Current Courses (FALL 2017)

COMM 204: Communication Technologies and Culture

COMM 425: Global Media and Communication

COMM 493: Senior Seminar

A critical study of significant works in communication studies and a review of research methods and theory. In the second semester, students work independently with advice from the faculty to complete a project. Students electing the research option will write a research paper and deliver a public oral presentation. Students who select the creative media project will produce a short film, a website, a multimedia project, or an investigative journalism project and give a public screening/presentation.

Courses Taught

Basic Courses

Interpersonal Communication

This course provided students an opportunity to learn and apply, in daily life, practical principles of interpersonal communication.  The emphasis is on personal, situational and cultural influences on interaction.  It is designed to assist students in improving their own interpersonal communication skills.  Attention is given to human perception, interpersonal dynamics, listening, conflict management, verbal and nonverbal symbols systems.

Intercultural Communication

This class dives into the ways that culture interrelates with and affects communication processes. We live in an era of rapid globalization. Social media and other information networks connect us to other people, ideas, institutions, and artifacts (both here in the U.S. and beyond) more quickly and extensively than ever before. Being able to communicate across cultures is no longer just an advantage, it is becoming more and more imperative to our ability to function in a diverse workplace, city, and world.

This course will challenge students to redefine their previously held ideas about culture, investigate how culture and communication work together to shape our world, increase their sensitivity to other cultures here in the U.S. and abroad, and perhaps most importantly deepen their understanding of their own cultural background, and the contexts (social, cultural and historical) in which they live and communicate.

Public Speaking

The ability to speak in public is essential to civic engagement in a democratic society. Engaged citizens are able to make a difference in their own lives, in the lives of their peers, and in their communities through effective public communication. This course applies the theory and principles of public speaking with an emphasis on preparation and delivery. While addressing the unique challenges of contemporary public speaking, students are guided through topic selection, organization, preparation, and delivery in both formal and informal speaking contexts.

Understanding Human Communication

This course provides a survey of theories, concepts, and models that inform understanding of human communication processes. Students will explore the function of symbolic systems in self-concept development, the structuring of reality, and social discourse. Students will also consider the usage of verbal and nonverbal communication in a variety of cultural settings and contexts. This course provides a broad-based understanding of the breadth of research in the field of Communication Studies and places particular emphasis on its intersection with other disciplines in the liberal arts.

Media Studies Courses

Introduction to Media Studies

This course was designed to familiarize students with some of the basic terms and concepts of media studies. Over the course of the semester we examined several key issues in media studies, and considered the political, economic, social and cultural contexts in which mediated images and texts are produced, distributed, and consumed. We read classic and cutting-edge media studies texts with an eye toward both historical and contemporary contexts, and discussed media as both within and as the context for our own and other people’s lives. We analyzed how media help establish and maintain “the status quo,” and questioned why media are at the same time routinely celebrated as agents or conduits of change.

Art of the Film

This course introduces the fundamental elements of film artistry and production. Topics include film styles, history, and production techniques as well as the social values reflected in film art. Upon completion, you should be able to critically analyze the elements covered in relation to selected films. By the end of the course you should be able to identify various styles of significant films based on directors’ intent, writers’ trends and production techniques. A number of films will be viewed which articulate these styles, trends and techniques.

Communication Through Web Design

This course was designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of communication practices in online media with emphasis on content, editing, usability, and design.

American Radio and Television 

This course is a hybrid, something like a mixture of two half-semester courses. COMM 241 will be largely content-based during the first half of the semester, as we explore the history of radio and television in the United States. During the second half of the course, the class will become more production-based as we look in-depth at the contemporary digital landscape and try our hand at producing content in some of today’s fastest growing audio and televisual formats.

Media Theories

Participants in the seminar examine the ideas that have informed critical media theories and the application of those theories to studies of contemporary media institutions, policies, and practices.

Cultural Studies & Popular Culture Courses

Survey of Popular Culture

Popular culture is an area of study that allows students to contemplate American history, beliefs, diversity, emotional make-up, and socio-economic relations. In this course, students will confront popular culture through observation, reflection, critical thinking, and problem solving in order to understanding how popular culture shapes our everyday lives. Students focus on diverse forms of popular culture and engage in discussion and interpretation individually and in-group work. This courses encourages students to bring a critical eye to aspects of everyday life that they might otherwise take for granted.

Popular Music

This course explores the historical, social, political, and cultural significances of popular music as a communicative practice in the United States from 1900 to the present.

Media and Popular Culture

In this course students examine the communication processes and cultural significance of popular media. The course is structured as a dialogue between mainstream American popular culture and associated sub-cultural responses across a number of traditional and emerging media forms.

Global Media & Communication

Analysis of global media and communication with emphasis on cultural production and exchange among the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Topics include cultural imperialism, global cultural pluralism, localization, hybridity, modernity, and cultural identity. Examination of the cultural politics of media representations and asymmetrical circulation from Western nations (Global North) to non-Western nations (Global South) as well as contra-flows and diasporic media.

Practices of Cultural Studies

This course is an intensive introduction to Cultural Studies, an interdisciplinary tradition that emerged primarily from the UK and US in the 1950s and 1960s. Students are encouraged to take a conjunctural rather than disciplinary approach to academic work, as the course mirrors the evolution of cultural studies over the last 5-6 decades, organizing around central problematics, themes, or crises in the contemporary world that seem to require more than simplistic explanations.

Interaction and Gender

In this course, students discover how gender is constructed and performed in our society and the implications of those constructions. We focus on the ways in which gender is created, established, communicated, and reified through rhetoric and rhetorical interaction.