Undergraduate Courses - Fall 2013
Course Number: COMM 2100
Title: Communication Inquiry
Instructor: Lori Stallings
Days/Time: TR 9:40-11:05
Course Description: This course will focus on the history and development of the discipline
of communication, with an emphasis on the three major traditions that shape our department:
rhetoric, social science, and media studies. We will examine definitions and models
of the communication process as well as major theories in each tradition.
Course Number: COMM 2101
Title: Media/Info Literacy
Instructor: Nicholas Simpson
Days/Time: MW 11:30 – 12:55
Course Description: This course will teach students to critically examine and analyze
the media and information products they encounter in everyday life, and to acquire
the basic research skills necessary to complete academic projects successfully. The
course will examine how various media are used to construct meaning and/or to persuade,
how to recognize bias and stereotypes in media and information products, and how to
assess credibility online and in the traditional mass media.
Course Number: COMM 2381
Title: Oral Communication
Course Description: In this course, you will explore the art of public speaking by
using a broad range of technique to craft compelling, ethical oral presentations that
address contemporary issues. Through the practice of creating and delivering effective
presentations, you will gain confidence in your ability to address an audience with
clarity and persuasive impact. You will practice ethical and active listening as
you play the role of participatory audience member. You will also examine the critical
role that public discourse plays in creating and maintaining healthy civic relationships.
Proposed text: The Osborne text. 9th edition.
Course Number: COMM 3001
Title: Rhetoric and Civic Controversy
Instructor: Antonio de Velasco
Days/Time: TR 1:00-2:25
Course Description: This course introduces you to rhetoric study. We dedicate each
session to learning key terms in rhetoric. Then, drawing from different cases in civic
controversy, we explore how to use these terms to think through the complexities and
ambiguities of real world argument. Taking various paths, we strive to answer a single
question: In the midst of controversy, how do people use rhetoric to invent ways for
audiences to think, feel, and act about the choices before them? The course aims to
sharpen and balance your existing rhetorical skills, and thus to empower you for civic
judgment in a world of conflicting claims and provisional resolutions.
Proposed Texts: All texts on electronic reserve.
Particulars: Weekly quizzes and three essay exams.
Course Number:COMM 3003
Title: Television and Culture
Instructor: Allison Graham
Days/Time: TR 2:40 – 4:05
Course Description: Social, political, and aesthetic dimensions of television in contemporary
Mittell, Television and American Culture (2010).
Particulars: Students will be required to rent several films or television programs
(DVDs or streaming) during the semester.
Course Number: COMM 3330
Title: Communication Research Methods
Instructor: Craig Stewart
Days/Time: TR 2:40-4:05 p.m.
Course Description: This course will introduce you to the major approaches and methods
used in the field to study human communication. We will explore both qualitative and
quantitative approaches to researching communication in a variety of contexts. You
will learn to locate, read, and critique communication research, and you will develop
a proposal for your own research investigation. The assignments and activities in
this course are designed to help you achieve the following learning goals:
• You will be able to describe and distinguish between qualitative and
quantitative research and become familiar with specific methods of each type.
• You will become familiar with the different paradigms and
philosophical assumptions of qualitative and quantitative research.
• You will be able to read and critically evaluate research reports
and critical essays.
• You will be able to develop communication research questions and/or
hypotheses, identify appropriate methods for addressing these questions/hypotheses,
and develop a formal research proposal.
Course Number: COMM 3360
Title: Rhetoric/Pop Culture
Instructor: Marina Levina
Days/Time: MW 2:20-3:45
Course Description: This course focuses on the role popular culture plays in shaping
ideology and meaning. We will learn about various rhetorical and critical theories
and then apply them to popular texts, such as television shows, films, magazines,
comic books, etc. Specifically, we will take a critical media studies perspective
in this course and examine popular culture texts to uncover how we all use them, and
are used by them, to communicate and to construct our understanding of gender, ethnicity,
race, technology, class, the American Dream, and other cultural markers in 21st century
Proposed Texts & Equipment: Martha Struken and Lisa Cartwright Practices of Looking;
other readings will be posted on ecourseware.
