Communication & Media Studies Courses
COM 105. INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNICATION STUDIES (3)
This course introduces students to the history and development of human communication in all its forms, from the introduction of the phonetic alphabet in ancient Greece to the invention of virtual reality. Students are encouraged to look for patterns of change and continuity while examining the role of scribes; the introduction of the printing press; and the pervasive communication technologies of the 20th century, from the radio to the satellite. Relationships among technology, ideas, social relations, and political realities will be explored. Legal, philosophical, and ethical debates surrounding the introduction and use of these technologies will be stressed.
Fall semester, repeated Spring semester. Burton, Turner, Marcus, Zurawik.
COM 132. WRITING FOR FILM, TELEVISION, AND RADIO (3) (GEN. ED. #8)
This course, an introduction to the various forms of writing for radio, television, and film, will cover the basic principles and practices of advertising writing, radio and television news, feature writing, and the elements of dramatic script writing. Prerequisite: sophomore status and college writing proficiency.
Fall semester, repeated Spring semester. Stoehr.
COM 180. AUDIO PRODUCTION (3)
The acting techniques and sound technology of live and recorded performance in radio/audio production. Emphasis on limited-time production.
Fall semester, repeated Spring semester. Rohrbaugh.
COM 189. STUDIO TELEVISION PRODUCTION (4) (GEN. ED. #8)
An introduction to the techniques and aesthetics of studio television production. Students will explore multicamera videography, producing and directing, staging and graphics, lighting for standard and dramatic effect, the correlation of audio and visual compositional elements, and the aesthetic of online editing. Students will also learn basic coordination of on-camera talent. The process and practice of studio production as an artistic and expressive medium will be emphasized.
Spring semester. Raymond, Rohrbaugh.
COM 202. BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY (4) (ART 201) (GEN. ED. #8)
Shooting, developing, printing in black and white. Four problems documenting the student's ability to control fundamental technical skills and aesthetic issues: photogram, inanimate object, portrait, and time and movement. Prerequisite: ART 102 or sophomore standing.
Fall semester, repeated Spring semester. Worteck, Burns, Department.
COM 203. INTERMEDIATE PHOTOGRAPHY (4) (ART 203) (GEN. ED. #8)
Light modulation, non-ordinary reality, landscape, documentation. Electronic flash, toning, development compensation. Prerequisite: ART 201 or COM 202.
Fall semester, repeated Spring semester. Worteck, Burns, Department.
COM 207. TELEVISION DRAMA WORKSHOP (3) (THE 207) (GEN. ED. #8)
A study of the methods, processes, and practical approaches to creating drama. An examination of the history and development of television drama, acting and directing methods, and differences among television genre styles and practical approaches to creating television drama. Three class hours with additional outside rehearsal and taping time required. Prerequisites: COM 189 or 286 and THE 220; or permission of the instructor. THE 220 may be taken concurrently.
Spring semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. Department.
COM 208. PHOTOGRAPHY IN COMMUNICATION AND ART (3) (ART 208)
Visual requirements in photography and graphics for art, advertising, journalism, public relations, and media (including documentaries) from still to slide/sound. This course involves production, analysis, decision making, and technology. Prerequisites: ART 201 and 203 or COM 202 and 203.
Fall semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. Worteck.
COM 209. PHOTOJOURNALISM AND DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY (3) (ART 209)
An examination of the development of photojournalism and the documentary essay. Lecture and slide presentations on the significant historical and critical developments in the field. The role of photography in propaganda and media manipulation, including a detailed investigation of the techniques and editorial practices that subvert the medium to reinforce various doctrines and ideologies. Included are a series of simulated editorial assignments that are then combined with lectures and demonstrations of techniques appropriate to this photographic genre. Students are required to write a proposal and execute a documentary/essay portfolio. Prerequisites: ART 203 and COM 203; or permission of the instructor.
Fall semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. Worteck.
COM 210. HISTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY (3) (ART 285)
The history of photography from the earliest manifestations to the present. Prerequisite: ART 100 and 101; or permission of instructor.
Spring semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. Worteck.
COM 213. MAKING SENSE OF POPULAR CULTURE (3) (GEN. ED. #10)
From McDonald's to MTV, this course traces the postwar development of American popular/consumer culture, emphasizing its penetration into and ubiquity in our everyday lives; its influence on self, group, and national identity; its place in the establishment of our contemporary sense of community; and its global reach. The course addresses issues of race, gender, class, and other factors that are both shaped and reflected by popular culture myths, icons, and formulas. Prerequisites: sophomore standing; COM 105, and certified college writing proficiency; or permission of instructor.
Fall semester, repeated Spring semester. Peroutka, Zurawik.
