People's History of Democratic Thought

A People's History of Democratic Thought

Student studies at desk at Loyola Marymount University.

Session Dates: July 15, 2018 - July 28, 2018 

Equality. Liberty. Citizenship.

These key democratic ideals are at the forefront of modern American politics. This course aims to assess how these ideals have been extended or challenged by marginalized voices, including women, individuals of color and those historically excluded from the democratic process.

The course will begin with close readings and discussions surrounding the documents integral to America’s founding principles, as well as that of the political theorists who influenced them. Students will have an opportunity to consider how the perspectives of the disenfranchised and marginalized might force us to reconsider whether enfranchisement, equality before the law, and free market are robust enough to ensure full democratic citizenship for all Americans and to consider what true democracy demands of its citizens and institutions. The work of American activists and thinkers, such as Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Malcom X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Gloria Steinem, Bernie Sanders, Ava Duvernay and others, will also be included throughout the course, examining their roles as intellectual authorities on democratic thought.

Time in the classroom will include a combination of lectures, lively discussion, films and in-class projects. Students will also be asked to write one argumentative essay and to complete group work geared toward re-thinking our founding documents. These exercises are all designed to help students become better acquainted with the field of political science.

  • Los Angeles Area Excursion

    Participants will have the opportunity to explore a Los Angeles area museum.

  • Program Outcomes
    • Develop college-level argumentative essay writing skills
    • Explore the historical context behind modern political and social justice issues
    • Exercise debate and public speaking skills
  • Tuition and Fees

    Application Fee: $50

    2018 Program Cost: $3,950

    The $3,950 program cost includes:

    • Tuition for two-week, non-credit course
    • Housing for 2 weeks
    • All meals
    • Course materials
    • Use of campus recreation facilities
    • Class field trips
    • A trip to Disneyland
    • An additional weekend day trip off campus

    The cost does not include transportation to and from the program itself, personal spending money, or other incidentals.

    For additional information about program tuition and fees and payment options, please visit our Fees Page

  • 2018 Application Requirements

    This program is open to rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.


    • Online Application
    • Personal Essay: Read the Prompt Now
    • Letter of Recommendation from a teacher or counselor
    • High School Transcripts
    • $50 Application Fee
    • TOEFL Scores (for International applicants whose primary language is not English)

We are no longer accepting applications for summer 2018. Check back soon for additional information on our summer 2019 courses!