Amy Jordan, Ph.D., director of the Media and the Developing Child sector of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, reads to students during the Children and Media class.


Instructor Joan Garry during her media activism and social change class.

Courses Overall

Below are brief descriptions of various communication courses offered to undergraduates. Course descriptions may sometimes change; some courses may not be offered every year; and new courses may be added.

Comm 105/ Comm 412 – Spiritual Communication (Jackson)

Spirit Photography. Seances. Exorcisms. Divine intervention. Prayer. What do these genres have in common? Each one is (differently) predicated on assumptions about human conversations/connections with spirits, deities, and/or demons. This class will examine the culturally specific ways in which human beings theorize and operationalize their capacity (and longing) to speak with sentient beings from other realms. How do societies organize the project of communication with seemingly disembodied (and sometimes quite decidedly non-human) subjects? How have advances in media technologies (for instance, photography, telegraphy, film) served as mechanisms for re-imagining potential links between human speakers and otherworldly interlocutors? The class also tries to examine some of what the story of 19th century spiritualism and early 20th century mass media technology might tell us about the field of Communication Studies and its points of convergence with (and divergence from) the discipline of Anthropology.

Comm 108- The Speaking Body and the Marks of the Mind in Modern Western Culture (Pearl)

How does the body speak even in the absence of words? In what ways do thoughts, feelings, messages, and experiences mark the body, revealing the invisible internal and making it visible to the understanding eye? Have notions of bodily communication changed over time? How were prevailing ideas about the languages of the body marked by wider philosophical, artistic, literary, scientific, and medical trends? In this course, we will explore the speaking body from the eighteenth century through the early twentieth. Starting with the doctrine of maternal impressions, we will look at the ways in which the body became marked, and how these markings were expressed and understood. We will then explore physiognomy, phrenology, hysteria, and shell shock, ending the semester with a provocative discussion of psychosomatic medicine, and the modern manifestations of phrenology and physiognomy. Drawing on a variety of material and types of evidence, we will explore literary and historical documents, as well as works of art and visual culture. The assignments will be equally wide-ranging, including response papers, a primary source analysis, presentations, internet searches, visual analyses, and diary entries. The course will culminate in a written paper which will be produces in stages with careful and detailed guidance. In preparation for these assignments, we will dive in to the depths of Van Pelt to explore its treasures, and we will meet with a resource librarian to prepare ourselves to take full advantage of the resources on offer. We will also take at least one field trip to the Mutter Museum to examine their holdings and exhibits. We will emerge from this seminar with a greater understanding of the speaking body, as well as with a variety of methodological scholarly tools for conducting interdisciplinary research. This course will be highly demanding, requiring all participants to engage fully with the material and to challenge themselves to think creatively and rigorously about the themes of the course. Students will receive a great deal of assistance and writing and research, and will also work closely with one another to share the unique skills and talents that each brings to the course material.

Comm 123 – Critical Approaches to Popular Culture (Paxton)

Popular culture has been variously dismissed as mere trivia, it has been condemned as propaganda, a tool of mass deception; and its consumers have been dubbed fashion victims and couch potatoes. This course considers these critiques, as well as those that suggest that popular culture offers valuable material for the study of social life. We consider the meanings and impact of popular culture, including its effects on how we see ourselves, others, and American life; who makes distinctions between high, middlebrow, and low or mass culture; and how power and resistance structure the production and consumption of popular texts.

Comm 125 – Introduction to Communication Behavior (Jordan)

(Fulfills General Requirement I: Society)

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of communication behavior. It focuses on social science studies relating to the processes and effects of mass communication. Research reviewed includes media use behavior and media influences on knowledge, perceptions of social reality, aggressive behavior, and political behavior.

Comm 130 – Introduction to Mass Media and Society (Turow)

(Fulfills General Requirement I: Society)

How might we think about the legal, political, economic, historical, and "cultural" considerations that shape what we watch on TV, read in books, stare at in billboards? What ideas are relevant for examining the enormous changes in the mass media system and the consequences of those changes? The aim of this course is to begin to answer these questions by acquainting you with the workings of American mass media as an integral part of American society.

