Undergraduates studying communication in the Department of Communication Studies are offered an exciting window into the role that communication plays in the human condition. That is, we are committed to the notion that communication plays a crucial role in shaping the world around us and that, as a result, the way that we communicate can contribute to the type of world in which we wish to live. Thus, our courses are committed to exploring the role of communication in fostering high-quality human relations in interpersonal, organizational, cultural and public contexts.
We see the merit in asking a range of empirical, interpretive and critical questions about how our communication with one another occurs. Such questions are grounded in the foundational premise that human interaction is fundamental to the construction, development and maintenance of personal, social and institutional relationships and to the organization of social life as we know it today.
College graduates face a world where they can expect to change careers several times over but know that, no matter what career they choose, they will have to communicate in order to be successful. Further, workplace success depends on the ability to communicate with others. Workers across all careers in all fields communicate through various means—face-to-face and electronic. A major in communication studies cultivates the skills and theory that go together to help create successful lives and careers.
Studying communication offers excellent preparation for students interested in careers in law, politics, business, health, nonprofits, the arts and many more. Additionally, many of our graduates attend graduate school to study communication studies, business and law. Further, our students know that their ability to understand communication will have a profound influence on the quality of their lives beyond their careers, extending into their personal, familial and civil lives.
Bachelor of Arts Major Requirements
40 credits, including the following:
|Foundations of Communication Studies|
Select one of the following:
|Comm through Literature|
|Speaking on Ideas that Matter|
|Voice and Gender|
|Communication Inquiry Courses||8|
Select two of the following:
|Quantitative Inquiry in Communication|
|Rhetorical/Critical Communication Inquiry|
|Qualitative Inquiry in Communication|
|A minimum of three 3000 level courses (12 credits) is required. One of which must be a Capstone Seminar or an Internship (by application only).|
|Completion of the disciplinary core sequence|
40 credits. Same requirements as for BA degree.
20 credits, including the following:
|Select one of the following:||4|
|Comm through Literature|
|Speaking on Ideas that Matter|
|Voice and Gender|
|Communication Contexts Courses|
|Select two communication contexts courses||8|
|Communication in Personal Relationships|
|Small Group Communication|
|Communication in the Workplace|
|Communication and Popular Culture|
|Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication|
|Exploring Communication Contexts and Depth Electives||8|
|Choose two (8 credits) 2000-level or 3000-level courses with the exception of inquiry (COMN 2110, COMN 2200, COMN 2150) and capstone (COMN 3990) courses.|
For Performative Courses, please add: COMN 2000 Identities in Dialogue as an option on the last underneath COMN 1015 Voice & Gender. We also need to add, under Communication Contexts Courses, Select two communication contexts courses: "(Note that COMN 2000 may count as either a Peformative Course OR a 2000-level Communication Contexts Course)"
Requirements for Distinction in the Major in Communication Studies
- Minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
- Minimum 3.75 major GPA
- Completion of three 3000-level courses
- Completion of a culminating project
BA in Communication Studies
The following course plan is a sample quarter-by-quarter schedule for intended majors. Because the bachelor of arts curriculum allows for tremendous flexibility, this is only intended as an example; that is to say, if specific courses or requirements are not available in a given term, students can generally complete those requirements in another term. More importantly, students should focus on exploring areas of interest, including Common Curriculum requirements and possible minors or second majors, and maintaining a course load which will allow for completion of the degree within four years.
Ideally, Common Curriculum requirements other than Advanced Seminar should be completed during the first two years. Students should anticipate taking an average course load of 16 credits each quarter.
Ways of Knowing courses in the areas of Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture and Scientific Inquiry: Society and Culture introduce students to University-level study of disciplines in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Credits earned in Ways of Knowing courses may also apply to a major or minor.