COM 219. HISTORY OF TELEVISION AND RADIO (4) (GEN. ED. #4 AND #9)
An examination of the historical evolution of electronic media in the United States and other countries. Radio, television, and new media technologies are investigated from a number of perspectives, including technology, business and industry, programming, law, and society and culture. Prerequisites: COM 105 and college writing proficiency; or permission of the instructor.
Spring. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. Marcus.
COM 225. CONSUMERISM, THE MEDIA, POPULAR CULTURE, AND THE ENVIRONMENT (4) (GEN. ED. #11)
This course will examine the relationship between culture and environment. We will focus on how the mass media and popular culture create and perpetuate the mythology of the American Dream and the "good life" — with all its material abundance and consequent wastefulness. How does our culture talk about various forms of consumption? What is the relationship between the media, cultural and political elites, corporate entities, and the consumer? How do we, as an audience, receive, internalize, and operationalize these messages? And how can we escape the mantra of "more is better"? The course will include a strong experiential component meant to encourage students to live in more sustainable ways.
COM 227. MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY (3)
This course will explore how new media technologies have shaped and complicated our culture and society. The course will consider new media of today and yesterday, including printing, comics, television, the web, and digital media, focusing on the social construction of technology and how media technologies help foster our sense of identity and social reality. Students will examine this subject through a critical lens, grounded in historical research. Prerequisites: COM 105 and college writing proficiency; or permission of the instructor.
Alternate years, Fall semester. Burton.
COM 228. EXPRESSIVE USE OF VOICE AND MOVEMENT (3) (THE 228)
Expansion of the physical and vocal range of the performer and public speaker. The course examines methods of interpreting dramatic text through voice and movement, studies the physiological and psychological components of speech and movement, and focuses on the connection between stage speech and stage movement. Six class hours. Prerequisite: THE 120.
Spring semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. Free.
COM 231. NEWS REPORTING (3)
This course trains students in the fundamentals of gathering information and presenting it as journalism. The course will offer students the opportunity to learn and practice basic news gathering and writing in conditions intended to simulate a newsroom. This is primarily a skills course. In emphasizing journalism as a discipline of verification, however, the course also introduces students to a culture of journalism that stresses accuracy and ethics. Prerequisite: sophomore standing and college writing proficiency.
Variable semesters. Zurawik.
COM 234. CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF JOURNALISM (3) (GEN. ED. #9)
Examination of the economic, political, social, and psychological forces that have created the cultural context in which journalists operate nationally and internationally. Both the process (journalistic routines and institutional influences) and the products (broadcast and print news stories) are examined critically. Prerequisites: COM 105 and certified college writing proficiency; or permission of the instructor.
Fall or spring semester. Zurawik, Peroutka.
COM 236. MEDIA: MANAGEMENT AND CONTENT (3)
An in-depth examination of the administration, management, operations, and controls of the broadcast media and its many parts, including programming, promotion, sales, and news. The underlying organizational and economic structure of American television and radio are analyzed, especially with respect to how this structure subsequently affects program content. An investigation of external forces, such as advertising agencies and audience ratings, emphasizing how they influence electronic media. Prerequisite: one 100-level course in communication or sophomore standing.
Spring semester. Economos.
COM 237. MEDIA CRITICISM (3) (GEN. ED. #9 AND #10)
This course examines the critical and theoretical approaches to understanding the televisual world. From formalist to feminist and postmodernist theory, students gain an in-depth understanding of the codes and conventions that govern the cultural production of television. Ideological, genre-based, auteurist, and other approaches are examined. Prerequisites: COM 105 and certified college writing proficiency; or permission of the instructor.
Fall semester. Zurawik, Marcus, Burton.
COM 238. PUBLIC RELATIONS (3)
An introduction to the history, development, theory, and practice of public relations in the United States during the information age. An examination of the role and function of public relations in American education, politics, religion, business, and the nation's social and cultural life. The use of public relations is analyzed as the means by which representative organizations monitor and interact with other institutions, organizations, social groupings, the media, and the public. The responsibilities and ethics of public relations practitioners are discussed and evaluated. Prerequisite: certified proficiency in English composition.
Fall semester. Economos.
COM 239. FILM THEORY AND HISTORY I (4) (GEN. ED. #4 AND #9)
This course will examine the history of and theories about film as an art form, a technology, a business, and a cultural practice with sociopolitical meaning and impact. Emphasis on narrative, dramatic film from the inception of the film industry to 1950. Prerequisites: COM 105, sophomore status, and college writing proficiency; or permission of instructor.
Fall semester. Turner.
COM 245. FILM THEORY AND HISTORY II (4) (GEN. ED. #4 AND #9)
This course will examine the history of and theories about film as an art form, a technology, a business, and a cultural practice with sociopolitical meaning and impact. Emphasis on narrative, dramatic film from the 1940s through the 1990s. Prerequisites: COM 105, COM 239, sophomore status, and college writing proficiency; or permission of instructor.