Comm 203- Media, Culture & Society in Contemporary China (Yang)

This course studies contemporary China in the context of globalization. Starting with an analysis of the origins of economic reform and the struggles for political change in the 1970s and 1980s, the course moves on to cover critical issues in the 21st century, including migration and work, middle class and consumerism, youth, religion, media and communication, environmental degradation, new forms of inequality, and civil society and popular protest. Taking a sociological approach, this course introduces methods and theories for analyzing institutions, inequality, and social change.

Comm 211-Media Activism Studies (Pickard)

This seminar provides an introduction to the politics and tactics underlying various types of media activism. The class will examine interventions aimed at media representations, labor relations in media production, media policy reform, activists' strategic communications, and "alternative" media making. The course will draw from an overview of the existing scholarship on media activism, as well as close analyses of actual activist practices within both old and new media at local, national, and global levels. We will study how various political groups, past and present, use media to advance their interests and effect social change. Each member of the class will choose one case study of an activist group or campaign to explore throughout the semester.

Comm210– Quantitative Research Methods in Communication (Bleakley)

(Fulfills the Quantitative Data Analysis Requirement)

This course is a general overview of the important components of social research. It presents a conceptual basis for assessing research quality based on the four “types of validity,” and also covers the standard elements of research design, including sampling, measurement, and causal inference. These concepts are then illustrated through reviews of four research areas: surveys and field studies, qualitative/ethnographic studies, content analysis, and policy/evaluation studies. The final part of the semester focuses more on descriptive and inferential statistics, measures of association for categorical and continuous variables, and the language of data analysis.

Comm 213- Social Media & Social Life (Gonzalez-Bailon)

The irruption of social media as a means of communication has been said to transform many dimensions of social life, from how we interact with significant others to how we engage in public life - but has it, really? Regardless of the specific technology (blogs, micro-blogs, social networking sites, peer-to-peer networks), social media make interdependence more prevalent, and exposure to information more pervasive. But social networks, and the ties that bring us together, have long mediated the way in which we obtain information, engage in public discussion, and are recruited or mobilized for a public cause. So what has social media brought to the table that is new? This course will evaluate the evidence that can help us answer this question, as well as challenge conventional views and discuss questions that remain open. The effects of social media on ideological polarization, social influence and peer pressure, agenda-setting dynamics, and the formation and effects of social capital are examples of the substantive topics and theoretical debates that will be considered.

Comm 225 – Children and Media (Jordan)

This course examines children's relationship to media in its historic, economic, political and social contexts. The class explores the ways in which "childhood" is created and understood as a time of life that is qualitatively unique and socially constructed over time. It continues with a review of various theories of child development as they inform children's relationship with and understanding of television and other household media. It next reviews public policies designed to empower parents and limit children's exposure to potentially problematic media content and simultaneously considers the economic forces that shape what children see and buy. The course concludes with a critical examination of research on the impact of media on children's physical, cognitive, social and psychological development.

Comm 226 – Introduction to Political Communication (Jamieson)

This course is an introduction to the field of political communication, conceptual approaches to analyzing communication in various forms, including advertising, speech making, campaign debates, and candidates' and office-holders' uses of news. The focus of this course is on the interplay in the U.S. between television and politics. The course includes a history of televised campaign practices from the 1952 presidential contest through the election of 2012.

Comm 230 – Advertising & Society (Turow)

This course explores the historical and contemporary role of the advertising industry in the U.S. media system. Readings include social histories of advertising, memoirs of famous ad people, economic examinations of advertising's role in society, and critical analyses of the ad industry's power over the media.

Comm 240 – Introduction to Film Forms and Contexts (Messaris)

This course traces the development of the classical Hollywood cinema, as well as significant alternatives to this dominant mode of representation, by relating analyses of the formal elements of film texts to discussions of film industries and audiences as well as the larger social, historical context. A variety of analytical methods and perspectives are applied to films drawn from different times and countries in order to consider the cinema as a cultural construction.

Comm 262 – Visual Communication (Messaris)

Examination of the structure and effects of visual media (film, television, advertising, and other kinds of pictures).