The sample course plan below shows what courses a student pursuing this major might take in their first two years; beyond that, students should anticipate working closely with their major advisor to create a course of study to complete the degree.
|First-Year Seminar (FSEM)||4||WRIT 1122||4||WRIT 1133||4|
|COMN 1210 (or a different Scientific Inquiry: Society and Culture )||4||COMN 1210 (or a different Scientific Inquiry: Society and Culture )||4||Foreign Language or Scientific Inquiry: The Natural and Physical World||4|
|Foreign Language or Scientific Inquiry: The Natural and Physical World||4||Foreign Language or Scientific Inquiry: The Natural and Physical World||4||Minor or Elective||4|
|Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture or Analytical Inquiry: Natural and Physical World||4||Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture or Analytical Inquiry: Natural and Physical World||4||COMN 1011, 1012, or 1015||4|
|Total Credits: 48|
|Scientific Inquiry: The Natural and Physical World or Foreign Language||4||Scientific Inquiry: The Natural and Physical World or Foreign Language||4||Scientific Inquiry: The Natural and Physical World or Foreign Language||4|
|COMN 2110, 2150, or 2200||4||Analytical Inquiry: Natural and Physical Word or Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture||4||COMN 2110, 2150, or 2200||4|
|Minor or Elective||4||Minor or Elective||4||Minor or Elective||4|
|Minor or Elective||4||Minor or Elective||4||Minor or Elective||4|
|Total Credits: 50|
INTZ 2501 is required for any student who studies abroad, and may be taken in any quarter within the year prior to studying abroad.
COMN 1011 Comm through Literature (4 Credits)
This course emphasizes the analysis and performance of diverse forms of literature. In addition to the dramaturgical elements of interpretation that are highlighted in this course, students learn how to contextualize serious public issues through literature while developing confidence and skills as performers and public speakers.
COMN 1012 Speaking on Ideas that Matter (4 Credits)
The purpose of this course is to assist students in becoming more competent and comfortable when speaking about their opinions. Students learn how to develop and analyze rhetorical arguments, including the full range of the speech-making process, but especially how to support those opinions they assert. Assignments, class discussions and course materials provide students with a foundation of knowledge and practical application of speaking skills, which will prove useful in a variety of personal, professional, and public contexts.
COMN 1015 Voice and Gender (4 Credits)
In this course, students explore gender in personal and political contexts with the intent of developing their individual voices in these arenas. Students learn to express creatively their voice through strengthening both their written and oral communication skills. This course also discusses gender issues prevalent in today’s society and significant moments in rhetorical history that have impacted these issues. Cross listed with GWST 1015.
COMN 1100 Communication in Personal Relationships (4 Credits)
Relationships have a direct and lasting impact on us: they shape who we are, and the paths we take toward who we will become. The purpose of this course is to analyze and apply theories and research relevant to communication processes in a variety of personal relationships. Discussion of issues such as attachment, identity, hetero- and homosexual relationships, family communication, conflict, and intrapersonal discourses will provide students a foundation on which to build skills useful in a variety of personal relationships. In Communication in Personal Relationships, students will: sensitively express attitudes and discuss research about different issues pertinent to the study of personal relationships; develop the skills to critically analyze their own relationships and the relationships of others; reflect on and challenge their and others' ideas in a critically constructive manner so that we arrive at a new level of understanding together; and demonstrate the ability to apply communication and interpersonal theories and research outside of this classroom upon completion of the course.
COMN 1200 Small Group Communication (4 Credits)
This course approaches small group communication through a combination of theory and practice. Theories related to group development and leadership, collaborative communication, dialogue and rhetorical sensitivity, and principled negotiation and consensus, are explored through group discussions, research, case studies and presentations. Students have the opportunity to: strengthen their critical thinking and listening skills; confidently voice their identity within a greater community; increase their ability in writing and presenting their thoughts; and develop communication competence by facilitating civility within small group settings.
