Introduction to Communication Studies
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, Kimball, Marcus, Zurawik.
Writing for Film, Television, and Radio
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 writing, and the elements of dramatic script writing. Prerequisite: WRT 181 and Writing Studio, or College Writing Proficiency. Fall semester, repeated spring semester. Burton, Stoehr.
The performance techniques and sound technology of live and recorded performance in radio/audio production. Emphasis on limited-time production. Fall semester, repeated spring semester. Hudson.
Studio Television Production
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. Hudson, Raymond.
(4 Cr.) (LER-ARC)
This course will introduce the basic concepts of camera vision and black and white photographic materials. The chief goal of the course is to provide you with technical skills and visual theory to produce photographs that reflect both your interests and your view of the world. You will learn to operate all the major controls of the camera, expose negatives accurately, and produce a range of black and white prints. Through lectures, demonstrations, readings, and discussions, you will be encouraged to pursue your own ideas and interest in response to assignments. This course is designed for students with previous experience and for beginners with no experience. Prerequisite: ART 102 or sophomore standing. Students must have their own 35mm film camera. Fall semester, repeated spring semester. Worteck, Burns, department.
This course extends and deepens the skills acquired in Basic Photography. You will broaden your understanding of film exposure and printing controls, explore artificial light sources and flash, and experiment with films and papers. Projects are designed to engage with ideas about genres of photography while simultaneously increasing technical knowledge and skills. The course will include darkroom work, lectures, readings, and field trips. Students must have their own 35mm film camera. Prerequisite: ART 201 or COM 202. Fall semester, repeated spring semester. Worteck, Burns, department.
Photography in Communication and Art
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 ART 203 or COM 202 and COM 203. Fall semester. Offered alternate years.Worteck.
Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
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, COM 203, or permission of the instructor. Fall semester. Offered alternate years.Worteck.
History of Photography
The history of photography from the earliest manifestations to the present. Prerequisite: ARH 103 (formerly ART 103) or permission of instructor. Fall semester. Worteck, Burns.
Making Sense of Popular Culture
(3 Cr.) (LER - DIV)
Popular culture: We eat, breathe, wear, play, learn, and live it. 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: COM 105 and college writing proficiency, and sophomore standing; or permission of instructor. Variable semesters. Department.
History of Television and Radio
(4 Cr.) (LER-TXT)
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, college writing proficiency, and sophomore standing; or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Offered alternate years. Kimball, Marcus, Zurawik.
Media and the Environment
(4 Cr.) (LER-ENV)
In this course, we will explore the role that media play in our relationship with the natural world. We will focus on such topics as: mass media as a driver of unsustainable consumer culture, the role of news media in people's understandings (and misunderstandings) of climate change, the use of digital media to raise awareness and organize against the global climate crisis, and the relations of media technologies and infrastructures with energy and waste. The course will include a strong experiential component to encourage students to live in more sustainable ways and get involved with conservation and climate advocacy activities. Prerequisites: COM 105, college writing proficiency, and sophomore standing; or permission of instructor. Spring semester. Kimball.
Media and Technology
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, college writing proficiency, and sophomore standing; or permission of the instructor. Offered alternate years. Burton, Kimball.
Expressive Use of Voice and Movement
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 alternate years. Free.
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. Variable semesters. Zurawik.
Critical Analysis of Journalism
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, college writing proficiency, and sophomore standing; or permission of the instructor. Fall or spring semester. Burton, Zurawik.
(3 Cr.) (LER - TXT)
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, college writing proficiency, and sophomore standing; or permission of the instructor. Fall semester. Burton, Kimball, Marcus, Zurawik.
An introduction to the theory and practice of public relations in the information age. An examination of the history, 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 examined as the means by which organizations strategically manage relationships with other institutions, social groupings, the media, and the public. The responsibilities, strategies, tactics, and ethics of public relations practitioners are discussed in the course and are critically analyzed by students in their projects. Prerequisite: college writing proficiency. Fall semester.
Film Theory and History I
(4 Cr.) (LER-TXT)
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, college writing proficiency, and sophomore standing; or permission of instructor. Fall semester. Department.
Film Theory and History II
(4 Cr.) (LER-TXT)
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 2010s. Prerequisites: COM 105, college writing proficiency, and sophomore standing; or permission of instructor. Spring semester. Department.
(4 Cr.) (LER-DIV)
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, college writing proficiency, and sophomore standing; or permission of the instructor. Spring semester. Burton.
