Anthropology and Sociology

ANSO-100
Credit Hours:
4
People, Culture and Society
An examination of fundamental questions concerning the nature and foundations of sociocultural behavior. The course presents a variety of sociocultural approaches for understanding human nature and hominid evolution, cross-cultural similarities and differences, the sources of inequality, and the enormity of recent social change. This course is required of all majors and minors in Anthropology/Sociology and has no prerequisite.
ANSO-199
Credit Hours:
1-4
Introductory Topics in Anthropology and Sociology
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
ANSO-210
Credit Hours:
4
Sex and Gender in Society
This course compares and evaluates a variety of theories which attempt to explain the origins, persistence and effects of gender in American society. In particular, it explores a number of settings that may include: the family, the work place, the political arena, religious activity, violence against women, and face-to-face interactional contexts. Special attention is given to the ways in which race, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation shape gender experiences. Although its primary focus is American society, the course compares problems of sexual inequality in American society with other, quite different, societies in order to gain a comparative understanding of how discrimination, prejudice, and structural inequality, wherever they are found, create special problems for women. Throughout, the focus is on learning to use structural, historical, and theoretical information as guides to understanding social change and the choices facing women and men. Cross-listed with WGST 210.
ANSO-212
Credit Hours:
4
Race and Enthnicity
Contrary to the expectations of many modern social theorists, race and ethnicity continue to be important elements in the lives of contemporary people, serving as frameworks through which individual identities, community actions, and cultural meanings are interpreted. This course will introduce students to the sociocultural analysis of racial and ethnic identities. How did ethnic and racial identities and communities develop over time? Why does race, though now understood to be a social rather than a biological category, continue to be (mis)understood as a biological category? How do aspects of political, class, gender, and sexual identities influence racial and ethnic identities? We will use a global perspective to understand the conception of race and ethnicity. We will explore these topics among others including cultural and historical variability of ethnic and racial categories, the dialectical formation of identity, and the persistence of certain forms of racial and ethnic prejudice. Students will be expected to examine critically their own common assumptions and presuppositions about race and ethnicity, and to begin developing the theoretical tools for interpreting life in an ethnically diverse world. Cross-listed with BLST 212.
ANSO-217
Credit Hours:
4
Religion and Society
This course investigates the relationship between religion and society, and the social dimension of religious truth-claims. The central theme entails a cross-cultural study of religious influences on both social stability and change or revolution. In exploring this tension between religion and existing socioeconomic and political orders, we will consider examples such as religious movements, as well as the ritual life of both the individual's life cycle and wider social and political institutions. This course has no prerequisite.
ANSO-221
Credit Hours:
4
Contemporary Japan
Japan often conjures images steeped in tradition such as samurai warriors, sumo wrestlers, and geisha clad in kimono. At the same time, however, contemporary Japan is just as easily associated with businessmen, anime, automobiles, and high technology. How have "tradition" and "change" fueled competing visions of Japan what it means to be "Japanese"? How does one go about reconciling these conflicting views? How have these debates evolved over time? How have variously situated individuals and groups in society negotiated shifting circumstances? These questions will be at the heart of this seminar as we consider case studies from different segments of Japanese society. A range of material will be treated as "texts" for analysis and discussion including anime, manga, literary works, and films as well as ethnographic scholarship on Japanese society.
ANSO-224
Credit Hours:
4
Human Origins and Prehistory
This course examines the topics of human origins, human nature, evolution, and prehistory, emphasizing the interplay between biological and sociocultural aspects of human life. Readings will draw from accounts of primate social behavior, hominid evolution, and archaeology to investigate the foundations of our uniquely human form of adaptation through culture. This course has no prerequisite.
ANSO-245
Credit Hours:
4
Studies in Anthropology and Sociology
Special topics in Anthropology and Sociology.
ANSO-290
Credit Hours:
4
The Development of Social Thought
An investigation of the classical foundations of social thought and sociocultural theory in sociology/anthropology. The course will concentrate on the original works of authors such as Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Durkheim, Martineau, DuBois and other significant authors of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This course is required of all majors and minors in anthropology and sociology. Prerequisite: ANSO 100 consent. No First Year students.
ANSO-299
Credit Hours:
1-4
Intermediate Topics in Anthropology/Sociology
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
ANSO-316
Credit Hours:
4
Contemporary Sociocultural Theory
Analyses of central theoretical questions in anthropology and sociology. Historical developments and major paradigms within the two disciplines are explored. The process of theory construction is examined and a critical perspective developed. Required of majors. Prerequisites: ANSO 100 and 290.
ANSO-320
Credit Hours:
4
Contemporary African Peoples in Historical Perspective
This course is an examination of the historical, ethnic and socio-cultural diversity of sub-Saharan Africa societies. Central to this overview is an emphasis on the pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial eras. It considers questions of economic development, urbanization, agricultural production and the relationship of the contemporary African state to rural communities. This course also explores symbolic systems in the context of rituals, witchcraft, indigenous churches, and new forms of Christianity currently spreading in Africa. Prerequisite: ANSO 100 or by consent.
