Courses Offered During 11-Week Session: May 21 - August 3
COMM 123: Communication & Popular Culture (Zane Cooper)
Popular culture has been alternately dismissed as mere trivia and condemned as propaganda, a tool of mass deception. This course introduces students to some of the most important critiques of culture since the 1930s and to different kinds of research that can help us understand popular culture and its effects. Students will investigate how different cultural forms communicate ideas about the world. Overarching questions for the course include: How do various popular culture forms represent social life? Why do we consume popular culture in the ways that we do? How can we look at popular culture to understand the world better, including our place in the world? To answer these questions, we will explore a range of media and genres, including television, film, advertising, music, books, magazines, and the Internet. The course develops critical reading skills that can be applied to both scholarly and popular texts.
Courses Offered During Summer Session 1: May 21 - June 27
COMM 130: Media Industries and Society (John Remensperger)
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 218: Social Media & Social Data (Katerina Girginova)
What are social data and how can we critically, ethically and effectively capture, analyze and use them? During this course, students will gain a well-grounded theoretical understanding of social media combined with practical, hands on experience in capturing and analyzing their own sets of social data. The first part of the course provides an overview of the history of social media, then looks at how practices and platforms vary across the world. Students will also discuss current issues related to social data and questions of ethics and intellectual property as they apply to a number of contexts. The second part of the course delves into capturing and analyzing social data using a wide array of techniques and platforms. Students will gain hands-on experience and a valuable toolkit for data analysis that will allow them to apply the course material to real world problems of their choosing. No previous technical experience necessary.
COMM 262: Visual Communication (Rachel N. Stonecipher)
Images permeate our everyday lives. Whether we are watching the news on TV, watching a movie on our laptops, or using an app on our smartphones, we are in constant interaction with images. In this course, we will learn why visual literacy matters. What do images tell us? How do we ‘read’ them? How do we produce them? The course explores these questions by introducing students to the techniques of visual communication, or how ideas, concepts, and narratives are conveyed through still and moving images. Using advertisements, television shows and film clips as case studies, we will examine both the formal features (e.g. design) and contextual elements (e.g. circulation) of images. We will explore how images are never ‘neutral’ because they work to support particular messages and agendas. Because our ability to analyze media is strengthened by media practice, we will also create our own visual artifacts (e.g., a short film, a digital collage, etc.) as part of the course.
Courses Offered During Summer Session 2: June 28 - August 3
COMM 270: Global Digital Activism (Elisabetta Ferrari)
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). The goal is to provide students with a 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” and “Black Lives Matter” movements in the US, the Arab Spring, the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong, internet activism in China. Students are required to conduct hands-on research on a contemporary case of digital activism for their final (textual or multimedia) project, which may be completed individually or in small groups.
Courses Offered During Special Session 2018
COMM 491: Communications Internship (Susan Haas)
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. Class date and time to be determined by enrolled students schedules. (Requires approval of Undergraduate Office)