COMN 1210 Foundations of Communication Studies (4 Credits)
This course offers students an introduction to the study of communication. Students will explore the role of communication in domains that cut across the spectrum of human social life, from communication among individuals, to relationships, to marriage and families, to groups, to organizations, to communication at societal and global levels. In addition to focusing on the specific nature of communication in these distinct settings, students learn as well the different conceptual models for describing and understanding communication across these settings. This course counts toward the Scientific Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
COMN 1550 Communication in the Workplace (4 Credits)
This course offers a topics-based introduction to the study and practice of communication in a variety of organizational settings. The emphasis is on issues of power, politics, globalization, culture, diversity, relationships, and conflict. Students learn how to recognize, diagnose, and solve communication related problems in the workplace.
COMN 1600 Communication and Popular Culture (4 Credits)
This course uses various landmark theories and perspectives to analyze popular culture, with a particular emphasis on the importance of communication in the production and consumption of culture. We will examine various artifacts of popular culture including music, movies, texts, advertisements, clothing, and other relevant pieces of popular culture. In the course of this exploration, we will study the development of culture by applying different theories or 'lenses' to these artifacts. Students will experience and analyze various aspects of popular culture including production and consumption, in addition to how these processes work within the context of globalization. We will take a critical perspective in which we will challenge our own conceptions and consumption of popular culture. The goal of this course is to combine relevant theories with your own observations and interests in order to develop a careful, critical, and constructive analysis of popular culture.
COMN 1700 Fundamentals of Intercultural Communication (4 Credits)
This course explores the fundamental concepts and issues in intercultural communication. We will examine the complex relationship between culture and communication from different conceptual perspectives and consider the importance of context and power in intercultural interactions. In addition to learning theory and applying different approaches to the study of intercultural communication, this course asks that you consider your own cultural identities, values, beliefs, assumptions, worldviews, etc. through participation in class discussions. Our discussions will enhance self-reflection, critical thinking, and your own awareness to the complexity of intercultural communication. You can expect that your classmates possess varying perspectives about the materials being covered in class. We will work hard to help everyone develop their perspective and voice, embracing such factors as cultural background, race, class, gender, and sexuality.
COMN 1992 Directed Study (1-10 Credits)
COMN 2000 Identities in Dialgoue (4 Credits)
This course will explore the complex dynamics of social identities within U.S. society and globally, inspired by the intergroup dialogue model. We will explore the ways that race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, etc., function historically, socially, and politically, including the ways that social identities affect groups on and off campus. We will practice valuable dialogue skills, including listening, reflecting on personal and others' experiences, and planning and enacting collaboration across difference. This course has no prerequisites, but students may find it helpful to take COMN 1015, 1600, or 1700 before taking this course.
COMN 2008 Stereotyping and Violence in America Today (4 Credits)
This course is cross-listed with PHIL 2008, JUST 2008, RLGS 2008. This course offers students the opportunity to explore key issues relating to diversity and inclusion in the contemporary United States, focusing on the themes of stereotyping and violence, from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Students will engage with scholarly and popular culture artifacts to examine the kinds of stereotyping and types of violence, visible and invisible, that characterize and challenge political, social, cultural, economic, religious, and educational life in today’s United States, and will do so by working with the course instructor as well as faculty members from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Students will work together to connect the given week’s speaker’s assigned readings and insights to readings and insights from previous weeks’ speakers; assignments and classroom discussion will in this way be very interdisciplinary and will compare and contrast multiple diverse points of view and disciplinary lenses on the question of stereotyping and violence. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
COMN 2020 On the Black Panther Party (4 Credits)
This course introduces students to the rhetorical, political, ideological, and cultural practices of the Black Panther Party. Using a variety of communicative texts, which will include texts written about the Party, the Party’s newspaper, and speeches from Party members, students will come to an understanding of the context in which the Party emerged, but also the demands the Party was making of society as a whole. In the process, the students will be given not only an overview of the Party, but a better understanding of the different communicative practices the Party engaged in to critique oppression in the US. In the process, the students will engage in critical conversations about racism, classism, and sexism not only within the Party, but within the larger US society. This course, then, uses the Party as a case study to analyze the politics of oppression in the US, in particular, but the world, in general. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
COMN 2030 Social Movement Rhetoric (4 Credits)
This course explores the principle agency that less powerful groups have used for social change in recent U.S. history--the rhetoric of social movement. More specifically, we consider in concrete detail and theoretical nuance the capacity of ordinary people to persuade others, voice grievances, and thus challenge broader society. Our explorations focus primarily on the rhetoric of dissident (non-majority, non-State, often un-institutionalized and non-normative) voice in our culture--both on the "right" and the "left"-- as they have sought, and continue to seek, social change. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
COMN 2100 Fundamentals of Communication Theory (4 Credits)
Basic concepts, theories and models of the communication process.
