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Slot/Seminar/Experimental Course Descriptions

The following are descriptions of slot courses that are taught on a rotating basis by faculty in the Communication Department. NOTE: slot courses may only be taken twice with the same course number and different subtitles.

 

COMN 349: ADVANCED ISSUES IN PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION: FAMILY COMMUNICATION

Dr. Harrigan

This course will center on theories, topical issues, and empirical research related to family communication. The course will place emphasis on the multitude of family formations that people experience. Topics of discussion include but are not limited to: family culture, family development, family identity, family meaning-making, family roles, and mediated constructions of family. This course is designed for advanced junior and senior communication majors and minors. Active participation will be expected.

Prerequisites: Completion of COMN 102, 103, 160, and 248 or permission of the instructor.

This class counts toward the Personal & Professional track.

COMN 349: ADVANCED ISSUES IN PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION: CRISIS COMMUNICATION

Dr. Lei

Few organizations wish crises to happen, but many wish to be prepared when crises do happen. This course aims to help students understand principles, theories, and models of crisis communication, integrate them into effective management of crises, and participate in strategic decision making in crisis communication. A management process that involves multiple aspects of organizations and takes place not only during crises but before and after, understanding crisis communication can still be beneficial to students who do not anticipate being at the front of crisis communication.

Prerequisites: Completion of COMN 102, 103, 160, and 248 or permission of the instructor.

This class counts toward the Personal & Professional track.

COMN 349:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION:  COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP

Dr. Granger

This course focuses on leadership emphasizing leadership models & theories to stress the importance of written, verbal and non-verbal forms of communication. The course prepares students to communicate personal and professional values and vision, for self and organizations in the public, for profit, and non-profit sectors.

Prerequisites:  Completion of all required courses in the Personal and Professional Communication Track (i.e., COMN 102, 103, 160, and 248) or permission of the instructor.

This class counts toward the Personal & Professional track.

COMN 349:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION:  STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION IN HEALTH

Dr. Lei

Communication and health are two phenomena universal to human experience, and strategic communication plays a meaningful role in communicating and promoting health behaviors. Effective health promotions require understanding the application of theories and principles in human health behaviors. In this course, students will learn foundational theories of health behaviors from a communication perspective and apply them to a variety of public health issues. Students will develop a systemic understanding of how strategic communication can influence health behaviors and demonstrate their understanding by applying them to a specific communication can help address.

Prerequisites:  Completion of all required courses in the Personal and Professional Communication Track (i.e., COMN 102, 103, 160, and 248) or permission of the instructor.

This class counts toward all three tracks of study:  Personal & Professional, Journalism & Media and Intercultural and Critical Studies.

COMN 349:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION:  INFLUENTIAL READINGS IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION

Dr. Harrigan

This course provides students with the opportunity to critically evaluate influential texts to the study of relational communication. Students will experience prolonged and careful engagement with multiple primary texts with the goal of understanding their content and impact on the study of friendships, family, and romantic relationships. Students will also come to understand how other disciplines such as sociology and psychology have influenced the way we conceptualize relational communication. Students will be challenged to apply theoretical and meta-theoretical principles to relational experiences.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103 and 160 or permission of instructor

This class counts toward the Personal & Professional track.

COMN 354:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN MEDIA COMMUNICATION:  MEDIA ETHICS

Dr. Brookes

It is essential for people to understand the application of ethical principles in media. Informed application of these principles can elevate the credibility of media professionals; knowledge of these principles helps the consumer hold the media accountable. Students will learn foundational theories of ethics and apply them to ethical dilemmas in media. We will explore the similarities and differences among ethical issues across different communication settings. By the end of the course, students should know how to make and effectively communicate ethical media choices.

Do not register for this class if you have previously taken it as COMN 388

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103, 107 and 160 or permission of instructor.

This class counts toward the Journalism & Media track and the Intercultural & Critical Studies track.

COMN  354:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN MEDIA COMMUNICATION:  PHOTOGRAPHY AS VISUAL COMMUNICATION

Dr. Tajima

Visual images play a significant role in contemporary communication. This course explores photography's role in our visual communication. It covers the technical and production aspects of photography, explores different venues of photography (e.g., photojournalism, advertising), and analyzes how visual messages influence viewers. Neither prior photographic experience nor camera equipment is needed. Students will be using DSLR cameras that can be lent out. 

Do not register for this class if you have previously taken it as COMN 388.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103, 107 and 160 or permission of instructor.

This class counts toward both the Journalism & Media and Intercultural & Critical Studies tracks.