ANSO-321
Credit Hours:
4
Anthropology of Human Rights
This seminar interrogates the social life of rights by situating human rights within critical analyses of law, society, and culture. A brief examination of key human rights documents and institutions will be followed by an analysis of topics and case studies selected to juxtapose Asian and Western contexts. A primary concern of this seminar will be to scrutinize how human rights get reworked and refashioned in a range of local settings by various actors on the ground pursing social justice. Prerequisite: ANSO 100 or consent.
ANSO-331
Credit Hours:
4
Culture, Society and the Individual
This course examines the relationship between individuals, their society and culture. This involves looking at differing cultural conceptions of "human nature", and the way in which both "intelligence" and the emotions are "cultural performances." The nature of the "self", indeed, the structure of perception and cognition, are not separable from specific patterns of sociocultural life. Finally, Western and cross-cultural examples will be used to assess different models of social determinism and the cultural impact of human decisions and action. Prerequisite: ANSO 100 or consent.
ANSO-338
Credit Hours:
4
Social Structure and Popular Culture
Under study here are the production and distribution, form and content, and artists and audiences of popular culture internationally. We will consider prominent social theories, from the Frankfort School's critique of popular culture, through the writings on mass culture in the United States, to the recent rehabilitation of popular culture by British writers like Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy. Some of the major questions addressed will include: How do the social arrangements and the technologies of production shape the messages conveyed in popular media? What is the relationship between popular culture and "high" culture? Under what conditions does popular culture distract people from the struggles for equality and social justice, lulling them to passivity, and when can it inspire protest, or even transform people's behavior? Prerequisite: ANSO 100 or consent.
ANSO-339
Credit Hours:
4
Culture, Identity and Politics in Caribbean Society
This course focuses on the social, cultural and political life of the Caribbean area, especially the English and French speaking areas. A fragmented group of nations decidedly on the periphery of the global economy, the Caribbean was once one of the richest areas of the world. Its riches then depended on the labor of enslaved Africans; the fruits of the plantation economy were enjoyed mainly by European planters. What is the legacy of such a history? We review the variety of Caribbean policies, from the strong democratic traditions of Jamaica to the autocratic rulers of Haiti, and explore how the Caribbean's unique combination of cultural influences affect the political processes, ways of life, class divisions and ethnic stratification evident in the Caribbean today. Prerequisite: ANSO 100 or consent.
ANSO-340
Credit Hours:
4
Social Movements
In this course we explore social movements as a primary means of social change. We attempt to understand the conditions which precede, accompany and follow collective action. Particular case studies for analysis will be drawn from the United States and cross-cultural contexts to illustrate that social movements are human products that have both intended and unintended consequences. Prerequisite: ANSO 100 or consent.
ANSO-342
Credit Hours:
4
Non-Governmental Organizations, Development and Human Rights
This course is a critical and inter-disciplinary examination of the role and consequences of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the development industry. The course explores the history, organization and agenda building of NGOs since the 1950's. Power relationships between NGOs and states, particularly in the southern hemisphere, as well as with bilateral and multi-lateral institutions are pivotal to our examination. The ideological, programmatic and conceptual differences among NGOs are examined within the broader context of theories of development. We ask why growing numbers of people see NGOs as the answer to ameliorating poverty, disease, violations of human rights and environmental degradation, among others. Some of the organizations that we examine include Greenpeace, Amnesty International, the Grameen Bank and Working Women's Forum. Prerequisite: ANSO 100 or consent.
ANSO-343
Credit Hours:
4
Demography of Africa
In this course, we begin by reviewing current literature to clearly define the term, Demography. Next, we examine the demographic processes of population change in the continent of Africa. Demographic processes include mortality, fertility and migration. In addition, we explore patterns of urbanization, economic development and educational attainment. We analyze survey data from the African Census Analysis Project and Demographic Health Survey. Upon completion, you should be familiar with a variety of demographic processes that allow an examination of interesting demographic, social and anthropological questions. Prerequisite: ANSO 100.
ANSO-345
Credit Hours:
4
Special Problems
Special topics offered at an advanced level not covered in regular courses.
ANSO-347
Credit Hours:
4
Power in Society
Using theoretical approaches and methodological tools from anthropology and sociology, this course explores the nature of social power and its distribution in a variety of social settings. Under what conditions do specific types of power distributions emerge, and what consequences do they have for people's social and economic lives? When do political systems change, and why? How do social and cultural factors influence people's participation in political action? A variety of social institutions relevant to politics are examined in this course, including interest groups, political parties, the state and transnational organizations. Processes such as legitimization of authority, social influences on policy formation, political socialization, mobilization and co-optation are analyzed in the contexts of local, national and international politics. Prerequisite: ANSO 100 or consent.