Comm 270: Global Digital Activism (Yang)

This seminar examines the forms, causes, and consequences of global digital activism, defined broadly as activism associated with the use of digital media technologies (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, mobile phones, and the Chinese Weibo). The goal is to provide students with a theoretical tool-kit for analyzing digital activism and to develop a critical understanding of the nature of contemporary activism and its implications for global social change. Major cases to be examined include the "Occupy Wall Street" movement in the US, the Arab Spring, the "indignados" protests in Spain, and internet activism in China. Students are required to conduct primary, hands-on research on a contemporary case (or form) of digital activism and produce a final research paper. This research project may be done individually or in small groups.

Comm 275 – Communication and Persuasion (Cappella)

Theory, research and application in the persuasive effects of communication in social and mass contexts. Primary focus on the effects of messages on attitudes, opinions, values, and behaviors. Applications include political, commercial, and public service advertising; propaganda; and communication campaigns (e.g. anti-smoking).

Comm 290- Special Topics

Comm 300 – Public Space, Public Life (Marvin)

Public space as a communicative system. Historical aspects, public space as a cultural signifier, how public space facilitates or hinders common life, public space as a component of democracy.

Comm 301 - Introduction to the Political Economy of Media (Pickard)

This course has two aims. First, assuming that communications are central to any society, it situates media systems within larger national and international social relationships and political structures. Second, this course critically examines the structures of the communication systems themselves, including ownership, profit imperatives, support mechanisms such as advertising and public relations, and the ideologies and government policies that sustain these arrangements. Considering case studies ranging from traditional news and entertainment media to new digital and social media, the course provides a comprehensive survey of the major texts in this vibrant sub-field of media studies.

Comm 309 – Washington Politics and the Media (Felzenberg)

This course is designed to enhance students' understanding of the role the media plays influencing the course of public policy in the nation's capital. It will provide students with opportunities to assess major issues, currently in the news, from multiple perspectives (those of Congress, the President, interest groups, the old and new media, lobbyists, political consultants and others). They will explore the emergence of multiple "narratives" the media uses to frame policy debates, how these are formed, and how they change over time. Readings and class discussions will be supplemented by appearances by guests who have had participated in important ongoing and past policy debates.

Comm 320- Urban Ethnography: Documenting The City of Brotherly Love (Jackson)

How do qualitative social scientists study urban communities? What kinds of powerful tales can be told about urban lifestyles and social issues/conflicts in places like Philadelphia? This course will allow students to study various ethnographic treatments of urban communities in the United States, using films, articles, TV serials, and books as guides for the framing of their own independent research on the streets of Philadelphia. Students will also form production teams of two or three people, and these production teams will be responsible for (i) identifying and researching an important urban issue in contemporary Philadelphia and (ii) turning that research into a 15-30 minute radio documentary that will be broadcast on a local Philadelphia radio station, WURD 900AM. Mixing radio/audio journalism with ethnographic methods, will enhance their skills at archival and social research, participant- observation, interviewing techniques, sound editing, and production. This course is intended to be a rigorous and exciting opportunity for students to tell empirically grounded stories using the voices of their subjects and the sounds of the city. Potential texts include: Sidewalk (a book and documentary film my Mitchell my Mitchell Duneier), Righteous Dopefiend (a book and museum exhibit by Philippe Bourgois), and excerpts from other ethnographic work by Ana Ramos-Zayas, Elijah Anderson, Todd Wolfson, David Grazian, Setha Low, Ulf Hannerz, Leith Mullings, John Gwaltney, Dana-ain Davis, Carol Stack, Melissa Checker, Katherine S. Newman, and others. By Permission Only.

Comm 322 – History and Theory of Freedom of Expression (Marvin)

Origins, purpose, theory, practice of freedom of expression in the West. Philosophical roots of contemporary debates about expressive limits, especially problems associated with mass communications. Major topics may include, but are not limited to, sexual expression, violence, hate speech, traitorous and subversive speech, non-verbal expression, artistic expression, privacy.

Comm 323 – Contemporary Politics, Policy, and Journalism (Hunt)

A course on the modern media and their impact on government and politics. It primarily covers the post-Watergate/post-Vietnam era of journalism, the past quarter century. Each week focuses on specific topics and areas of post-Watergate journalism, as well as current press coverage of national events over the prior week. This course gives students the opportunity to interact and discuss the intersection of the press, politics, and public policy with some of the leading practitioners in the field.

