Special Topics

Special Topics


COM310.0001 – Contemporary Oral Communication: Rhetoric of the Courtroom Drama
Instructor, 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 culture. 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
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 & .0004- Contemporary Oral Communication: The Rhetoric of Hate Speech
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. 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.

COM310.0005-Contemporary Oral Communication:  Social Media & Health Communication

Instructor, Dr. Yinjiao Ye

Description: This course explores foundational health communication theories and various social media forms and then examines how social media influences health communication in various contexts, including patient-to-patient, healthcare professional-to-patient, and healthcare organization-to-patient communication.  In addition, it examines specifically various cases of using social media for health promotion and explores how to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of using social media in health promotion.

COM310.0006 – Contemporary Oral Communication:  Textual Media Economics

Instructor, Dr. Justin Wyatt

Description:  This course considers the intersection of film, TV & media with neo-classical economics, particularly the representation of economics issues, theories, and assumptions through media narratives.  The goal is to understand not just the economic models, but also the methods through which they are narrativized and constructed within the media texts.  The course will work from dual perspectives- economics and textual- to illustrate the power of the media to reflect and illustrate economic models.  Representative films, TV shows, and media properties will be screened as part of the class.

COM410.0001- Advanced Topics In Communication Studies: Advanced Audio Communication

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 & .0004- Advanced Topics In Communication Studies: Global Dimensions of Environmental Communication (BLENDED)
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 to achieve a broad understanding of environmental changes 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.

COM410.0003- Advanced Topics In Communication Studies: Advanced Group Communication

Instructor, Dr. Sandra Ketrow

Description:  This course examines processes and interaction in bona fide group, such as in organizations, education, families, or gangs.  Investigates decision making efficacy, problems and facilitation of group members interacting.  Stresses analysis of group communication and decisions.

COM410.0005- Advanced Topics in Communication Studies: Media Market Primary Research

Instructor, Dr. Justin Wyatt

Description:  This course examines the use of market research within the media industries.  Students will be exposed to the theory, practice and development of market research in a range of media products including TV shows, movies, and digital properties.  Case studies are culled from a range of real-world media, within both mainstream and independent industry.  While the course is designed to give an overview of market research methods and techniques, students are also expected to develop the skill set of market research techniques to become practitioners in the entertainment industry. ///

COM530.0200- Seminar in Organizational Communication:  Communicating Global and Corporate Sustainability

Instructor, Dr. Norbert Mundorf

Description: Corporations, nonprofits and government agencies are increasingly expected by their key constituencies to demonstrate global sustainability, addressing challenges related to climate change, resource depletion, overpopulation, and social justice.  A key focus of this discussion is the principle of the triple bottom line (sustainability of environment, society, and economy).  In this course we will apply major theories of organizational communication with special emphasis on sustainable organizational practices.  We will address ways to communicate and promote these practices among management, employees, and consumers.  Students will analyze and conduct case studies and design a research proposal, which may lead to a major paper or thesis.

COM540.0200 – Seminar in Public Discourse: Discovering Community: The Multicultural Voice

Instructor, Dr. Kathleen Torrens

Description:  This course is designed to study the shape of the public sphere as determined by a community’s access to and use of voice, power, and information.  Multicultural, construction and deconstruction; investigation and analysis of mainstream compared to marginalized messages and audiences, and change processes related to “margins” and mainstream discourse.  The lenses of context, text, and criticism will be applied to study public discourse, with its rhetorical histories, rhetors and eras.