COMN 2110 Quantitative Inquiry in Communication (4 Credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to the process of reading, analyzing, conducting and critiquing quantitative research in communication studies. Research is a pervasive aspect of contemporary life, both inside and outside of the university. As such, many of the jobs taken by communication studies majors require, or are at the very least enhanced by, the ability to conduct and interpret research. This course introduces students to the various aspects associated with quantitative research methods in an effort to illuminate the significance of research about communication in our lives and help students act as critical consumers of the research encountered.
COMN 2115 Performance & Social Change (4 Credits)
In this course students explore the possibilities of making political performances, or making performances political. We examine and create performances that take place in public by-ways rather than theatre buildings, and that are intended to question or re-envision dominant arrangements of power. We are particularly concerned with how performance may contribute to processes of social change. The course also guides students through the process of creating new works of theatre for social change, focusing on political issues chosen by students themselves.
COMN 2120 Collaborative Leadership (4 Credits)
COMN 2130 Introduction to Organizational Communication (4 Credits)
This is a theory-driven course which will introduce students to the major approaches to the study of organizational communication, including classical, managerial, systems, cultural, and critical perspectives. The course uses these perspectives to deepen students' understandings of the organizational communication topics developed in COMN 1550, teaching students how to recognize and approach organizational communication issues from a variety of perspectives.
COMN 2140 The Dark Side of Relationships (4 Credits)
This course is designed to familiarize students with theory and research that focuses on the dark and bright sides of human relationships. In particular, we explore those dysfunctional, distorted, distressing, and destructive elements that sometimes comprise our relations with family members, friends, co-workers, and romantic partners, for example. Additionally, we explore relational issues that typically are presumed to be dark but function to produce constructive outcomes, as well as phenomena that are typically judged as bright but function to produce destructive relational outcomes.
COMN 2150 Rhetorical/Critical Communication Inquiry (4 Credits)
This course focuses on the process of interpreting, understanding, and evaluating everyday persuasive acts for the purpose of sharing insights and influencing the community audience. This course fosters a variety of analytical skills, including how to describe primary rhetorical acts (such as speeches, films, news coverage, television programs, songs, advertisements, and public commemorative art, among others) in rich, relevant detail; how to situate or make sense of rhetorical acts within their historical, cultural moments; and how to use theory to develop a critical perspective that helps to render a judgment about a text or act. Students sharpen critical instincts by working through the inventional process to produce a piece of rhetorical or cultural criticism.
COMN 2200 Qualitative Inquiry in Communication (4 Credits)
This course focuses on introducing students to a selection of qualitative methods used in communication research. The class covers the basic techniques for collecting, interpreting, and analyzing qualitative data. Throughout the term, the course operates on two interrelated dimensions: one focused on the theoretical approaches to various types of qualitative research, and the other focused on the practical techniques of data collection and analysis, such as interviewing and collecting field notes.
COMN 2210 Gender, Communication, Culture (4 Credits)
This course considers how gender is created, maintained, repaired, and transformed through communication in particular relational, cultural, social, and historical contexts. This course is designed to help students develop thoughtful answers to the following questions: What is gender, how do we acquire it, how do cultural structures and practices normalize and reproduce it, and how do we change and/or maintain it to better serve ourselves and our communities? Throughout the term, we explore how dynamic communicative interactions create, sustain, and subvert femininities and masculinities "from the ground up." This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement. Cross listed with GWST 2212.
