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Courses

COMM 1001: Introduction to Communication & Media (3 cr.) 
This course surveys human and media-enabled communication.  Starting with concepts in communication theory, we consider interpersonal, public and nonverbal communication. A primary focus is the mass media, the history and means by which they communicate, the effects of this communication, and the professional and ethical issues involved.   We cover print media, photography, radio, cinema, television and new media, and such related fields as advertising, public relations and political communication.  (Fall, Spring)

COMM 2009: Oral Presentation and Communication (3 cr.) 
This course helps students develop reliable vocal and listening techniques that will result in clear, communication.   Through oral presentation of formal and informal speeches, discussion and work with notable literary texts and speeches, and introductory studies in nonverbal, interpersonal and intercultural communication, students will practice the expression and exchange of ideas in a logical, well-organized manner.  (Fall, Spring)

COMM 2010: Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication (3 cr.)
This course enhances interpersonal and small group communication skills and surveys theoretical foundations, focusing on verbal and nonverbal interaction.   Topics include listening, perception, self-concept and self-disclosure, persuasion, leadership, conflict management, cultural difference, relational development and disengagement. Exercises relate to fields from business to education and consider more intimate and familial dynamics as well.  (As needed)

COMM 2021: Public Relations and American Culture (3 cr.)
An introduction to the practices and ethics of public relations and its role in society and the administration of organizations.  We examine theory and practice, teaching such skills as writing press releases and assembling press packets.  We consider the history, philosophy and processes of PR; public opinion; internal PR; propaganda; crisis management; government, community and celebrity PR.  Students work on both team and individual projects.  (As needed)

COMM 2022: Advertising and American Popular Culture (3 cr.)
A survey of the history of advertising through various media (print, broadcast, new media) and its impact upon our culture, from how it affects interpersonal and political communication to issues of gender, race and family.  Different types of ads and ad campaigns are studied, as are the ethics, practices and business world of advertising today.  (As needed)

COMM 2030: Communicating in the Business World (3 cr.)*
This course prepares students to express themselves clearly in the business world.   The focus is on understanding basic principles (listening and persuasive presentation, aspects of written communication), the culture of the workplace environment (diversity, ethics) and how to work in teams (leadership principles, decision making). We also cover negotiation and organizational issues, question and answer sessions, and interviewing skills.  (As needed)

COMM2035: Argumentation, Persuasion, Debate (3 cr.)                                           This course familiarizes students with the worlds of controversy (formal and informal) and ethical reasoning. It addresses types of argumentation and such elements as relevance, proof, persuasion, claims and fallacies, evaluation skills, minimizing emotionality, strategically manipulating linguistic and rhetorical tools, and rational, meaningful decision-making. Techniques aid students in expressing themselves in a clear, concise and healthily assertive manner.  (As needed)

COMM 2037: Small Group Communication (3 cr.)
This course examines theories of group dynamics and the meaning of norms, goals, roles and leadership styles in small, task-oriented groups.   Topics cover techniques involved in effective group and intergroup communication: discussion, nonverbal issues, decision-making, conflict resolution, ethics, leadership, team building, meeting planning.   Students participate in structured group experiences and apply concepts to the process of communication when working as a member of a team.  (As needed)

COMM 2050: Introduction to Digital Media Production (4 cr.)* 
This course introduces basics of digital media production: video camera usage, studio and/or on-location setups, sound, lighting and editing.  It will focus on either electronic field production, TV studio work, or both.   Group work and class projects are emphasized, but students must also learn the terminology, appropriate equipment-handling and conduct required of the field.  (Fall, Spring)   

COMM 2090: Theories of Communication (3 cr.) 
Required for a communication studies major, and open only to majors, this course considers key models of communication before surveying theoretical aspects of information, perception, persuasion, and also interpersonal, intercultural, nonverbal, small group and political communication. In studying mass media, we contrast the social science-based "process" school with more language-based systems such as semiotics. We consider how media operate and audiences respond, introducing cultivation analysis, cultural studies, issues in new media communication, and the social construction of class, race, and gender. Various texts provide examples, with in-class exercises in interpersonal dynamics and media analysis, and outside projects applying theories to advertising.   Prerequisite: COMM 1001 or Instructor's permission.  (Fall)