Research Methods in Communication Studies
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 through 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. Students who fail to obtain writing proficiency in the major will be dropped from the major. Fall semester, repeated spring semester. Kimball, Zurawik.
Intensive Course Abroad
(4 Cr.) (LER-SA)
INTENSIVE COURSE ABROAD: Film in Berlin (4 Cr.)(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 will also explore significant aspects of the contemporary film industry at the 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 Commissions. Prerequisite: GER 129 or permission of instructor. Summer. Larkey.
Field Video Production
Introduction to the theory, technology, and practice of field video production. The basic language of direction and production, location lighting, videography, and sound recording is taught. Students work both 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. Fall semester. Raymond (focus: news and commercial practices); Hudson, Marcus (focus: narrative and non-commercial practices).
Internship in Communication
Internships based on previous course work 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 9 credits in the Communication Department, advanced sophomore standing, and permission of the director. Graded pass/no pass only. Variable semesters. Burton, Kimball, Marcus, Zurawik.
Applied Video Production
Qualified students may earn one to four credits per semester for participation in the department video productions, campus projects, or independent work in video. Students will be required to work 30 hours per credit earned. Prerequisites: sophomore 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.
Topics in Media and Communication
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; Children and Television; Critical Internet Studies; Communication Law and Policy; and Race and Ethnicity in Film and Television. 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. Variable semesters. Burton, Kimball, Marcus, Zurawik.
Special Topics in World Cinema
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, Film Noir, and War and the Cinema. Prerequisites: COM 239 and/or COM 245, departmental and college writing proficiency, junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor. Repeatable if the topic is different. Variable semesters. Staff.
Applied Workshop in Electronic Media
Workshops in television, radio, and new media, emphasizing the development of skills in a particular format. The specific topic is posted before registration. Examples include: Animation; Broadcast News Writing; Advanced Television Writing; and Producing and Writing for the Internet. Prerequisites: completion of two of the 200 level required theory/criticism and history courses, departmental and college writing proficiency, junior or senior status, or permission of the instructor. Repeatable if topic is different. Fall semester, repeated spring semester. Burton, Hudson, Marcus, Taylor, Zurawik.
Critical analysis and practice of writing dramatic material for film and television. Students will craft a complete short script, from premise to polished dialogue, or an outline and complete first act of a feature-length script. 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. Marcus.
The Documentary Tradition
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 strategies. Prerequisites: two of the required 200-level theory/criticism and history courses; departmental and college writing proficiency; junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor. Fall semester. Offered alternate years. Marcus.
Women and Film
This course will examine the relationship between women and the film industry, from the days of silent film to the 21st century. We will look at the roles women have played, both in front of and behind the camera-from the female star of the classical Hollywood "woman's" film of the 1930's-1940's, and the iconic stereotypes that have pervaded Hollywood gendered discourse, to the re-emergent role of women as directors, screenwriters, and producers in contemporary Hollywood and world cinemas. Interrogating the role of women as icons, producers, and consumers, we will examine Hollywood, independent, and international film. Prerequisites: COM 239 and/or 245, or WS 230; departmental and college writing proficiency; junior or senior status; or permission of the instructor. Repeatable if the topic is different. Offered alternate years. Burton.
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. Offered alternate years. Zurawik.
A comparative survey of the structure, regulation, economics, programming, social uses, reception, and politics of media globally. Questions of international information flow, cultural imperialism, development communications, and international governance are addressed. Diasporic communication, differences in audience reception based on cultural diversity, and the spread and impact of media technologies are also explored. 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 alternate years. Kimball.
Media, Politics, and Civic Engagement
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 through the mainstream media, alternative press, the Internet, cinematic representations, and other means. 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 instructor. Fall semester. Offered alternate years. Marcus.
Advanced Video Production
Production in selected formats, emphasizing larger-scale works by students individually or in groups. Advanced instruction in producing and directing, 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 serial drama. Prerequisites: COM 189 or COM 286 and junior or senior status; or permission of instructor. Repeatable if format is different. Variable semesters. Marcus.
Independent Work in Advanced Production
Semester-long project in video, audio or multimedia production or writing. To qualify, the student must be in good academic standing and have achieved an overall GPA of at least 3.0, have successfully completed at least two production courses, including one at the 300-level, and have the permission of a faculty adviser. The student should have an approved production proposal before registration. Burton, Hudson, Marcus, Raymond.
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 3.5, 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. Burton, Kimball, Marcus, Zurawik.