Comm 339 – Critical Perspectives in Journalism (Zelizer)

This course aims to provide students with a critical understanding of journalism. It combines theoretical perspectives on the making of news with primary source material produced by and about journalists. Students analyze theoretical material on journalism – about how news is made, shaped, and performed – alongside articles and broadcasts appearing in the media, interviews with journalists in the trade press, and professional reviews. Topics include models of journalistic practice, journalistic values and norms, gatekeeping and sourcing practices, storytelling formats in news, and ethical problems related to misrepresentation, plagiarism, and celebrity.

Comm 341 Children’s Media and Urban Policy (Jordan)

This course takes a philosophical, historical, and practical approach to understanding why and how the US media industries are regulated. It begins by examining the philosophical tension regarding free speech rights vs. child protection obligations and the media effects beliefs that would drive media regulation. Next, it examines the process of media policy formation and implementation, including the role of regulatory agencies, industry lobbyists, academic researchers and child advocates in advancing agencies, industry lobbyists, academic researchers and child advocates in advancing distinct policy agendas. Throughout the course we survey a range of policy actions, from legislatively required parental monitory tools (such as the V-Chip) to voluntary industry efforts (such as network restriction of junk food advertising). We consider evidence of the success of these efforts in limiting children’s exposure to damaging content and in improving parents’ ability to supervise their children’s media use.

Comm 362 – Visual Communication Lab (Messaris)

(Requires permission of Instructor)
(Prerequisite: COMM 262)

This laboratory provides an opportunity for students to explore, through actual media production, many of the conceptual principles and research findings discussed in Comm 262 and other Communication courses.

Comm 374 – Communication and Congress (Felzenberg)

This course will examine how Congress goes about the business of translating the public's concerns into legislation and keeps the public informed of its progress. It will examine how the two chambers interact in this process, what role the media plays in shaping Congress's agenda and vice versa, and what impact the advent of 24 hour news, C-SPAN and the internet have had on Congressional deliberations. An historical approach will be taken in considering the evolution of both chambers and the media's coverage of them. Students will examine differences between the House and Senate in both their institutional development and how they go about communicating with each other, the general public, and other branches and levels of government.

Comm 375 - Communications and Emergency Response (Felzenberg)

A series of unforeseen and unprecedented emergencies in recent years have posed steep challenges to private businesses, non-profit institutions, and local, state and federal governments. Terrorist attacks, natural disasters, hurricanes, financial collapse and other crises have posed unique communications and policy challenges to people in positions of authority. Increasingly, they have had to implement plans, make announcements, and order evacuations, often on short notice. They have also had to devise makeshift and permanent mechanisms that have minimized damage and enhanced security. This course will review cases of successful and unsuccessful responses those in authority displayed in such instances. It will also examine how able policy makers used the increased attention and sense of urgency various unforeseen crises created to enact policies that enhanced the public safety and national security. On occasion, guests, who have had been on the front lines in emergency situations will appear in class to enhance students' appreciation of the challenges they faced and to share their ideas as to how other unanticipated events might best be handled. Readings will focus on case studies of historical and contemporary emergency situations and how policy makers addressed them.

Comm 377 – Philosophical Problems of Journalism (Romano)

An exploration of the relationship between journalism and philosophy by examining particular issues in epistemology, political philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics. Among likely topics: the concept of a "fact"; the role of the press in the state; whether journalists (like doctors and lawyers) operate according to a specialized "professional" ethics; and the limits of journalism as a literary or visual genre. Course reading will include philosophical texts, breaking print journalism, and blogs that specialize in media issues.

Comm 378 – Journalism and Public Service (Romano)

In this course we examine links between journalism and public service by scrutinizing core concepts involved, practices that sometimes put journalism and public service in conflict (e.g., investigative reporting, coverage of war), and how journalism stacks up against other forms of public service from NGO work to government employment. Beginning with a reading of Robert Coles's classic The Call of Service, we dissect the notion of the "public," assess so-called public-service journalism by reading Pulitzer-Prize-winning examples, and reflect on the news media as a political institution. Individual weeks focus on such topics as the conflict that arises when a journalist's obligation to a confidential source clashes with a duty to the judicial system, whether the business of journalism is business, how journalism and NGO work compares as public service, and whether journalism by committed political activists (such as public service, and whether journalism by committed political activists (such as I.F. Stone) surpasses mainstream "neutral" journalism as a form of public service.