COMN 354:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN MEDIATED COMMUNICATION:   MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT

Dr. Brookes

Entertainment has become an important interest area within the field of communication. Given the overwhelming portion of Americans' leisure time dedicated to entertainment consumption, scientific inquiry in this area is a necessity. In this course we will explore speculation, theory, and research regarding the uses and effects of entertainment with respect to reading, playing, and watching all sorts of entertainment fare.

Readings and lectures will consider work on effects and appeal of media entertainment, emphasizing emotional reactions. Topics include key concepts of entertainment research, and the respective features and emotional/social-psychological effects of genres such as comedy, mystery, suspense, sports, music, horror, and news.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103, 107 and 160 or permission of instructor.

You are not eligible for this class if you have previously taken it as COMN 388.

This class counts toward the Journalism & Media track.

COMN 354:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN MEDIATED COMMUNICATION:  MASS COMMUNICATION AND THE INDIVIDUAL

Dr. Brookes

In this course, we will explore processing and effects of various media offerings. Specific topics that will be offered include perception of, attention to, and comprehension of media stimuli, entertainment-education, and advertising. Readings and class discussions will address film, television, video games, the internet, and a wide range of other media. Students should end the course with a greater understanding of the psychological processes that occur during media use, as well as increased knowledge of the effects these processes might have on media consumers.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103, 107 and 160 or permission of instructor.

This class counts toward the Journalism & Media track.

COMN 354:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN MEDIATED COMMUNICATION:  MASS MEDIA AND YOUTH

Dr. Brookes

In this course, students will gain an understanding of how children and adolescents use, interpret, and are affected by media. The concepts and research discussed will follow a developmental approach, meaning that we will consider how young children, older children, and adolescents interpret and respond to media content differently. Class topics will include media violence, eating disorders, social networking, and pro-social media among others. Students should end the course with a more developed awareness of the unique challenges and considerations in children's media use.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103, 107 and 160 or permission of instructor

This class counts toward the Journalism & Media track.

COMN 354:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN MEDIATED COMMUNICATION:  SPEECH & MEDIA

Dr. Pierce

Media comes in as many forms as one can imagine–from a Twitter feed perused in an upper-class living room to the news-propaganda that plays through static over a sweatshop radio. Every media event is fundamentally an act of communication, responsible for transmitting information among people, but not all media events are speech. Speech–the live and unpredictable translation of worlds–is the energy inherent in communication; speech is what makes messages make a difference and fail to act according to our intentions. This class asks after the possibility of media that speaks, rather than just communicates, and provides opportunities for students to engage that question as critics and producers of mediated texts. From Beyonce's "Formation" to Trump's syntax to your very own YouTube channel, this course will approach media as a site of convergence for power and privilege and consider the possibility of saying something else.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103, 107 and 160 or permission of instructor

This class counts toward both the Journalism & Media and the Personal & Professional tracks.

COMN 354:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN MEDIATED COMMUNICATION:  CONTROLLING TIME:  MEMORY, MEDIA & IDENTITY

Dr. Bullinger

Facebook has over 1.5 billion users and increasingly prods users to capture moments from their lives. At the same time, many are creating a parallel digital profile of their lives. Taken together, these two phenomena reveal how computational technology, mass storage, and changing norms affect our understanding of memory and the lifespan. This class will discuss memory creation and its relation to factors that affect or understanding of living in the present. We will also discuss archive-based digital immortality and its effects on our understanding of life, identity and human experience.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103, 107 and 160 or permission of instructor

This class counts toward both the Journalism and Media and Intercultural and Critical Studies tracks.

COMN 354:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN MEDIATED COMMUNICATION:  SOCIAL MEDIA AND PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION

Mr. Lull

Social media has become a huge force in our daily lives. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms define our daily communication and creative habits. We will discuss the continuing rise of social media and how these rapidly growing platforms affect us as individuals and professionals. Video and article readings will show us current cases with positive and negative aspects of social media in a professional setting. A discussion of what social media holds for the future of young journalists and entrepreneurs will be a major course topic. The final project will include a theoretical analysis of how a social media campaign has affected a business or media outlet with the goal of understanding the phenomena of growth through trending and "going viral."

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103, 107 and 160 or permission of instructor

This class counts toward both the Journalism and Media and Personal and Professional Track.

You are not eligible for this class if you have previously taken it as COMN 288.

COMN 356:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN CRITICAL STUDIES:  CONTEMPORARY VISUAL COMMUNICATION

Dr. Pierce

As we become fully immersed in the so-called "visual age," we need to be able to act as critical consumers and producers of the media that saturate our lives. This course engages in the visual age while pushing back against the assumption that "new" media cannot be studied through classic principles of style, composition, and design. We will engage visual communication as critics through critical scholarship that balances scholarly rigor with conversational style. We will also engage visual communication as producers through a personal brand project and short, no-dialogue narrative films. Throughout the course, we will approach visual culture as a site of convergence for power and privilege; images are not simply ideas or representations but forces that shape our consciousness.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103 and 160 or permission of instructor.