ANSO-348
Credit Hours:
4
Semiotic: The Social Life of Signs
This course is an introduction to semiotic theory. Semiotic is the study of signs and representation. It is based upon the simple and perhaps surprising insight that things are meaningful only to the extent that they stand for something other than themselves. This is not simply a 'theory' class - this class will focus on the symbolic, empirical, material world. As a social science course, we will be concerned primarily with human semiosis, that is, the ways in which human being is manifest through and in signs, with a particular focus on the semiotic of C.S. Peirce. While no prior training in formal philosophy is required, some training in the study of human sociocultural practices will be helpful. Most of all, this course will endeavor to introduce students to some key aspects of Peirce's semiotic and phenomenology, all in the service of understanding our "glassy essence". Prerequisite: ANSO 100.
ANSO-350
Credit Hours:
4
Semiotic: The Social Life of Signs
This course is an introduction to semiotic theory. Semiotic is the study of signs and representation. It is based upon the simple and perhaps surprising insight that things are meaningful only to the extent that they stand for something other than themselves. This is not simply a 'theory' class - this class will focus on the symbolic, empirical, material world. As a social science course, we will be concerned primarily with human semiosis, that is, the ways in which human being is manifest through and in signs, with a particular focus on the semiotic of C.S. Peirce. While no prior training in formal philosophy is required, some training in the study of human sociocultural practices will be helpful. Most of all, this course will endeavor to introduce students to some key aspects of Peirce's semiotic and phenomenology, all in the service of understanding our "glassy essence". Prerequisite: ANSO 100.
ANSO-351
Credit Hours:
4
Survey Research Methods
This course provides experience in the design and implementation of sociocultural research. In addition to techniques of collecting, analyzing, interpreting and reporting data, we examine epistemological issues that underlie social research, ethical questions involved in research, and the theoretical assumptions on which various research strategies are based. Students will construct and implement research designs using survey research and secondary data analysis. Quantitative analysis, including descriptive and inferential statistics, analysis of variance, and simple regression will be included. Required of majors. ANSO 350 and 351 may be taken in any order. Prerequisite: ANSO 100 or consent.
ANSO-361
Credit Hours:
1-4
Directed Study
ANSO-362
Credit Hours:
1-4
Directed Study
ANSO-363
Credit Hours:
1-4
Independent Study
ANSO-364
Credit Hours:
1-4
Independent Study
ANSO-399
Credit Hours:
1-4
Adv topics in Anthropoly/Soc
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
ANSO-451
Credit Hours:
4
Senior Research
ANSO-452
Credit Hours:
4
Senior Research
ANSO-460
Credit Hours:
4
Senior Research Seminar
An integrative course designed to be a culmination of students' work in the major. This course focuses on the design and completion of semester-long research projects by senior majors. The course will provide the basis for reflection about the nature and importance of anthropology and sociology as disciplines and in relation to our role as researchers and citizens. Required of Senior Majors.

Chinese

CHIN-111
Credit Hours:
4
Beginning Chinese I
A comprehensive introductory course in modern standard Chinese through the four basic skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. The two beginning courses will concentrate on correct pronunciation and the four tones as well as the basic grammatical patterns.
CHIN-112
Credit Hours:
4
Beginning Chinese II
A comprehensive introductory course in modern standard Chinese through the four basic skills: aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. The two beginning courses will concentrate on correct pronunciation and the four tones as well as the basic grammatical patterns.
CHIN-206
Credit Hours:
4
Dream and Fantasy in East Asian Literature
Through close analysis of some of the most important recurrent themes, this course will examine how the Chinese and Japanese literary traditions reinvent and revitalize themselves in their development. Students will also study the distinctive features of the major genres in the two traditions.
CHIN-211
Credit Hours:
4
Intermediate Chinese
Development of conversational skills. Comprehensive grammar will be the core of the course, along with further development of reading ability and more extensive oral practice. Prerequisite: CHIN 112.
CHIN-212
Credit Hours:
4
Intermediate Chinese II
Further development of fluency in conversation and in reading. Emphasis on the students' ability to write Chinese characters through composition exercises. Prerequisite: 211.
CHIN-299
Credit Hours:
1-4
Intermediate Topics in Chinese
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
CHIN-305
Credit Hours:
4
Spontaneity: Taoism and Chinese Literature
This course examines a special group of Chinese texts that will not only enlighten, but also delight modern readers: ancient Taoist texts written in fascinating literary style, and a variety of literary works informed with Taoist spirit. No knowledge of Chinese is required. (Normally offered in the spring)
CHIN-311
Credit Hours:
4
Advanced Chinese
This course is designed for students who have completed two years of college-level Chinese and are ready to move on from the intermediate to the advanced level. Besides the topics provided by the textbook, students will also work on conversation topics drawn from newspaper articles and other media sources on social-cultural issues in China. By the end of the semester, students should be able to comprehend Chinese used in various contexts, to write short essays, and to discuss subject-oriented issues. Prerequisite: Chinese 212 or equivalent.