COMN 2220 Race and Popular Culture (4 Credits)
This course examines trajectories of representations of race in popular culture (i.e., film, music, television), both produced by the dominant culture, as well as self-produced by various racial and ethnic groups. Through a historical perspective, we trace images in popular culture and how those images are tied to contemporary events of the time. We pay particular attention not only to the specific archetypes that exist, but also how those archetypes are nuanced or colored differently through the lenses of ethnicity, nationality, race, class, gender, and sexuality. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
COMN 2300 Fundamentals of Argumentation (4 Credits)
This class offers a survey of approaches to the study of argumentation. We are going to examine and evaluate how argument is understood from various perspectives within the discipline of communication studies. We will engage theoretical concerns related to argumentation with a commitment to test their applicability to current events and issues. We will also explore how arguments are practiced in areas such as the arts and the media, legal contexts, interpersonal communication, public deliberation, and the sciences. The course will focus on expanding your contextual knowledge of how arguments operate within our culture and on cultivating your ability to read critically and creatively, make cogent arguments, assess opposing arguments charitably, and communicate your judgments effectively. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
COMN 2400 Landmarks in Rhetorical Theory (4 Credits)
This course is a survey of some of the major conceptual innovations in the history of rhetorical theory. In particular we will investigate the conceptions of rhetoric prevalent in antiquity and how they inform contemporary perspectives on rhetoric. In order to carry this off, we will conceptualize rhetoric as an attempt to answer the following questions: what is the relationship between what is true and what is the good. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
COMN 2450 Between Memory & Imagination (4 Credits)
How do our human memories and imaginations give rise to the stories we tell and to the selves that we are becoming? This course considers the nature of memory and its relationship to imagination, both in the evolving life of the individual and in the development of the larger group or culture. We examine the self, then, as both singular and collective, fixed and in flux, determined inwardly and shaped by external forces. We look at the relationship of identity to power, and address the question of how re-considering memory and identity might open up new imaginative spaces in global contexts. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
COMN 2470 Gender and Communication (4 Credits)
Sex differences in communication behavior, treatment of women in language, women on public platforms and women's portrayal in media.
COMN 2471 The Social Construction of Travel (4 Credits)
Travel encompasses the myriad ways in which people and ideas become mobile. The goal of this course is to introduce students to various theoretical issues concerning travel. While the study of travel has been pursued in the context of tourism, commerce, and religion, in this course we also consider the effect of travel on the body of the traveler. We examine travel within many contexts having different registers of meaning - "vacation," "pilgrimage," "migration." However, the very nature of travel is that it transports bodies and ideas across multiple frameworks at a time. Therefore, we also consider how travel is understood within and as various cultural contexts. This course counts toward the Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture requirement.
COMN 2541 Advanced Debate and Forensic Activities (1-4 Credits)
This course serves as a practicum for students interested in developing advanced argumentation skills. The focus is on preparing students for competition in intercollegiate debate. Students engage in in-depth research of debate topics, as well as participate in substantial practice of arguments and positions developed as necessary to prepare for intercollegiate competition.
COMN 2700 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 2701 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 2702 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 2703 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 2704 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 2705 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 2992 Directed Study (1-10 Credits)
COMN 3005 Diverse Family Communication (4 Credits)
This course explores the communicative experiences of diverse families, focusing on issues surrounding race/ethnicity and sexual orientation. This course aims to further student understandings of the ways diverse families communicate both inside and outside their families.
COMN 3010 Critical Sexuality Studies (4 Credits)
This course takes a critical approach to the study of sexualities by asking us to challenge our assumptions and everyday knowledges about identities, gender, sexuality, race, class, and ethnicity. This course is organized thematically as we explore various topics within the larger study of critical sexuality studies and communication studies. We examine contemporary issues within queer theory, critical race studies, identity politics, feminism, performance studies, and popular culture.