Spring semester. Turner, Peroutka.
COM 257. INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION (3) (GEN. ED. #9 AND #10)
A survey of communication issues and problems created by sociocultural, racial, and national differences. This course focuses on analyzing communication processes between peoples and nations, including interactions among the uses of media technologies, government policies, economic interests, past patterns, and future trends in national and international communications. Prerequisites: COM 105 and certified college writing proficiency; or permission of the instructor.
Spring semester. Burton.
COM 262. RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES (3) (GEN. ED. #7)
An investigation of the theory and methodological approaches to academic research in the field of communication studies. Emphasizing qualitative approaches, this course covers ethnography, interviewing, survey methods, focus group work, textual analysis, content analysis, historical analysis, reception theory, and so forth. The course will focus on application of these methods to conduct research for numerous student projects. Intensive writing required. Must be taken to achieve writing proficiency in the major. Prerequisites: COM 105 and certified college writing proficiency; or permission of instructor.
Fall semester, repeated spring semester. Turner, Zurawik.
COM 272G. INTENSIVE COURSE ABROAD: FILM IN BERLIN (4) (GER 272G) (GEN. ED. #3)
This course will take students "on location" to Berlin. It will not only provide an overview of Berlin as a historic and modern city of film, but it will also explore significant aspects of the contemporary film industry at sites in Berlin. Students will discuss and write about Berlin film. They will also have opportunities to meet with representatives of film production and marketing companies, film schools, film festivals, and the film commission. Prerequisite: GER 129 or permission of instructor.
Variable semesters. Larkey.
ALTERNATIVE MEDIA AND CULTURE IN THE BALKANS (3) (GEN. ED. #3)
This course provides an international field experience in the arts, culture, and social activism in the recently independent nations of the former Yugoslavia. The program will be centered in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, and the cultural projects in the city that have challenged the political and social status quo, and it will include visits to Zagreb and Sarajevo. Students will meet Internet activists, filmmakers, event organizers, radio producers, and others exploring innovative approaches to media. The course will explore the dynamics of alternative media and cultural production.
Summer. Marcus, Burns.
COM 281. CONCEPTS AND CONDITIONS FOR CREATIVE ADVERTISING (3)
An applied experience in the development of a complete advertising campaign from market research to media programming. Combines field work, fieldtrips, laboratory, and lectures. Students prepare their own advertising packages. Prerequisite: one 100-level course in communication or sophomore standing.
Fall semester. Economos.
COM 286. FIELD VIDEO PRODUCTION (4) (GEN. ED. #8)
Introduction to the theory, technology, and practice of field video production. The basic language of location production lighting, visual aesthetics, and sound recording is taught. Students work together and independently to produce a range of programming, from commercials to documentaries to experimental video. Prerequisite: one 100-level course in communication or sophomore standing. Enrollment limited to 20 students.
Fall semester. Raymond (focus: commercial practices); Marcus (focus: non-commercial practices).
COM 290. INTERNSHIP IN COMMUNICATION (3-4)
Internships based on previous coursework in the department are available in television, video, radio, motion pictures, sound recording, print and electronic journalism, photography, advertising, public relations, media archival work, arts administration, political media, or studies in popular culture. Prerequisites: at least 15 credits in the Communication Department, advanced sophomore standing, and permission of the director. Graded pass/no pass only.
Variable semesters. Peroutka, Zurawik, Turner, Marcus, Burton.
COM 299. APPLIED VIDEO PRODUCTION (1-4)
Qualified students may earn one to four credits per semester for participation in the Communication and Media Studies Department video productions, the campus television station, or independent work in video. Students will be required to work 30 hours per credit earned. Prerequisites: sophomore, junior, or senior standing; at least one video production course; and permission of the television studio administrator. A maximum of eight credits may be taken in applied video. Graded pass/no pass only.
Fall semester, repeated Spring semester. Raymond.
COM 301. TOPICS IN MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION (3)
An intensive study of a specific issue or issues in one of the major research traditions in the field. Concentration on a topic of current debate in communication studies, often across media formats. The specific topic for the class is posted before registration. Examples of topics include alternative media, race and ethnicity in film and television, and advanced readings in popular culture. Prerequisites: at least two of the 200-level required theory/criticism and history courses, departmental and college writing proficiency, and junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor. Repeatable if topic is different.
Fall semester, repeated Spring semester. Burton, Peroutka, Zurawik, Marcus, Turner.