CHIN-312
Credit Hours:
4
Advanced Chinese
This course further develops students' basic skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) in mandarin Chinese. The emphasis is placed on vocabulary building and extended mastery of sentence structures of Modern Chinese through reading, writing, and related communicative activities. Prerequisite: Chinese 311 or equivalent.
CHIN-340
Credit Hours:
4
Chinese Cinema in English: A Cultural and Literary Study
With the aid of modern critical theories, students will study the most representative works of Chinese cinema since the mid-1980s. By analyzing the origins, themes and styles of the films, students can hope to have a better understanding of the main cultural and literary trends in contemporary China and of modern Chinese society in general. The course will be conducted in English.
CHIN-361
Credit Hours:
1-4
Directed Study
Readings in Chinese texts.
CHIN-362
Credit Hours:
1-4
Directed Study
Readings in Chinese texts.
CHIN-363
Credit Hours:
1-4
Independent Study
CHIN-364
Credit Hours:
1-4
Independent Study

Communication

COMM-101
Credit Hours:
4
Public Address
This course is designed to help students develop skills for effective oral communication. At a minimum, students will emerge more confident on the public platform. When refined by practice and experience, the critical thinking, composition, and performance skills learned should prove most useful in personal and professional endeavors.
COMM-108
Credit Hours:
4
Introduction to Writing for Print and Online
This course focuses on the fundamentals of reporting and writing nonfiction for print. Topics include storytelling and narrative, lead writing, point of view, information gathering, interviewing, and more. The class aims to help students develop overall research, writing, and thinking skills; questioning, listening, and interviewing skills; and a more sophisticated understanding of print journalism. (Offered fall only)
COMM-111
Credit Hours:
4
Ethics and Society
This course explores communication ethics from philosophical and applied perspectives in a variety of social contexts. Weekly theoretical discussions are grounded in applied cases that revolve around issues such as whistleblowing, free speech, group think, lying, confidentiality, privacy, coercion, and consensus.
COMM-115
Credit Hours:
4
Special Topics in Communication
Special Topics in Communication provides a venue in which to explore in some depth an aspect or issue related to communication study. May be taken more than once by majors or non-majors to address special topics.
COMM-122
Credit Hours:
4
Argumentation
In this course students will explore the art of inquiry and advocacy known as argumentation. In order to become better audiences and practitioners of argument, students will consider the nature of argument, the building blocks of argument and the practice of argument in public debate.
COMM-126
Credit Hours:
4
Media Structures
This course is designed to initiate students into critical and intelligent debates surrounding the issue of communication and its pertinence to mass, modern and postmodern societies. We consider specifically how mass communication has been defined from the 19th through to the beginning of the 21st Century and how this history is relevant to issues of mass society today. Given that almost every person in America is affected by mass culture and media, we will discuss through the lectures, discussions and exercises a number of controversial suggestions, critical paradigms and mainstream assumptions. Throughout the course, students will be expected to understand these approaches and be able to both criticize and recognize the legitimacy of these models.
COMM-130
Credit Hours:
4
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Speech introduces students to the dimensions of oral discourse both as practiced in a community of citizens and theoretically viewed through various legal interpretations. We will examine how the first amendment rights have been defended and impinged within academic settings, throughout historical periods of political unrest and war, and in daily exchanges marked by hate, defamation and obscenity.
COMM-140
Credit Hours:
4
The Politics of Popular Culture
The terrain of popular culture has historically been a site of contentious struggles and debates. For long (as is the case even today) one's cultural "taste" was a significant factor in determining one's standing in the social hierarchy. Debates about "high" vs "low" culture and about what cultural texts and practices must stand in to represent a community have involved some of the most well known intellectuals in history. Analyzing the trajectory of these debates over the years provides us with a lens through which to understand historical social changes. It also allows us to appreciate that several contemporary debates (for instance about the cultural meaning of Hip Hop or Reality TV) have historical precedents that inform and precede them. This introductory course seeks to trace those debates from their origins in middle century Europe to their culmination into contemporary battles over popular culture. In so doing it seeks to politicize popular culture and unravel the competing ideologies and worldviews embedded within it. We begin by reading some of the prominent theorists of "high" culture and then problematize their arguments by studying the challenges to them (most stridently posed by the Birmingham school of scholars). We will then use this historical debate to inform our understanding of the contemporary world of popular culture in America. In the process we will also learn various ways to analyze and critique objects of popular culture around us that we often unthinkingly consume.
COMM-147
Credit Hours:
4
Introduction to Media Literacy
While most of us are proficient consumers of visual electronic media - we have the speed of symbol-recognition and comprehension skills to be adept "readers" - few of us have learned to bring to that reading the critical skills we learn in the study of literature, music or art. This course examines how sound and images construct the "realities" that media presumably represent.