Comm 385 - Media Activism and Social Change (Garry)

This course offers students the opportunity to explore the relationship between the media industry and the public and the role groups and movements can play in holding the media accountable to serve the public interest. We will wrestle with what that responsibility looks like by engaging the following questions: What obligations do media outlets have to offer fair, accurate, unbiased and inclusive representations in news and entertainment? How do media "insiders" understand this responsibility? Is it clear when a talk show host "crosses the line?" How do we define balance? Are there really two sides to every issue? What is media advocacy? What does it look like? What are the strategies and tactics employed by media activists? How do media insiders effectively contend with media outsiders lobbying for change? These questions will be explored in historically contextualized ways, using a diverse menu of social and political movements and examining the issues with recourse to all sides of the political spectrum.

Comm 386 - Non-Profit Comm Strategy (Garry)

The success of a nonprofit organization as defined by its efforts to fulfill its mission is tied directly its ability to clearly articulate its need, its vision and the specific programs it does or will employ to achieve that mission. This clear and persuasive communication is integral to its ability to raise funds, to establish a credible voice for lobbying or advocacy and in its efforts to engage the widest possible base of stakeholders. This class will explore the ways in which nonprofits engage in strategic communications. We will look at public service campaigns, ongoing press efforts, social media strategies, fundraising appeals and public speaking.

COMM 388 - Ritual Communication (Paxton)

This course explores the significance of rituals as communicative events in American culture. We will examine both the "how" and the "what" of ritual communication and, with the aid of several ritual theorists; we will come to better understand the unique language of ritual. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which rituals contribute to the making and re-making of social groups, be they religious, political, familial or institutional. And we will necessarily attend to the obverse: the ways in which rituals rate and perpetuate boundaries between "us" and "them" and between, “appropriate" and "deviant" social behavior. Starting with birth and ending with death, this course will focus largely on what are called "lifecycle", rituals or "rites de passage". We will look at rituals that focus on individual transitions -- the quinceanera for example -- as well as those that mark transitions on a far larger scale such as presidential elections. We will explore rituals that unfold at the local level and are experienced "upclose" as well as those that most Americans experience only via the media.

Comm 390- Special Topics

Comm 395 – Communication and the Presidency (Eisenhower)

This course examines the vital aspect of communication as a tool of the modern Presidency. Reading and class discussions focus on case studies drawn from modern Presidential administrations (beginning with FDR) that demonstrate the elements of successful and unsuccessful Presidential initiatives and the critical factor of communication, common to both. This course is also an introduction to primary research methods and to the use of primary research materials in the Presidential Library system.

COMM 402: The Arab Uprisings: Local and Global Representations (Kraidy)

This course explores the Arab uprisings as a battle ground where multiple narratives battle for visibility across a variety of media platforms. We will examine local and global representations of the popular movements that have swept Arab countries since December 2010, analyzing different media, styles and modalities of representations. We will focus among other things on social media, political humor, graffiti, and the human body as instruments of communication, and focus on various related debates and polemics about the political impact of technology, the effectiveness of political satire, and the role of gender and sexuality in revolutionary politics. The overall approach of the course is critical/theoretical.

Comm 403- Comparative Political Communication (Moehler)

This course explores major themes in the study of political communication from a comparative perspective. It focuses on how communication affects political behavior, attitudes, and outcomes. In doing so we question the forces that shape media institutions and how different political and social institutions shape individual-level communication effects. The course is designed to provide a greater understanding of comparative political communication theories, as well as to develop social science reasoning and methodology. Readings, class discussions, and assignments move back and forth between theories, empirical evidence, and public policies. The readings include research from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and North America though Europe receives somewhat more attention due to the richness of comparative data and research for that region.

Comm 404 – Media and Politics (Mutz)

Media and Politics will examine multiple issues specific to the past and present political media environment in the United States. Focus will be primarily, though not exclusively on the contemporary news media (as opposed to political advertising and other marketing-oriented communications). Topics will include the rise of partisan media, selective exposure, news as entertainment, etc. Reading expectations will be relatively heavy, and under the supervision of the professor, students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic not directly a part of the course material.