COM 307. SPECIAL TOPICS IN WORLD CINEMA (4)
Advanced study in a particular movement, period, aspect, country, or continent within the motion picture's industrial, sociocultural, and aesthetic development worldwide. Topics for a given semester are posted before registration. Examples of topics include African-American film, culture and technology in science fiction film, film noir, and women and film. Prerequisites: COM 239 and/or 245, departmental and college writing proficiency, and junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor. Repeatable if the topic is different.
Variable semesters. Peroutka, Turner, Burton.
COM 312. ISSUES IN BROADCASTING AND THE ELECTRONIC MEDIA (3)
Analysis of selected topics in television, radio, and the new electronic media, or development of skill in a particular format. The specific topic is posted before registration. Examples include advanced audio production, broadcast newswriting, children and television, and producing and writing for the Internet. Prerequisites: completion of two of the required 200 level theory/criticism and history courses, departmental and college writing proficiency, and junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor. Repeatable if topic is different.
Fall semester, repeated spring semester. Burton, Marcus, Peroutka, Raymond, Zurawik, Taylor.
COM 315. SCREENWRITING (3) (GEN. ED. #8)
Critical analysis and practice of writing dramatic material for film and television. Students will craft a complete script, from premise to polished dialogue. Students will also examine the art of screen and television writing from a critical perspective, reading and researching literature in the field. Prerequisites: certified college writing proficiency, COM 132, and sophomore standing; or permission of instructor.
Spring semester. Peroutka, Marcus.
COM 317. THE DOCUMENTARY TRADITION (4)
An in-depth investigation of the history and theory of the documentary tradition in film and television. Examining both American and international examples, this course looks at major schools, movements, goals, and styles of documentary production. Representative texts are studied for their sociopolitical influences, persuasive techniques, and aesthetic formulas. Prerequisites: two of the four required 200-level theory/criticism and history courses, departmental and college writing proficiency, and junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor.
Fall semester. Offered 2012-13 and alternate years. Marcus, Turner.
COM 333. MEDIA ETHICS (3)
Examination of the key ethical concepts and theories for the purpose of considering the moral implications of contemporary media practice. Strategies of ethical analysis applied to specific communication problems within international and global contexts. Using the case-study approach, this course explores a variety of issues, including image ethics and war, terrorism and the media, and First World representations of the Third World. Prerequisites: at least two 200- level required theory/criticism and history courses, departmental and college writing proficiency, and junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor.
Spring semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. Zurawik.
COM 335. INTERNATIONAL MASS MEDIA (3)
A comparative survey of the structure, regulation, economics, programming, and politics of mass media systems in First-, Second-, and Third-World countries. Questions of international information flow, cultural imperialism, development communications, and international governance are addressed. The relationship between democracy and media systems provide a policy-oriented framework for readings and discussions. Prerequisites: at least two of the 200-level required theory/criticism and history courses or two 200-level political science courses, departmental and college writing proficiency, and junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor.
Spring semester. Offered 2011 and alternate years. Peroutka.
COM 340. MEDIA, POLITICS, AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT (3)
This course focuses on the ways in which citizens develop knowledge of, engage with, and practice politics through mass media and personal media forms in contemporary American society. Students examine historical and contemporary practices of civic engagement and political organizing via media such as the alternative press, talk radio, rebel radio, editorials, fax machines, the Internet, cinematic representations, and public-access television. Students develop an understanding of the power available to citizens for political engagement in the world via mediated communication forms. Prerequisites: at least two of the required 200-level theory/criticism and history courses or two 200-level political science courses, departmental and college writing proficiency, and junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor.
Fall semester. Offered 2011-12 and alternate years. Marcus.
COM 360. ADVANCED VIDEO PRODUCTION (4)
Production in selected formats, emphasizing larger-scale works by students individually or in groups. Advanced instruction in preproduction, writing, camera, lighting, sound, editing, and working with subjects and performers. Specific focuses may include documentary and feature field production, group documentary, live studio performance, and studio serial drama. Prerequisites: COM 189 and 286 and junior or senior status; or permission of instructor.
Spring semester. Marcus, Raymond.
COM 365. ADVANCED PUBLIC RELATIONS (4)
This course enables students to apply the critical thinking and public relations skills learned in introductory public relations and communications courses to the professional arena. Working in teams under supervision, students will help plan, manage, and implement a public relations campaign for a nonprofit community organization. Prerequisites: COM 238 and college and departmental writing proficiency; or permission of the instructor.
Spring semester. Economos.
COM 400. INDEPENDENT STUDY (2-4)
Independent study of the student's choice. To qualify for an independent study the student must be in good academic standing and have achieved an overall GPA of at least 3.0, have acquired both college and departmental writing proficiency, be a junior or a senior, have completed the 200-level theory requirement, and have the permission of a faculty adviser and an approved proposal that includes a substantial statement of intent and a preliminary bibliography of sources to be consulted.
Variable semesters. Peroutka