COMM-199
Credit Hours:
1-4
Introductory Topics in Communication
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
COMM-205
Credit Hours:
4
Global Communication
The purpose of the course is to acquire an understanding of the key concepts and ideas about globalization and the role the mass media plays in the process. While the term "globalization" has been bandied about among the popular press, academic and the business community, this course will attempt to contextualize and ground the concept by developing a multiperspectival approach to some of the political, economic and social processes that have been associated with the development of a world communication system. Throughout the course, we will examine the growing centrality that the mass media and information technologies play in our daily lives and the ways in which they contribute to or hinder our daily practices of identity, community and culture in a global context.
COMM-211
Credit Hours:
4
Thinking with Ethics
This course will help students discover how to better recognize ethical questions when they stumble across them and to explore how, when we do, we lean into them rather than turn away. What makes it possible for us to think, listen and speak with ethics? We will explore a range of public and private ethical questions that arise in the everyday lives of college students such as, for example: privacy & free speech, conformity & dissent, accountability & care, trust & truthfulness, propaganda & censorship, power & privilege, whistleblowing & secrecy, and alterity & responsibility.
COMM-215
Credit Hours:
4
Communication Special Topics
Special Topics in Communication provides a venue in which to explore in depth an aspect or issue related to communication study. May be taken more than once by majors or non-majors to address special topics.
COMM-221
Credit Hours:
4
Theories of Group Communication
This course explores the communication processes in and around social, organizational and political groups. The dynamic nature of group formation, flexibility and sustainability will serve as the foundation of the course. Questions regarding the desire for belonging, how belonging gets enacted, and the tensions of group identification and membership will serve as the thread for exploring groups in a variety of contexts.
COMM-223
Credit Hours:
4
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of the spoken and written word, and its study and practice has been the foundation of a liberal education for two thousand years. It grounds the traditions and practices of politics, law, commerce and religion, and its power is felt in every sphere of public life. In this course we focus on the practice and theory of rhetoric as the medium of civic engagement, and the constituting act of self and community.
COMM-224
Credit Hours:
4
Theories of Interpersonal Communication
This course provides students with an interpretive and critical perspective for investigating the process of our making social worlds. Students will analyze interactional patterns of communication in personal and cultural mythology, in family communication, and in college students' culture.
COMM-225
Credit Hours:
4
US Broadcast History and Theory
This class explores the history of radio and television broadcasting in the U.S. since the 1910s, analyzing radio and television programs within their social and industrial contexts and considering the ways that these texts are understood by audiences. We will pay particular attention to the political, economic, and cultural roles of the media in twentieth-century U.S. history, drawing connections to radio and television's quickly changing present. We will also examine how history itself is researched and written, introducing you to theories and methods in historiography.
COMM-227
Credit Hours:
4
New Literacy Lab
Digital technology is merging traditional communication modalities of voice, text, and image into ever new forms of representation and interaction, changing many aspects of our lives profoundly, not only in terms of personal and business relationships, consumer habits, work environments, and civic engagement, but even in the ways we understand ourselves, relate to each other, and form identities. Students will explore the creative potential of these communication forms in a lab practicum closely tied to the exploration of their existential impact in theory readings and class discussions.
COMM-229
Credit Hours:
4
Mediating Gender and Sexuality
In this class we will examine and evaluate the cultural construction and representation of gender and sexuality in contemporary American mass media, and trace their development throughout the 20th century. We will focus on a variety of mass-produced commercial media texts, surveying television, magazines, advertising, and popular music. Although gender is the primary identity construction examined in this course, we will also pay close attention to other aspects of identity that define American women, such as ethnicity, class, and sexuality. We will investigate representational issues in relation to their political repercussions, and draw from a broad range of academic literature, including feminist television criticism, film theory, cultural studies, communication theory, and popular music criticism. Cross-listed with QS 229 and WGST 229.
COMM-232
Credit Hours:
4
Theories of Public and Private Performance
How do we perform our identities in everyday life? What role does everyday performativity play in constituting us as raced, gendered, and classed subjects? How do cultural performances (musical concerts, sporting events, or dance) help us better understand ourselves and our society? In this class we examine a range of theories that see private behaviors and public performances as rehearsed, audience-oriented, and creative acts. Theorists such as Erving Goffman, Judith Butler, Pierre Bourdieu, and Victor Turner will guide our examination of both "everyday" performativity (in regard to bodily stigma and identities of class, race, gender, and sexuality) and cultural performances (such as musical concerts, sporting events, and dance). Students will learn how to analyze their own behavior as a cultural text and to discern the textual, acoustic, and embodied dimensions of cultural performances. They will practice illuminating how performances can reinforce or disrupt the social order, while creating the self in community.