Comm 405 – Facing Race: Race and Caricature in the Historical Imagination (Pearl)

Is race imaginary? If so, who invented facial distinctions and why can we see them? Do pictures change the way we think? How do artists think about the people they draw and satirize? This course will explore the relationship between caricature and perceptions of racial difference in modern western culture. We will interrogate the role that visual images play in framing our perceptions of groups and their defining characteristics. Broadly historical, this interdisciplinary course will introduce students to scholarship in visual culture, media studies, science studies, and race theory. Students will develop skills in primary source analysis, historical methodology, and visual analysis. Assignments will include a visual analysis, four short papers, and a final exam.

Comm 418 – Nothing New Under the Heavens: The History of 'Old Media' (Pearl)

In this course, we will explore the history of media innovations and revolutions in the Western world. Following a brief look at early cave writing and papyrus, we move to early modern developments in print-making. We will analyze different methods of image reproduction, focusing in particular on the printing press and its social and cultural impact. We will discuss the implications of the printing press for literacy, political life, democracy, the post, and visual culture. We track changes in print culture through the nineteenth century, thinking about the relationship between the explosion in printed material and the development of the middle class. We will connect changes in print culture to early photography, film, and radio, thinking about how this history created the conditions of possibility for "new media." In this class, we search for continuities that will help us frame current debates and scholarship on new media and its implications.

COMM 419 - Communication, Culture & Revolution (Kraidy)

This seminar explores revolutionary communication and cultural expression. Looking at the ongoing Arab uprisings in comparative perspective, we will examine modalities of communication through which revolutionaries express themselves, describe and attack incumbent dictators and other opponents, call for new social solidarities, and construct revolutionary political identities. Revolutionary contexts are considered as battlegrounds where multiple narratives contend for visibility. We will explore relevant debates and polemics, historical and contemporary, concerning the political impact of technology and the role of gender and sexuality in revolutionary politics. We will focus on social media, political humor, graffiti, and the human body as instruments of communication. The overall approach of the seminar is theoretical, critical and transnational.

Comm 422 – Televised Redemption (Jackson)

This course examines some of the ways in which religious groups mobilize media technologies and respond to the inescapable ubiquity of mass mediation. Students will try to determine how such mass mediation helps to build/reconfigure transnational communities of spiritual belief and practice. The course focuses on various forms of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam (especially, but not exclusively, in their African-American incarnations) in an effort to assess how their practitioners deploy media technology to disseminate (and as part of) their religious/spiritual cosmologies. For example, we will look at (i) Christianity and televangelism, (ii) Muslim self-representations in film and broadcast radio/television, and (iii) Jewish (including "Black Hebrew") uses of cable access programs, self-produced DVDs/CDs, and the Internet. We will try to ascertain how new media technologies recalibrate traditional religious practices and potentially reconfigure theological and Diasporic communities.

COMM 423: Communication and Social Influence Laboratory (Falk)

Considerable resources are devoted to constructing mass media campaigns that persuade individuals to change their behavior. In addition, individuals powerfully influence one another without even knowing it. Still, our ability to design and select optimal messages and interventions is far from perfect. This course will review investigations in social and cognitive psychology and communication sciences that attempt to circumvent the limits of introspection by using biological and implicit measures, with particular focus on neuroimaging studies of social influence and media effects.

Comm 433- Communication and Democratization (Moehler)

This course explores the role of communication in theories of political change and democratic development. It addresses the questions: What are the major hypotheses about the relationship between communication and regime type? How have our hypotheses about communication evolved over time in response to changes in prominent development theories, policy trends, technical developments, and empirical evidence? What kinds of media threaten or enhance authoritarian control? How might the communication strategies of activists facilitate revolution and democratization? How have the media and citizen engagement been employed to enhance good governance? To what extent are democracy and media assistance programs supported by theory and empirical evidence? The course is designed to provide a greater understanding of the relationship between communication and democratization, as well as to develop social science reasoning and methodology. The readings, class discussions, and assignments focus on developing countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union.

Comm 439 – Media Criticism (Zelizer)

Criticism has at its core an assumption of judgment about the target or performance being evaluated. Yet whose judgment is being articulated? On which basis and authority? To which ends? And with which effects? This course examines the shape of contemporary media criticism, focusing on its meaning function in different domains of popular culture (including music, television, news, and film) and the patterns by which it is produced.