COMN 3015 Culture and Pedagogy (4 Credits)
This seminar invites students to analyze and reflect upon the ways in which individuals and groups have created cultural ideals, images, and constructs of education. The course focuses upon pedagogy broadly conceived as an integral part of a diverse and conflictual society and on how pedagogies shape our understanding and reproduction of, as well as our resistance to, such a society. We explore a variety of conflicting views of what it means to be educated, for what purpose, for what kind of society, and towards what future.
COMN 3020 Conflict Management (4 Credits)
Substantive and relational types of conflict, various strategies for conflict resolution.
COMN 3025 Latina/o Communication Studies (4 Credits)
As the Latina/o population continues to grow in the United States, having become the largest "minority" population in the United States, it becomes increasingly important to understand and respect the cultures of this heterogeneous community. Latina/os are often erroneously subsumed or rendered invisible by dominant constructions of race within the United States that rely on a hegemonic black/white binary. Given the increasing visibility and growth of this course, this course examines the development of Latina/o Studies within the field of communication studies by taking both an historical and a contemporary approach.
COMN 3030 Performance Studies (4 Credits)
This course focuses on the study of performance within the field of communication studies. Unlike theater which tends to focus primarily on traditionally staged performance, in this course we are concerned with performances of everyday life as they relate to identities, ritual, culture, and personal narrative.
COMN 3035 Performing Culture (4 Credits)
This course examines performance as theory and method to understand how everyday and mediated performances communicate a variety of cultural, social, and political perspectives and identities. This course also explores aesthetic, rhetorical, and ethnographic functions of performance and how they implicate cultural identity constructions of self and others.
COMN 3050 Feminism and Intersectionality (4 Credits)
This course offers an overview of feminist theories as they are in dialogue with intersectionality. It offers both a contemporary and historical perspective and is also attentive to the emergence of feminist scholarship in Communication Studies. Cross listed with GWST 3050.
COMN 3110 Intergroup Communication (4 Credits)
This course is designed to provide students with insight into the nature of communication related to the ways that we socially categorize ourselves and others as members of ingroups and outgroups. In particular, students exit the course with a greater understanding of the (a) theoretical foundations of social identity and intergroup relations, (b) communicative and cognitive processes related to social comparison, prejudice, discrimination, and conflict within and between groups, (c) outcomes associated with intergroup contact, and (d) intergroup and social identity processes that underlie past, present, and future social issues.
COMN 3120 Asian Pacific American Communication Studies (4 Credits)
This course examines Asian Pacific American Studies within the field of communication studies by exploring performances, constructions, and representations of Asian Pacific American identities in U.S. education, popular culture, and other everyday contexts. This course will also investigate the implications of U.S. historical, political, and social discourses of race, culture, and identity on Asian Pacific Americans.
COMN 3130 Organizational Communication (4 Credits)
This is an applied course, service learning course, based on a consulting model. While the course will extend and enrich the topical and theoretical knowledge developed in COMN 1550 and COMN 2130, the primary purpose of this course will be to help students explore how they can put such knowledge into practice by collectively working with a local non-profit organization to first diagnose and then propose (and, in some cases implement) solutions to an organizational communication problem faced by that organization.
COMN 3140 Advanced Intercultural Communication (4 Credits)
This course is designed to study the intersection of communication and culture. In this course, culture is defined broadly to include a variety of contexts, such as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, and class. Students gain theoretical and practical understanding of the opportunities and obstacles that exist as individuals and communities communicate within and across cultures.
COMN 3230 Principles of Leadership (4 Credits)
Roles, functions, behaviors that influence and direct; emphasis on interpersonal effectiveness; theories and methods.
COMN 3240 Group Methods and Facilitation (4 Credits)
Discussion and small group methodologies and their theoretical rationale.
COMN 3245 Building Group/Team Effectiveness (4 Credits)
The objectives of this course are to help students acquire a deeper understanding of groups and teams, how they function, and what contributes to their success or failure. It also aims to help students develop the skills and capacities that will allow them to contribute in concrete and significant ways to successful outcomes and satisfying experiences for themselves and others in groups and teams. Cross listed with LDRS 2540.