This class counts toward the Intercultural & Critical Studies and Journalism & Media tracks.

COMN 356:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN CRITICAL STUDIES:  GLOBAL COMMUNICATION

Dr. Kanemoto

Through this course, you will become familiar with scholarship in international, transnational, and intercultural communication in both global and local contexts and their interaction. It first introduces how humans have long created meaning as a function of their national contexts. Based on this foundation, the course then explores global communication through various frameworks, most notably, politics, economy, and culture. Methodologically, the course employs the dialectical approach (e.g., rhetorical analysis, interpretive analysis). Through this pursuit, you will understand, analyze, and reflect on the forces that influence the flow of communication/information globally and locally.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103 and 160 or permission of instructor.

This class counts toward the Intercultural & Critical Studies track.

COMN 356:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN CRITICAL STUDIES:  BRANDED CONTENT

Ms. Sherwood

The path to purchase has shifted from awareness, banner ads and commercial messages to telling a story. Brands reach for branded content, content marketing and product placement to align their messaging with the beliefs and values of their customers. Branded content is the practice to marketing through the creation of content that is funded or outright produced by an advertiser. This course will explore the theory and practical application of branded content in an advertorial and professional communication setting.

Prerequisites:  COMN 102, 103 and 160 or permission of instructor

This class counts toward the Intercultural & Critical Studies and Personal & Professional tracks.

COMN 356:  ADVANCED ISSUES IN CRITICAL STUDIES:  RHETORIC OF STAND-UP

Dr. Pierce

Since it's Greek origins as a form of classical parrhesia or truth-telling, stand-up comedy has been a vibrant form of cultural criticism, uniquely capable of normalizing and disrupting social values under the guise of entertainment. We often think of stand-up comedy as a subjective speech act, whose meaning is decided by each of us, individually. However, stand-up comedy actually lives and dies by rhetorical principles and social science theories, from litotes (understatement) to expectancy violation. This class is part rhetorical theory (what makes stand-up work?), part rhetorical criticism (how can foundational rhetorical principles of invention, disposition, style, memory, and delivery be applied to create excellent stand-up performances?).

This course fulfills requirements in the Personal and Professional and Intercultural and Critical Studies tracks.

COMN 356:  ADVANCED ISSUES AND CRITICAL STUDIES:  URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND ACTIVISM

Dr. Allgayer

In this course, students will critically engage readings in development communication, especially as it relates to struggles for social justice. We will explore historical and global aspects of development and mediated activism, and specifically focus on contemporary sports and other mass-cultural events. This course draws from interdisciplinary research from media studies, critical/cultural studies, sports communication, social movement research, urban studies, and development communication.

This class counts towards the Journalism and Media and Intercultural and Critical Studies tracks.

COMN 356: ADVANCED ISSUES AND CRITICAL STUDIES:  PEACE COMMUNICATION

Dr. Kanemoto

The purpose of the course is to provide students with the theoretical perspectives, practical tools, real-world examples, and analytical skills necessary to better understand, critically evaluate, and respond to contemporary issues related to peace and conflict in a global context. The course begins with a discussion of the challenges of establishing a peace culture. It then examines the consequences of conflict and efforts to build peace. Discussions will focus on the symbol-making-variations and processes of creating, building, and keeping peace.

This class counts toward the Journalism & Media and Intercultural and Critical Studies tracks.

COMN 388 EXP:  BROADCAST NEWS JOURNALISM

Mr. Saffran

Students with communication, journalism/newswriting and/or audio/video production backgrounds will work as part of a team of student broadcast journalists in the production and dissemination of original-reporting multimedia news stories and packages (written and audio-based news stories supported by additional multimedia content) — for broadcast (and online posting) as part of a biweekly “news digest”-style program. Student journalists will gain hands-on experience in original reporting, investigative journalism, news judgment, newswriting, civic-based storytelling, production (audio editing and post-production), and working independently and collaboratively in teams.

COMN 388 EXP:  ADVANCED THEORIES OF PERSUASION

Dr. Lei

This course is designed to help students apply theories of persuasion to investigate issues that our society is facing. It aims to help students learn about using systematic research processes to analyze and examine issues in communication contexts. The course is beneficial to students who wish to enrich their understanding of persuasion from a social scientific perspective in Communication and to students who wish practice and improve their critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills.

Prerequisites:  COMN 213 and permission of instructor.