Current Graduate Courses

Fall 2023 Grad Course Atlas

COMM 6824: Cinema/Videography  - Professor David Goodman 
R 1:00pm – 4:00pm

This course is designed to give students a better understanding of the tools and procedures necessary for solving the multitude of problems, aesthetic and technical, that confront the filmmaker. We will cover cameras, lighting, lenses, exposure, composition, color, and set management. In-class demonstrations and outside assignments give students ample opportunity to apply what they learn. Pre-requisite – Motion Picture Production 2 or permission of instructor.

COMM 6859: Monster Films - Dr. Marina Levina 
W 1:00pm - 4:00pm 

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.

COMM 7017: Graduate Studies in Communication - Dr. Joy Goldsmith
R 5:30pm - 8:30pm

COMM 7017 introduces you to graduate study and is required for graduate students entering the Communication and Film department. The course focuses on research and writing in academia, the current landscape of Communication Studies, the research of scholars in this department, and your own place within Communication Studies and beyond. Ultimately, this class will give you the tools and vocabulary to speak to scholars inside and outside of Communication Studies who hold a range of perspectives. 

Potential Books: Boice, Robert. Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press, 1990. Gehrke, Pat J. & William M. Keith, eds. A Century of Communication Studies: The Unfinished Conversation. New York: Routledge, 2015. Graff, Gerald & Cathy Birkenstein. They Say, I Say: Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014. Lindemann, Kurt. Composing Research, Communicating Results. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2018. Other readings (coming from graduate faculty in the department) will be made available via our LMS. 

COMM 7434/8434 – Qualitative Research Methods – Dr. Craig Stewart
W 5:30pm - 8:30pm
This course will offer a survey of qualitative research methods in Communication Studies, illustrating how these methods are used within different paradigms and across sub-disciplines. Students will learn how to design, collect, and analyze qualitative data using ethnographic methods, interviews and focus groups, and document analysis.  
Required text: Lindlof, T. R., & Taylor, B. C. (2019). Qualitative communication research methods, 4th ed. Sage. (ISBN: 9781452256825) 
Other readings will be available on Canvas. 

COMM 7352: Rhetoric Race and Religion - Dr. Andre Johnson

Laurent Pernot wrote, "Religion is intimately linked with words. Everyone knows that the spoken and written word plays an essential role in religion, as language is necessarily used to address the gods or God, to speak about the divine or the sacred, and to express religious feeling or awareness." What Pernot called for was an understanding of the role rhetoric plays in our expression and performance of religion.

One of the reasons for his understanding of this is rhetoric's transdisciplinary role—having a place within and among the sciences, arts, and other humanistic fields while at the same time critiquing and challenging the foundations of those fields. However, many times in our study of religion, the way we talk about religion, the way we articulate our beliefs, the arguments we construct, and even how we defend our religious positions, we dismiss the role rhetoric plays in our construction of religion and the discourse it produces. Moreover, when we discuss religion or how it functions many times, we ignore how race shapes our perceptions of not only religion itself but also how it shapes the language (rhetoric) we use.

In this seminar, we will examine the intersection of rhetoric race, and religion. In short, we want to understand how one uses rhetoric as method or how rhetorical approaches to religion can contribute to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of both religion and race. We use rhetoric here as language and other forms of symbolic activity that motivate and/or guide people in matters of belief. We also see rhetoric as what communicators invite their audiences to do. Therefore, this seminar seeks to address rhetoric race, and religion from both a historical or contemporary perspective and examine those explicit and implicit warrants that function in religious discourse that better help us to theorize ways in which religion(s) and race operate.

COMM: 7/8355 - Topics in Critical-Cultural Studies - Dr. Marina Levina
T 5:30pm - 8:30pm  

This course will examine current trends in critical/cultural studies. We will start with a brief history of critical/cultural studies and review its contribution to the communication discipline. Then we will dive into the current topics in the sub-field, including, but not limited to: surveillance studies, disability studies, monstrosity studies, critical race theory, queer theory, transgender studies, border rhetoric(s), performance studies, affect theory. The aim of the course is to provide students with an overview of the current critical/cultural intellectual trends and conversations. 
Sample texts might include but not be limited to:  
Ahmed, Sara. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. Routledge, 2015 (second edition) 
Browne, Simone. Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness. Duke University Press, 2015 
Lechuga, Michael. Visions of Invasion: Alien Affects, Cinema, and Citizenship in Settler Colonies. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2023. 
Dubrofsky, Rachel E. Authenticating Whiteness: Karens, Selfies, and Pop Stars. Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2022.