COMM-234
Credit Hours:
4
Media Theory
In this course, we think critically about the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of media forms (e.g. television programs, viral videos) and practices (e.g. sending text messages, participating in social media networks). In readings, screenings, written assignments, and discussions you develop a working knowledge of different intellectual traditions used to study media. From the very start, the course pushes past simplistic, binary assessments of media consumption as being either "good" or "bad." Instead, we survey the complicated routes through which media forms and practices inform people's understandings of themselves and the world around them. Organized into three units, the course aims to provide you with conceptual frames for 1) understanding the relationship between media and culture, 2) identifying how media make claims to represent truth and authenticity, and 3) comprehending the role of media in ideological conflict. Throughout the term, you are asked to question many ideas and beliefs that people take for granted: that media are "bad" for children, that some television programming is "realistic," or that we could ever exist outside the web of mediated communication that informs our day-to-day lives, even if we wanted to do just that. The overarching aim of the course is nuance - a deeper understanding of media, and a refined critical lens of assessing its role in contemporary life.
COMM-239
Credit Hours:
4
Racialized Perspectives of Media
This course critically examines the forms that racial and ethnic representations have taken in American media. The course will attempt to chart changes in public perception of racial and ethnic difference in the context of cultural and social transformations, as well as adjustments in the U.S. media industry. We will first establish a foundational knowledge of media criticism and explore theories and perspectives on how ethnicity is experienced in American culture. We will then focus on the topic of the representation of ethnicity in American media, surveying it historically, in relation to specific ethnic groups, at particular moments, and in a variety of genres.
COMM-244
Credit Hours:
4
Theories of Intercultural Communication
This course examines the processes and politics of intercultural communication in both domestic and international contexts. Students will enhance their cross-cultural awareness by exploring differences in value orientations, thought patterns and (non)verbal behaviors, challenges of transition and adaptation across cultures, identity management in intercultural settings, intergroup relationship development and conflict resolution, and intercultural communication competence and ethics. Throughout the course, special considerations will be given to power and privilege issues in bridging differences and embracing diversity.
COMM-250
Credit Hours:
4
Communication and Technology
This course is designed to examine the impact of the Internet and information technology on our daily lives. Advanced technology becomes a normal part of life and creates new contexts for communication. This class goes beyond technical and how-to-issues to investigate how new media affects our communication practices with others. Over the semester we will focus on issues relating to mediated communication and advanced communication technology. Particular topics discussed include media effects, relationships, identity, agency, distanciation and genesis. This course is designed for students who already have basic experience with computers and the Internet.
COMM-255
Credit Hours:
4
Visual Communication
This course explores how we perceive and interpret the images and visual texts that we encounter. The course introduces perspectives from visual intelligence, media aesthetics, and visual rhetoric, while offering students opportunities to employ these perspectives in analyzing a range of visual mediums.
COMM-280
Credit Hours:
4
Theorizing Communication
This course introduces students to selected theoretical perspectives and vocabularies for understanding human communication. This course is designed to both introduce and provide an overview of the discipline of communication studies. First-Year or sophomore standing or consent. Required of all majors and minors.
COMM-290
Credit Hours:
4
Research in Communication
The purpose of this course is to expose students to major research methods used in the communication discipline. The course will sensitize students to issues in the field, familiarize students with types of research methods used in the discipline and enable students to formulate research questions, and design appropriate studies to answer those questions. In addition, the course will facilitate students' ability to understand the logic and process of research and to engage in critical analyses of reports and studies published in communication journals. First-year or sophomore standing or consent. Required of majors/minors.
COMM-299
Credit Hours:
1-4
Intermediate Topics in Communication
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
COMM-306
Credit Hours:
4
Organizational Culture
This course is informed by the claim that communication is the means through which we construct, participate, and convey the cultures of which we are a part. The constitutive nature of communication is explored by investigating an existing organizational culture through an application of communication concepts and theories, cultural studies theories, and qualitative research methods. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or consent of instructor.
COMM-307
Credit Hours:
4
Media Historiography
Media Historiography introduces students to the processes of conducting historical research in communication and media studies. Using mediated communication from past eras, the course will provide students with the analytical tools necessary to situate literature, film, television, and popular music in their historical milieus. Students will be encouraged to see media forms from prior eras as sites where meaning is contested, not just simple reflections of a period's prevailing politics. In written work, students will practice the methodologies used by communication and media scholars to interrogate these sorts of questions: archival research, ethnography, and formal analysis. Through these written assignments, as well as readings, screenings, and class discussions, students will consider mediated communication as evidence of the dynamic, disputed political, economic, and cultural forces at work in prior eras. Prerequisite: COMM 280 and COMM 290.
COMM-311
Credit Hours:
4
Ethics and the Public Sphere
This course explores the intersection between communication ethics and political communication in the context of democratic pluralism. After being introduced to the central themes, questions, and literatures of discourse ethics and dialogic philosophy, students then explore the relationships between response and responsibility, and ethics and politics, in deliberative public spheres. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or consent of instructor.