COMN 3270 Health Communication (4 Credits)
This course examines the role of health communication in our everyday lives. We will focus on communication strategies that inform and influence individuals, families and communities in decisions that enhance health. We will also explore the dynamics and impact of health communication between individuals and the health care system such as doctor-patient communication, dissemination of health related information, and the role of mediated communication in examining health communication.
COMN 3280 Family Communication (4 Credits)
The purpose of this course is to enhance understanding about communication patterns within families. In this course, we will examine theory/research on the role of communication in creating and maintaining healthy marriages and families. Specifically, we will study communication and the family life cycle, different family forms, family race/ethnicity, power in families, conflict in families, communication and stress in families, and communication in the aging family. The course format includes lectures, discussions, analysis of case studies, and in class applications.
COMN 3285 Advanced Relational Communication (4 Credits)
Advanced Relational Communication is intended to increase understanding of relationships from diverse perspectives. The three main perspectives we will investigate show how relationships affect and are affected by their context, the individuals involved, and the relational system. The goals of this course are for students to increase their skill in (1) explaining how knowledge about context, individuals, and relational systems increases understanding of communication processes in a variety of relationships; (2) evaluating critically the information about relationships that we encounter in our everyday lives; (3) asking and investigating questions about real-life relationships.
COMN 3290 Communication and Aging (4 Credits)
In this course, we will focus on the communication processes associated with aging. We will explore the implications of aging and how aging affects the process and outcomes social and relational interactions. We will examine communication and aging through interactional processes (intrapersonal, interpersonal and relational) and through context (organization, family, health, and culture). Emphasis will be placed on the theoretical and applied research in communication and aging.
COMN 3300 Principles of Persuasion (4 Credits)
This course involves a social scientific approach to persuasion and social influence. Some of the topics included in this approach are the relationship between attitude and behavior; characteristics of the source, message, and receiver of a persuasive appeal; and models and theories that explain the effects of persuasive communication. By the end of the course, students should be able to think more critically about the persuasive messages they encounter in everyday life, to apply theoretical models of persuasion, and to construct persuasive messages.
COMN 3310 Globalization, Culture, and Communication (4 Credits)
Drawing from a critical multidisciplinary perspective, this course examines how culture and communication are impacted by globalization. The course explores issues of power and positionality, as well as economic, political, and cultural implications of globalization on people, products, and ideologies in both local and transnational contexts.
COMN 3315 Public Deliberation (4 Credits)
During the last two decades public deliberation has emerged as the centerpiece of theoretical and practical accounts of liberal democracy. This course begins by setting out the nature and functions of public deliberation. We will then track how deliberative democrats respect the traditional accounts of inclusion, equality and reason in an attempt to meet the demands of the deep cultural diversity that marks social life in advanced industrial societies. Specifically we will ask if public deliberation as portrayed in these accounts is sufficient to meet these demands or do we need to expand our understanding of political argument to include a diversity of rhetorical practices? And, once we do expand our account of deliberation how does this transform the traditional problematics of both democratic and rhetorical theory?.
COMN 3425 Rhetoric and Governance (4 Credits)
An introduction to the works of Michel Foucault and his influence on contemporary rhetorical theory. Permission of instructor is required.
COMN 3431 Rhetoric and Communication Ethics Seminar: Communication and Climate Change (4 Credits)
Since the release of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," American public discourse has become increasingly concerned with global warming. Not only is there nearly 100% consensus among climate scientists that human-induced climate change exists, but the severity of global warming is entering the popular imaginary, in the form of journalism, films, etc. But while scientists are committed to slowing global warming, the types of sweeping policy and behavioral changes needed to abate the projected climate catastrophe have been very slow in coming. As such, communication scholars--particularly those concerned with the art of public persuasion--are in a unique position to contribute to this significant and complex issue. In the words of climate scientists Susanne Moser and Lisa Dilling, "We need to open up the communication process to a wider community, in which participants own the process and content of communication." The goal of this course is to produce original scholarly research in response to Moser and Dilling's call, to invite more and better communication concerning climate change.