COMM 3030: History of TV and Radio (4 cr.)
Focusing on U.S. TV and radio, but touching on comparative media systems, we consider the technological, industrial, stylistic, historical, cultural and political contexts related to these media. We study audiences and creators, and explore the growth of genres, advertising, newscasting and media regulation. We develop theoretical tools for analyzing "Golden Age" radio; the 1950s quiz show scandal; the "Vast Wasteland" of 60s TV; children's programming; PBS and MTV; talk radio; cable, alternative and digital media; coverage of political events; growing media conglomerates.  (As needed)

COMM3044: Feminist Media Theory (4 cr.)
This seminar explores feminist theory and its application to mass media. Lectures, discussions, and readings in first, second, and third wave feminism will help students to develop an understanding of historical, psychoanalytic, interpretive, and social scientific approaches to the study of media and communication. Research paper required. Prerequisite: COMM 1001 or Instructor's permission.  (As needed)

COMM3046: Convergent Media/Divergent Voices (3 cr.) 
This seminar explores trends toward multimedia presentation and the convergence of print, broadcast and online media, and how these have influenced news and creative discourses from the 1960s to the present. We discuss changes in social, political, and personal discourse caused by media evolution, and consider the New Journalism movement of the late 1960s, the rise of online investigative media and recent blogging culture. The role of convergence in corporate media's shrinking number of players in the mainstream is a concern, as are alternative media as viable divergent voices in the media landscape. Research paper required. Prerequisite: Comm1001 or Instructor's permission.  (Fall, Spring)

COMM 3070: Media Ethics (3 cr.)
This seminar introduces concepts in moral reasoning (Kant, Aristotle, J.S. Mill) and relates them to historical, contemporary and/or imaginary case studies across media.   Topics include the ethics of checkbook journalism and dramatic re-enactments; truth-telling (libel, undercover cameras, altered images); fairness and honesty in advertising and public relations; the right to privacy vs. the right to know; entertainment content/censorship and their social influence; journalistic ethics regarding disclosure, news and political coverage; matters of gender equity, diversity, stereotyping and social responsibility; internet ethics. We aim to develop guidelines for ethical evaluation, communication and conduct. Research paper required.  Prerequisite: COMM 1001 or Instructor's permission.  (As needed)

COMM 3071: Minorities and the Media (3 cr.)
This seminar considers minorities along three intersecting axes: 1)how a group has been represented within the history of the media; 2)how minorities have worked within mainstream and alternative media, and how they represent themselves when empowered to do so; 3)how minority reading communities interpret media to suit their own needs.   We present case studies exploring such groups as African-Americans, Asians, the elderly, gays, the homeless, Jews, Latinos, Muslims, Native Americans, the physically challenged or others. Research paper required. Prerequisite: COMM 1001 or Instructor's permission.  (As needed)

COMM 3072: Social Media (3 cr.)
This seminar historicizes information technologies in relation to cultural developments as new media emerged.   It begins with the revolution engendered by print media, and moves on to the telegraph and telephone, photography and cinema, radio, TV, and communication satellites. One focus is the industries and cultures that developed with each medium, and how technological change interacted with industrial and political change to alter the very nature of communication. We finish with digital media and how Internet culture and new media are transforming older paradigms.   Research paper required. Prerequisite: COMM 1001 or Instructor's permission. (As needed)

COMM3080: Gender and Communication (3 cr.)
This seminar focuses on interactive relationships between gender and communication. We explore the ways communication, including the media, creates and perpetuates gender roles; we consider how individuals enact socially created differences in gender and sexuality in public and private settings and how this affects success and self-esteem and we connect gender theory and research to professional and personal experience. The course considers not only what exists in terms of gender and sexual roles, but also what might be, and how we might act to improve our lives individually and collectively. Research paper required. Prerequisite: COMM 1001 or Instructor's permission.  (As needed) 

COMM 3998: Advanced Research Project (2 cr.)
For highly motivated students who are considering graduate studies in communication. Students can present a proposal and a bibliography for advanced, independent research and, if these are approved, undertake a written and substantially documented senior research thesis the following semester.  (As needed)

COMM4025: Topics in Advanced TV/Video (4 cr.)* 
Some of the topics of this advanced production class include: light and the digital camera; editing sound and image; producing the documentary, producing news for TV and streaming video on websites.   May be repeated for credit provided the topic changes.   Prerequisite: COMM 2050 or Instructor's permission.  (Fall, Spring)
 

 

Note: Non-liberal arts courses are indicated by an asterisk after the course title.