Special Topics

Special Topics


COM310.0001 – Contemporary Oral Communication: Rhetoric of the Courtroom Drama, 3cr.
Instructor: Prof. Richardson Smith
Surveys and analyzes rhetoric of the courtroom drama in film/TV. Topics include legal theory/rhetoric, theories of legal/cinematic rhetoric, social and educational function of law film tropes, cinematic narratology, common ethical and ideological debates, generic conventions and their rhetorical role and evolution., trial tactics, jury nullification, race and gender in a white male dominated space, dynamics of law and popular. Pre: junior standing in a degree granting college or permission by instructor.

COM310.0002 – Contemporary Oral Communication: The Rhetoric of Music: Songs of Social Justice, 3cr.
Instructor: Dr. Stephen Wood
The rhetoric of music is an in-depth exploration of the ways music, particularly non-mainstream music, functions as a rhetorical agent. Specifically, the ways in which political and collective social experience are shaped, influenced, inspired, driven, reinforced or mobilized through music will be studied and illustrated through a series of lectures and screenings about key musical rhetorical agents. The class will feature readings on rhetorical theory as applied to music and audio/video recordings selected to challenge the student’s understanding and knowledge.
Pre: junior standing in a degree-granting college or permission of instructor.

COM310.0003 – Contemporary Spoken Word, 3cr.
Instructor: Dr. Vanessa Quainoo
A course exploring contemporary word performance as expressed through conversational, poetic or dramatic narrative as it occurs in natural and creative contexts.  Spoken word is where literary combines with oral traditions to produce rhythmic, emphatic and often demonstrative vocalization.  Whether in coffee shops, on university campuses, at poetry slams or community performances, spoken word has become a storytelling ritual of our time.  Students will have an opportunity to both study and perform spoken word in a course which employs both theoretical analysis and creative application.
Pre:  Junior standing in a degree granting college or permission of instructor

COM310.0004 & .0005 – Contemporary Oral Communication: The Rhetoric of Hate Speech, 3cr.
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Munksgaard
This course is a detailed examination of hate speech – that, is communication that disparages a person or group on the basis of some group-based characteristic (race, gender, religion, sexuality, etc.). Students will examine the rhetorical , cultural, and legal history of both organized hate speech and more subtle manifestations in popular culture.  While most of the focus will be on American and European hate groups, attention will also be given to manifestations in Rwanda, Japan, the Middle East, etc. Readings will include primary as well as secondary sources, so students should be prepared to encounter some offensive material over the course of the semester.

COM 310.0006 – Contemporary Oral Communication:  Initiative to Educate Afghan Women – Professional Partnership, 3cr.
Instructor: Prof. Daphne Wales
This course offers students the unique opportunity to acquire real world learning as part of the Unclassroom model within The Harrington School of Communication and Media Studies.  Students will work closely with IEAW professionals by participating in project based learning to meet demonstrable learning outcomes, which include the construction and production of high quality professional materials in content areas of communication, film, journalism, public relations and writing.   Students will gain advanced experience in written and oral communication with each other, the professional partner and within in the digital environment.
Exhibitions will provide one avenue to deliver and present productions to the professional partner and the larger community. Students will each leave the course with a rich application of their knowledge to the real world, connections with professionals in their partnership network and a high quality portfolio to showcase work completed. Instructor permission required.

COM310.0007 – Contemporary Oral Communication:  Using Video for the Business of Media
Instructor: Prof. Robert Cohen
Students will develop and implement business video strategies for clients.  Video is the lingua franca of the digital age, connecting people of different cultures, training and businesses.  More and more, the digital response to communication is video, as pictures supplant words.  Any student interested in a career in business will have to speak the language of pictures and sounds.  This course frames those skills in the context of commerce.
Pre:  Junior standing in a degree granting college or permission of instructor

COM 410.0001 – Advanced Topics In Communication Studies: Advanced Audio Communication 3cr.
Instructor: Dr. Ian Reyes
This course focuses on advanced technical instruction and ear training for students already experienced with audio media processes.  Topics will primarily concern digital, in-the-box techniques necessary for professional recording, mixing and mastering.  Instructor permission required.

COM410.0002 & .0003 – Advanced Topics In Communication Studies: Global Dimensions of Environmental Communication (blended), 3cr.
Instructor: Dr. Norbert Mundorf.
How can we improve the quality of human life around the world in the face of global climate disruptions and conflicts over food, water, and energy resources? Our past and current political, economic, and social choices impact the living conditions, even survival, of future generations. How we act and communicate as human beings can change these conditions. Media, culture, and communication are key to individual behavior, social, economic and political changes and can help to make our lives sustainable. Communication is pivotal in achieving a broad understanding of environmental challenges and opportunities for achieving individual and social action.
Through in-depth study of films, readings and online sources, we will explore the economic, social and ecological principles of environmental sustainability in a global context. We will discuss the importance linking scientific evidence, public policies and individual behavior, and work on strategies for lasting change.
Pre: 100 and any 300 level COM course and junior standing in a degree-granting college or permission by instructor.

COM 410.0004 – Advanced Topics In Communication Studies: Science Communication, 3cr.
Instructor: Dr. Patrick Logan
The evolution, rhetoric, and status of communication within science discourse communities and with the public.  Analysis of contemporary factors inhibiting public science literacy and science in policy and politics. (Syllabus)

COM410.0005 – Advanced Topics in Communication Studies:  Feminism & Digital Media, 3cr.
Instructor: Prof. Lehua Ledbetter
Survey of feminist and digital rhetorical theories and research.  Explores relationship between women, media and technology.  Examines women’s uses of new digital platforms to interrogate and build on contemporary feminist and communication theories.  Students engage in reading, writing, and speaking activities in addition to producing digital projects.
Pre:  Junior standing in a degree granting college or permission of instructor.

COM410.0006 – Advanced Topics in Communication Studies:  Business of Media, 3cr.
Instructor: Prof. Robert Cohen
Students in this course will explore and develop the variety of skills that professional communicators of the future will need to have in order to understand, reach, and influence audiences.  While in the past branding, marketing, advertising and production were often considered as distinct processes and career tracks, the lines between them are now blurred in our media-saturated environment, and the professional communicators of the future will need to become hybrid practitioners with diverse communication talents.  As such, this course will prepare students for the communication challenges of the 21st century marketplace by examining real world scenarios and developing interdisciplinary strategies and proposals that meet the expectations of clients and sophisticated and savvy media consumers.
Pre:  Junior standing in a degree granting college or permission of instructor