Comm 462- Digital Media Lab (Messaris)

The course explores the use of video and other visual media for social causes. Students choose their own area of interest, conduct background research, design and produce videos, and post them on-line. The course uses a seminar format, and class size is limited to fifteen people.

Comm 464 – International Communications (Price)

This course will examine trends in international and transnational communications. In an era of satellites and the Internet, traditional ways of thinking about the relationship of the state to the circulation of images and ideas are altering in important ways. In the course we look at questions of state sovereignty, the rise of new information powers and shifting modes of thinking about media and power. The course will deal with media in conflict zones, public diplomacy, international broadcasting, and competing ideas of structuring the Internet, and changes and pressures on international norms of free expression.

Comm 470 – Freaks and Geeks: People on Display (Pearl)

In life as in fashion, either you are in or you are out. Except in life, the inside and the outside are always changing, depending on who makes the rules, where the inside is situated, who is doing the displaying. In this course, we will explore who the freaks are and who they were, where they can be found, how they came to be defined, and how this changed. Starting with the nineteenth-century freak show, we move through time charting outsiders and their representations, including male and female hysterics, war wounded, medical "cases," and the mentally ill. As we progress through the twentieth century, will discuss subcultures and alternative communities, thinking through the rise of "geek chic" and the dominance of the computer geek as a reversal of traditional trends. We will discuss current models of the exhibition of human types, including body worlds and The Learning Channel programming. As we circle around our own moment in time, we will ask: who are the freaks today? This interdisciplinary course will incorporate historical primary source documents, scholarly secondary works, a range of creative materials including films, plays, television shows, and works of art.

Comm 485 – Globalization and the Music Video (Kraidy)

This seminar focuses on the music video genre to explore topical and conceptual the heart of the globalization of the media and cultural industries. After a formative period largely grounded in North America and Western Europe, the music video migrated to other parts of the world in the 1990s as a wave of privatization and liberalization engulfed national media systems worldwide. Based on a variety of scholarly and trade readings about the globalization of media and culture, the changing media and creative industries, and the music video genre itself, questions to be tackled include: What changes when a media form migrates from its original context? What does the content of music videos reveal about socio-economic and cultural change worldwide? How do music videos rearticulate gender and sexuality, and nationalism? What transnational circuits of ideas, images and ideologies are enabled or constrained by music video?

COMM 490: Special Topics

Comm 491 – Communication Internship Seminar

(Requires approval of Undergraduate Office)

A scholarly counterpart for students' internships in various communication-related organizations. Through individually-selected readings, class discussion and individual conferences, students develop their own independent research agendas which investigate aspects of their internship experience or industry. In written field notes and a final paper, students combine communication theory and practice in pursuit of their individual questions.

Comm 493 – Communication Independent Study

(Requires agreement of supervising faculty member and approval of Undergraduate Office)

The independent study offers the self-motivated student an opportunity for a tailored, academically rigorous, semester-long investigation into a topic of the student's choice with faculty supervision. Students must also complete and file a designated form, approved and signed by the supervising faculty member and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, which includes a topic proposal that must be received by the Undergraduate Office during the Add period of the semester during which the independent study will be conducted.

Comm494- Honors & Capstone Thesis

First semester of two semester thesis course. Completed fall semester of senior year. Required of all students planning on enrolling in Comm 495 or Comm 499 in the Spring. All honors students must have a CUM GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Comm 495 – ComPS Capstone Thesis

(Requires agreement of supervising faculty member and approval of Undergraduate Office)

The senior capstone thesis is the project goal for all Communication & Public Service Program participants. Students choose the topic of the capstone thesis from a range of public policy/public service issues. Research may involve funded travel to selected archives or fieldwork sites. For students graduating with a 3.5 cumulative GPA, the capstone project may be designated as a senior honors thesis in public service.

Comm 499 – Senior Honors Thesis

(Requires agreement of supervising faculty member and approval of Undergraduate Office)

The senior honors thesis provides a capstone intellectual experience for students who have demonstrated academic achievement of a superior level. Students should consult with and arrange for a supervisor from the standing faculty no later than the middle of the term that precedes the honors thesis. Students must file a designated form, approved and signed by the supervising faculty member and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, which includes a topic proposal.