtzee (see the dots . . . dice . . . get it?).


Have questions about this course? Email Dr. Murphy at