COMM-313
Credit Hours:
4
Listening, Thinking, Being
Although we know listening is central to communication, we rarely think about it. In this course we place listening at the center of communication and explore a range of sound environments and listening practices including auditory cultures, acoustic ecology, animal communication, film sound, music, human dialogue, and deaf cultures. Rather than focus on technical questions such as how to be a more effective listener the course asks the basic question of how we listen and explores the indissoluble relationships between listening, speaking, thinking, and being. Along the way, we will also consider the cultural, philosophical and ethical dimensions of listening. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or consent of instructor.
COMM-315
Credit Hours:
4
Special Topics in Communication
These classes focus intensively upon a particular aspect of communication. May be taken more than once for elective credit as an upper division course. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or consent of instructor.
COMM-320
Credit Hours:
4
Language, Culture, and Communication
This course is based on an understanding that culture is maintained through systems of meaning, and that communication is the sharing of meaning between people. This course explores the many ways in which language, culture, and communication interact with, influence, and manifest each other. It investigates the relationships between these three constructs using the tools of linguistic anthropology, semiotics, and cultural theory to gain a better and deeper understanding of the taken-for-granted aspects of our social worlds. During the semester, students will examine the cultural influences of language on communication, social functions of language, cultural signs and codes, spoken language, dialects, bilingualism, and multiculturalism. This course is designed to encourage students to synthesize core course concepts and apply them to everyday lives in critical and creative ways. Prerequisites: Communication major or minor; COMM 280 and COMM 290.
COMM-324
Credit Hours:
4
The Rhetoric of Citizenship
This course explores the symbolic dimensions of the American public discourse about rights and citizenship. Students will undertake historical and rhetorical examinations of the key texts and issues that give these their tone and tenor. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or consent of instructor.
COMM-325
Credit Hours:
4
Narrative Ethics
This course will examine how narrative and storytelling shape meanings and perceived values for personhood. We will explore an array of philosophical perspectives such as those of Paul Ricoeur, Jerome Bruner, and Arthur Frank. Concurrently, we will examine storytelling in multiple contexts including children's books, court cases, health incidents, media anecdotes, and everyday conversations. Through investigating these various contexts, we will develop different approaches to defining and applying narrative communication. Specifically, we will practice reflexive methodology by cross-examining our personal lives in the context various ethical perspectives and dilemmas. In doing so, we will address questions such as: Are stories lived before or after they are told? What is the relationship between narrative and reality? What role does narrative serve in developing moral understandings and guiding ethical practices? These questions will be addressed during class discussions, as well as in written assignments entailing personal narratives, co-authored standpoints, and creative projects that respond to the ethical issues surfaced throughout the course. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or consent of instructor.
COMM-328
Credit Hours:
4
Communication Law
Communication Law examines the constitutional and statutory principles associated with the First Amendment issues of free speech and free press. The course examines legal decisions, governmental regulatory doctrines, and self-regulatory practices which inform First Amendment law. Particular topics discussed include censorship, obscenity and pornography, libel law, privacy, governmental secrecy, free press/fair trial, regulation of telecommunications, advertising and the Internet. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or consent of instructor.
COMM-329
Credit Hours:
4
Gender and Communication
This course focuses on (1) the role of interpersonal, social and political communication in the construction of gender expectations in American culture, and (2) how those expectations get communicated/performed, and thus reified, in our daily lives. We will explore the complex interplay between self expectations and social expectations of gender that get expressed, challenged, and ultimately influenced by and within a variety of social and interpersonal contexts: education, the body, organizations, friends and family, romantic relationships, the media, and politics. Cross-listed with WGST 329 and QS 329. Prerequisite: COMM 280 and COMM 290, or WGST major.
COMM-333
Credit Hours:
4
Digital Technology and Cultural Change
The world of communication continues to change rapidly, and with it, the cultural landscape. New avenues of social connection, political action, and creative production are clashing with powerful financial, legal, and political forces, and the outcomes of these clashes are far from certain. This class explores the possibilities for cultural change that digital technology presents and the social and economic struggles over the future of our culture. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or consent of instructor.
COMM-344
Credit Hours:
4
Exploring Rhetorical Texts
This course examines the art of rhetorical criticism. In becoming a practicing rhetorical critic, students will learn to situate, interpret, and judge historical and contemporary public persuasive discourse. Topics include the nature of criticism and the role of the critic, the process of contextual reconstruction, key issues in textual reading, and methods of rhetorical analysis. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or consent of instructor.
COMM-345
Credit Hours:
4
Cultural Globalization and Identity
This course will critically engage with the phenomenon of the global circulation of culture. It will seek to understand the consequences of the process whereby texts, ideas and images that for long remained confined to their locations of origin are today increasingly mobile and de-territorialized. Objects of popular culture such as television, cinema and music, are circulating and being consumed around the world and are helping challenge the traditional markers of human identity such as nation, culture and language. While they are allowing individuals to imagine alternatives to existing realities they are also engendering a backlash against a perceived imposition of new ideas, values and culture. This course will seek to familiarize students with these ongoing changes and the conflicts over cultural and national identity that it has given rise to. We will begin with arguments that present a totalizing view of this process (the Cultural Imperialism thesis) and then over the course of the semester complicate and nuance those arguments by introducing agency and empowerment for the consumers of global culture. We will do this by closely studying actual case studies (from reality TV in Saudi Arabia or McDonalds in Japan) in order to understand the stakes involved in the struggle to define and "protect" national and cultural identity. At the end of this semester long course students should have gained a deep understanding of why the process of global flow of culture is a deeply contentious and political phenomenon. Understanding these conflicts through the lens of identity will help students complicate that term as well as interrogate their views about their own identity. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290; majors and minors only.