Course Number: COMM 3361
Title: African American Rhetoric
Instructor: David Acey
Days/Time: TR 9:40 – 11:05 a.m. /11:20 – 12:45 p.m.
Course Description: Speeches and rhetoric of African – Americans; emphasis on spokespersons
such as Walker, Turner, Douglass, Washington, DuBois, Malcolm X, King, Davis, and
Afrocentricity: The theory of Social Change by Molefi Kete Asante
The Egyptian Philosophers: Ancient African Voices from Imhotep to Akhenaten by Molefi
From the Browder File: 22 Essays on the African American Experience (From the Browder
File Series) by Anthony T. BrowderAnthony T. Browder (Author)
Crossing the Danger Water: Three Hundred Years of African – American Writing by
Course Number: COMM 3821
Title: Audio Narratives
Instructor: Craig Leake
Days/Time: TR 2:40-4:05pm
Course Description: This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of audio
production, providing both hands-on experience with equipment and techniques as well
as discussions of the principles and ethics underlying the writing, recording, and
editing of creative audio presentations. Students will be required to work outside
class time, producing projects on the Macintosh/Pro Tools Digital Audio Workstations
in the Department of Communication audio labs.
Required Text: None
Recommended Texts: Audio Basics by Stanley R. Alten; Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Boston,
2012, and Pro Tools 101 Official Courseware (Pro Tools 9) ISBN13: 9781435458802.
Particulars: Students will write, record, and edit productions, such as a Commercial/Public
Service Announcement; a Music Program with DJ; an Interview Program ("My Favorite
Song"); and a Documentary Profile.
Course Number: COMM 4012
Title: Health Communication
Instructor: Patrick Dillon
Days/Time: MW 5:30-6:55 pm
Course Description: This course is designed to introduce you to a wide range of scholarship
in health communication. The course begins with a basic introduction to the field
of health communication, ethical concerns in the healthcare environment, and the models
that frame theory and research in this area. Then we will address such issues as the
creation of health meanings, health care socialization, health campaigns, mass media
theories of health, and social support at the dyadic, group, and community levels.
This course is will also orient you to the knowledge, skills, and tools needed for
a career in health communication--in academics and in the industry. At the end of
this course, you should have a fair sense of theoretical underpinnings that frame
our experiences as health care consumers. At the same time, you will acquire skills
that can benefit you in a range of health-related careers (for instance, skills to
negotiate doctor-patient communication, skills to work as health communication specialists
in agencies like CDC, NIH, skills in crisis communication etc.).
Proposed Text: du Pre, A. Communicating about health: Current issues and perspectives
Particulars: Weekly quizzes, course portfolio, and two 4-5 page papers.
Course Number: COMM 4223/6223
Title: Special Topics in Film: Monster Films
Instructor: Marina Levina
Days/Time: M 5:30-8:30pm
Course Description: In her famous book, Our Vampires, Ourselves (1997), Nina Auerbach
writes that each age embraces the vampire it needs. This statement speaks to the essential
role that monster narratives play in culture. They offer a space where society can
safely represent and address anxieties of its time. This course will survey classic
and contemporary monster films. As a whole, it argues that monstrous narratives of
the past decade have become omnipresent specifically because they represent social
collective anxieties over resisting and embracing change. They can be read as a response
to a rapidly changing cultural, social, political, economic, and moral landscape.
And while monsters always tapped into anxieties over a changing world, they have never
been as popular, or as needed, as in the past decade. This course explores monstrosity
as a social and cultural category for organizing, classifying, and managing change.
Based in the field of media studies and critical theory, it will provide film case
studies that explore monstrous discourse and representation in film.
Proposed Texts: Marina Levina and Diem-my Bui (Eds.), Monster Culture in the 21st
Century: A Reader, Continuum Press 2013; David J. Skal, The Monster Show: Cultural
History of Horror, Revised Edition, 200; other readings will be posted on Ecourseware
Particulars: Graduate students will be expected to complete a longer research paper
and longer exams
Course Number: COMM 4340/6340
Instructor: Gray Matthews
Days/Time: MW 12:40-2:05 p.m.
