Associate Professor Jeffrey Kurtz, Chair
Professors Suzanne E. Condray, Lisbeth Lipari; Associate Professors Amanda M. Gunn, Laurel Kennedy, Bill Kirkpatrick, Jeffrey Kurtz, Assistant Professors Hsun-Yu (Sharon) Chuang, Hollis Griffin, Alina Haliliuc, Sangeet Kumar, Anna Nekola, Omedi Ochieng, Laura Russell; Visiting Assistant Professor Sky Anderson; Instructor (part-time) Alan D. Miller; Academic Administrative Assistant Sally Scheiderer
Departmental Guidelines and Goals
The Communication Department offers a rigorous and robust curriculum that addresses three overarching areas of study: Relational Communication, Rhetoric, and Media Studies. In the tradition of the liberal arts, we encourage students to take courses from all three areas of study to amplify the complexity of communication. It is our commitment to educate autonomous thinkers who use moral discernment when addressing the issues of our time through a curriculum that engages students in intersecting media, text and interaction when analyzing meaning-making in any given context.
Our curriculum emphasizes cognitive complexity in processes of inquiry, analysis, reflection, writing, and speaking. At the 100 level, courses introduce topics of concern to the study of communication and ways of thinking about communication in the world; 200 level courses introduce theoretical perspectives, assisting students in formulating and investigating questions appropriate to the discipline as taught at Denison; 300 level courses explore theory and research that helps students utilize the power of communication perspectives and methodologies on topics important to them and to society; 400 level courses engage students in developing proficiency in and producing new knowledge that is socially significant, ethically informed, and fundamental to cultivating one’s self as a life-long learner.
Throughout the curriculum we generate opportunities for students to practice what they are learning in many ways. Students practice the discipline through structured opportunities that promote original research in senior seminars, conference presentations, journal publications, and summer research. In terms of the less traditional modes of practice, students have multiple opportunities to address publics through speaking and writing, ethically engaging with other students from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, using technology as agents rather than consumers, and interrogating and rethinking the performance of the self. Insofar as “practicing” the discipline involves mindful awareness and reflection on the processes of communication that surround students every moment of their lives, the department does this as a matter of course.
A student majoring in Communication must complete a minimum of nine courses in the department. All students must declare Communication as their major prior to taking Theorizing Communication (COMM 280) and Research in Communication (COMM 290). Both COMM 280 and COMM 290 must be taken by the end of the sophomore year and before taking upper division (300 and 400 level) courses. In addition to completing these core requirements, students must complete one course at the 100 level, one course at the 200 level, three courses at the 300 level, one course at the 400 level, and one additional course at any level.
A student minoring in Communication must complete a minimum of six courses in the department. Students must declare Communication as their minor prior to taking Theorizing Communication (COMM 280) and Research in Communication (COMM 290). Both COMM 280 and COMM 290 must be taken by the end of the sophomore year and before taking upper division (300 and 400 level) courses. In addition to completing these core requirements, students must complete one course at the 200 level, one course at the 300 level, one course at the 400 level, and one additional course at any level.