COMM-349
Credit Hours:
4
The Trouble with Normal: Normalization, Discourse and Power
One of the primary ways that social power and control are exercised is through the establishment and enforcement of "norms": gender norms, racial norms, sexuality norms, norms of able-bodiedness, norms of beauty and body size, and more. This course delves deeply into the theoretical literature of normalization, especially the work of Michel Foucault, and applies it to a wide range of topics including sexuality, disability, gender roles, body size, and more. The course is cross-listed with QS 349. Prerequisites: COMM 280 and COMM 290 or QS 101 and QS 201 or QS 300 or consent of instructor.
COMM-350
Credit Hours:
4
Advanced Journalism
This course allows students to explore the planning, reporting, and writing of in-depth news stories. It also explores the ethical considerations of such projects. The organic and collaborative process provides students the opportunity to hone their writing skills by focusing on the importance of story structure and content. Prerequisites: COMM 108 or COMM 280 or COMM 290 or consent of instructor. (Offered spring only)
COMM-361
Credit Hours:
1-4
Directed Study
COMM-362
Credit Hours:
1-4
Directed Study
COMM-363
Credit Hours:
1-4
Independent Study
COMM-364
Credit Hours:
1-4
Independent Study
COMM-399
Credit Hours:
1-4
Advanced Topics in Communication
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
COMM-401
Credit Hours:
4
Special Topics Seminar
These seminar courses focus intensively upon a particular aspect of communication. Recent examples include Visual Culture and Media and Cultural Policy. Prerequisites: Majors and minors must take COMM 280 and COMM 290 and at least one 300 level COMM course or consent of instructor.
COMM-402
Credit Hours:
4
Language, Identity and Politics: Discourse and the Public Sphere
This course examines the role of language and discourse in constructing, maintaining and transforming identities, publics and politics in late 20th century democracies. Throughout, we will consider the relationship between language use and unequal relations of power. We will begin with an introduction to discourse studies and explore discourse as symbolic power, social practice and ideology. Next, we will examine the role of discourse in constructing and maintaining identities and communities, including those of subaltern and marginalized publics. Finally, we will examine and critique the role of discourse in public sphere(s) from Afrocentric, feminist and queer perspectives. Prerequisites: Majors and minors must take COMM 280 and COMM 290 and at least one 300 level COMM course or consent of instructor.
COMM-403
Credit Hours:
4
Culture and Communication
This seminar takes a historical and critical approach to understand the role communication plays in creating various cultural experiences. Topics include: How can we best understand and study the construction of "culture" through a communication lens? What does "American culture" mean within a pluralistic and diverse society? How are different cultural voices created, heard or erased? How is "America" constructed from international scholars' perspectives? Prerequisites: Majors and minors must take COMM 280 and COMM 290 and at least one 300 level COMM course or consent of instructor.
COMM-404
Credit Hours:
4
Media and the Presidency
This course examines the relationship between the media and the American presidency from both a historical and contemporary perspective. The seminar focuses on the historical dynamics of the relationship, the role of institutional factors in White House coverage, the influence of presidential press coverage on public perception of the presidency, and the influence of the media on presidential election campaigns. Resources and texts represent a diversity of views among scholars, journalists and presidential administration personnel. Prerequisites: Majors and minors must take COMM 280 and COMM 290 and at least one 300 level COMM course or consent of instructor.
COMM-406
Credit Hours:
4
Rhetoric and Social Movements
This course focuses on the historical rhetorics of discontent and transformation. Students will examine the characteristics and functions of persuasive discourse produced by social movements; the ways in which symbolic action sought to shape perceptions of concrete realities. Of particular interest will be the intersection of cultural context, biography, and creative rhetorical strategy. Prerequisites: Majors and minors must take COMM 280 and COMM 290 and at least one 300 level COMM course or consent of instructor.
COMM-408
Credit Hours:
4
Critical Perspectives in Communication
This course is designed to acquaint students with criticism as a method for answering research questions in communication. Students will be provided with opportunities to apply various methods in the writing of essays analyzing various kinds of communication texts - both discursive and non-discursive. Public communication via public speaking, broadcast, film and print media as well as art, architecture and music will be among the texts examined over the course of the term. Prerequisites: Majors and minors must take COMM 280 and COMM 290 and at least one 300 level COMM course or consent of instructor.