Course Description: Exploration of communication theory and practice from perspective
of listening; philosophical, practical, personal dimensions of listening will be explored
as an art of being as well as a mode of doing.
Proposed Text: The Lost Art of Listening, Michael P. Nichols. For Graduate Students:
The Other Side of Language, Gemma Corradi Fiumara.
Particulars: Course emphasizes engaged communication. Two exams, four one-page experiential
reports, one "readings" journal.
Course Number: COMM 4850/6850
Title: Film History I
Instructor: Steve Ross
Day/time: TR 2:20-4:20 p.m.
Course Description: A survey of world cinema from its pre-history through 1940 Proposed
Texts: 'Film History' by David Bordwell & Kristin Thompson.
Course Number: COMM 4373
Title: Interracial Communication
Instructor: David Acey
Days/Time: MWF 11:30 – 12:45 p.m.
Course Description: Special problems encountered in communication among races; readings,
discussion, and field study of how prejudice, stereotypes, and self – concepts can
affect communication; exploration of methods to minimize these problems.
Course Number: COMM 4375
Title: Intercultural Communication
Instructor: Katherine G. Hendrix
Days/Time: TR 9:40 – 11:05
Course Description: This course provides an opportunity to explore the various means
by which we define what constitutes culture and how we acquire our cultural identities.
Self-perception and the perception of the "other" will be discussed as factors that
serve to problematize the communication that occurs between (and within) groups. This
course will focus on communication that occurs among the domestic populations of the
United States; however, international relationships will be discussed to a limited
degree. My main goal is to provide a practicum for developing the initial stages of
effective interpersonal and intercultural communication competence. A second goal
is to introduce you to various theories (from within as well as outside of the Communication
discipline) that attempt to explain intercultural interaction.
Martin, J., & Nakayama, T. (2008). Experiencing intercultural communication: An introduction
(3rd ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Course Number: COMM 4858
Title: Contemporary Cinema
Instructor: Nicholas Simpson
Days/Time: R 9:40 – 12:45
Course Description: An examination of modern American filmmaking, from the aftermath
of the Vietnam War to the ongoing War on Terror, focusing on the social, cultural
and political ideologies expressed in mainstream fiction cinema.
Course Number: COMM 4380
Title: Communication in Conflict
Instructor: Katherine G. Hendrix
Days/Time: TR 11:20 – 12:45
This course in interpersonal conflict emphasizes both communication theory and the
experiential application of the course content. The course content will be explored
through exercises and discussion designed to develop and/or enhance skills such as:
listening, the effective presentation of ideas and emotions, and conflict resolution.
Practical application within the classroom should increase the likelihood of retention
and use of the concepts outside of the classroom as part of a life-long process. This
life-long process should include growth and movement
toward quality-based, confirming interaction with others as well as recognizing circumstances
where interpersonal behavior is inappropriate.
Wilmot, W. W., & Hocker, J. L. (2007). Interpersonal conflict (8th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Additional class readings as assigned.
Course Number: COMM 4381
Title: Senior Seminar in Communication at the End of Life
Instructor: Patrick Dillon
Days/Time: MW 2:20-3:45 pm
Course Description: This course will use the historical landmark cases of Terri Schiavo,
Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan, Dax Cowart, as well as other current cases, to discuss
family communication and conflict at the end-of-life. We will discuss how relationships,
culture, and canonical narrative influence how we decide what is ethical and appropriate
regarding end-of-life decisions, and how these values and experiences serve as resources
for confronting our own mortality and that of others.By the end of the course, students
will gain a basic understanding of bioethical concepts and case analysis techniques.
They will also understand how family relationships and roles influence how situations
and decisions are perceived and acted upon at the end-of-life.
Proposed Text: No textbook. Course readings will be available from the instructor.
Particulars: Weekly quizzes, reflection papers, and two essay exams.