Current Graduate Courses

Sping 2023 Grad Course Atlas

COMM 4891/6891: Directing for Film - Professor Marty Lang
Tuesday, 1:00-4:00 PM
This course will teach the creative, logistical and interpersonal skills needed to direct narrative audiovisual stories. Focus will be on visual design, directing for performance, mise en scene and incorporating post-production and music into stories.  

COMM 4893/6220: Producing for Film – Professor Marty Lang
Monday, 1:00-4:00 PM
 This course will teach the financial, creative, logistical, marketing and interpersonal skills required to produce film and television. Special focus on crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, audience development and self-distribution. Students will work as support staff to a live crowdfunding campaign. 
COMM 4694/6894: Community Action Film – Professor David Goodman  
Thursdays, 1:00-4:00 PM 
Students work together to make short films that promote the work of not-for-profit organizations that benefit the community. Production work outside of class time will be required. PREREQUISITE: COMM 3824 or permission of instructor 
COMM 7357/8357-Pedagogical Rhetoric - Antonio de Velasco 
Tuesday, 5:30pm-8:30pm 
What have been the dominant means and ends of rhetorical instruction since antiquity? How does foregrounding the practice of pedagogy alter perspectives on the history, scope, and future of rhetoric study? This course addresses such questions by surveying topics and thinkers central to the history of how rhetoric has been taught. Our particular focus will be on how leading figures in rhetoric define, contest, and make teachable three central practices: controversy, judgment, and performance. The primary goal of the course is to equip scholar-teachers with the historical and conceptual background necessary to motivate and give purpose to their work in the communication classroom. Assignments: 
Weekly responses 
Final Exam 
Construction of a course proposal 
COMM 7/8803 - Topics in Film Studies: Sound, Cinema, and the Environment – Elja Roy
Monday, 5:30-8:30 PM

This course will focus on Film Studies within the context of environmental cinema and the sonic properties of cinema. The class will explore the various modalities of Environmental Communication throughout film history and how films shape and influence public perceptions of ecology. Additionally, the class will examine the audio elements of films that are often overlooked by the power of visuals. Sound and music have been a driving force in environmental movements, together, we will chart the course within the context of cinema. 

Through screenings of films/videos, readings, and writing assignments students will get an understanding of the theoretical, critical, and practical perspectives of sound in cinema and its significance to environmental movements. Required texts will be made available through Canvas. 
COMM 7/8321 - Communication Theory - Joy V. Goldsmith 
Thursday, 1:00-4:00 PM 
This course offers an advanced examination of the purposes and processes of constructing and using theories and models in communication research. Students will critically analyze existing communication theories from across dominating paradigms to explicate and evaluate their implicit and explicit assumptions about human beings, knowledge, and value. Students will explore philosophical, critical/cultural, historical, and scientific bases for the study of communicative processes. 

The result of this course includes an increased ability to use communication theory to inform and guide research and to ask critical questions regarding theory. Course goals and objectives include engaging the definitions of communication theory; explaining primary metatheoretical paradigms, their assumptions, and situating theories according to their meta-theoretical assumptions; critiquing theories according to their appropriate criteria; understanding communication theories to guide and inform scholarship and knowledge about human communication; and developing critical thinking, analytical integration, and writing skills. 

The course requires a range of writing engagements, collaborative endeavors, and active displays of integrated thinking. 
- Infante, D., Rancer, A., & Womanck, D. (2004). Building Communications Theory (4th Ed.). Waveland. 
- Anderson, J. (1996). Communication Theory: Epistemological Foundation. Guilford Press. 
- Parallel readings will be available on the course Learning Management System 
COMM 7/8354 - Topics in the Rhetoric of Health, Medicine and Science – Amanda Young 
Wednesday, 5:30 – 8:30 PM 
Have you ever wondered why the surgical removal of the uterus is called a hysterectomy, rather than a uterotomy (like tonsillectomy, appendectomy, etc.)? Hint: Coined in 1881, the name is based on the belief that women suffer from “hysteria” and that this “hysteria” resides in the physical “womanhood” of a person.

Concepts of health and wellbeing cannot be omitted from either the academic or lived experiences of feminism, social justice, religious studies, or other areas that many of our students pursue. In this course, I will argue that the omission of health matters in most social movements limits their effectiveness. Thus, the course is applicable to all our students who are interested in how our individual and societal concepts of health and wellness are constructed and what effects those constructions have on our day-to-day lives as well as the injustices we want to address. We will examine arguments and controversies about access to care, health insurance, health disparities and inequities, justice (racial, ethnic, geographical, age, income), disabilities, mental health, and other issues that have direct bearing on the wellbeing of our families, communities, and nation. We’ll study how the very existence of illness “diagnoses” are rhetorically constructed and what happens when some are privileged, and others rejected or ignored.

We will explore how the ways we talk about the body and mind have a direct impact on the construction of scientific and medical knowledge, and thus care, and how stigma, which is itself rhetorically constructed, creates not only division but also leads to severe injustice. We will largely frame our study within storytelling, asking what stories we tell ourselves, what stories we are told, and what stories others have told that have had meaningful impacts on how we live as healthcare consumers and/or caregivers. Students will complete a final project on a topic of their choice in which they will examine associated stories – whether existing, created, or a combination.

Projects can be completed in a variety of modalities and genres. Viable topics can include (but are not limited to): the need to talk about health and health care in the BLM movement, environmental injustices that lead to disease and early death, the social and rhetorical construction of illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome and long covid, the history (and continuation) of medical discrimination and its generational effects, the privileging of one illness community over another based on race or ethnicity, the rhetorical construction of disability, ageism, rhetorical constructions that label some animals as dangerous and unsuitable, rhetorical constructions (and stigma) of mental illness, and many others. You will be asked to be creative and inquisitive as we dig deeply into healthcare, health systems, and our own illness experiences. 

Required texts: 
Michel Foucault: The Birth of the Clinic: An Archeology of Medical Perception 
Arthur Franks: The Wounded Storyteller 
Judy Segal: The Rhetoric of Medicine 
Rebecca Skloots: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 
Lisa Meloncon and Cathryn Molloy (eds): Strategic Interventions in Mental Health Rhetoric 
Articles will also be assigned each week