COMN 3435 Rhetoric and Public Life (4 Credits)
An introduction to the conceptual and political history of the public sphere. The course pays particular attention to how the normative assumptions of public communication are affected by the demands of cultural pluralism. Permission from instructor is required.
COMN 3470 Seminar in Free Speech (4 Credits)
This course will survey some of the major conceptual innovations in the justifications of freedom of speech. We will begin with an exploration of the traditional defenses of free speech and then move to a reexamination of those defenses in light of modern communication theory and the challenges of pluralism. In particular we will ask if the justifications of free speech need to be rethought given our understanding of speech as a social force that constitutes identities and values rather than merely expressing private opinions. Moreover, given our understanding of the social force of speech, should we regulate speech that is racist, sexist and seems to erode the foundations of a public culture based on mutual respect and public deliberation over social goods? Can we devise a robust defense of free speech based on its social force that both protects those that may be harmed by antidemocratic discourses and still provides the resources for democratic dissent?.
COMN 3500 Advanced Public Speaking (4 Credits)
Theory, preparation, delivery and evaluation of public speeches.
COMN 3680 Gender and Communication (4 Credits)
This course focuses on the interactive relationships between gender and communication in contemporary U.S. society. This implies three priorities for the class. First, the course explores the multiple ways communication creates and perpetuates gender roles in families, media, and society in general. Second, the course considers how we enact socially created gender differences in public and private settings and how this affects success, satisfaction, and self-esteem. Third, the course connects theory and research to our personal lives. Throughout the quarter, the course considers not only what IS in terms of gender roles, but also what might be and how we, as change agents, may act to improve our individual and collective lives. Cross listed with GWST 3680, HCOM 3680.
COMN 3700 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 3701 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 3702 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 3703 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 3704 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 3705 Topics in Communication (1-4 Credits)
COMN 3770 Mediated Communication and Relationships (4 Credits)
This course examines how people develop, define, maintain, and manage interpersonal relationships through their use of mediated communication. We will examine communication in relationships that occur through the internet, text-messaging, cell phones, chat rooms, gaming, and virtual communities. This is a seminar type course where students guide and are guided through their own study of mediated relationships.
COMN 3800 Philosophies of Dialogue (4 Credits)
This course explores the philosophies of dialogue of Martin Buber, Mikhail Bakhtin and others in the context of contemporary communication scholarship on ethics, culture, and relationship. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
COMN 3850 Communication Ethics (4 Credits)
This class is not just about how to be ethical communicators but it is also about how to discover ethics--the good life and care for others, answerability and responsibility--deep within the structures of human communication itself. The course is committed to a mixture of theory and practice but practice is at the heart of the matter. Half of our sessions will be devoted to dialogue or conversation about ethics in life. There we will try to work as close as we can with ethics in our own lived experience. In the other half, we will explore theory: the ethical/philosophical/communicative ground of ethics.
COMN 3980 Internship (1-8 Credits)
COMN 3990 Communication Capstone (4 Credits)
This course allows students to synthesize knowledges across the communication studies major through original research presentation.
COMN 3991 Independent Study (1-5 Credits)
COMN 3992 Directed Study (1-10 Credits)
COMN 3995 Independent Research (1-10 Credits)
Topics and quarter hours vary. Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
Christina Foust, Associate Professor and Department Chair, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bernadette Calafell, Professor, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Santhosh Chandrashekar, Assistant Professor, PhD, University of New Mexico
Frank Dance, Professor, Emeritus, PhD, Northwestern University
Joshua Hanan, Associate Professor, PhD, University of Texas at Austin
Darrin Hicks, Professor, PhD, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Carl Larson, Professor, Emeritus, PhD, University of Kansas
Mary Claire Morr Serewicz, Associate Professor, PhD, Arizona State University
Elizabeth Suter, Professor, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Erin Willer, Associate Professor, PhD, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Kate Willink, Associate Professor, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Roy Wood, Professor, Emeritus, PhD, University of Denver