Courses Offered During Summer Session 1: May 28 - July 3
COMM 125: Communication Behavior (Pawel Popiel and Celeste M. Wagner)
This course introduces students to exploring communication and behavior, with a focus on mass and social media processes and effects. Topics include: the influence of social media on social relationships; the effects of biased media representations of social groups; the emotional experiences underlying the consumption of media, including for mood management; the political economy of the media industries; the political role and impact of the news media; the social and political impact of social media use; and other current topics. The aim of the course is to provide students with (1) a general understanding of research design and methods for the study of communication, and (2) the basic conceptual tools needed to critically evaluate the findings, assumptions, theories, and methods examining communication behavior and media effects. The class will survey social scientific, critical, and cultural studies approaches to understanding communication and media processes, and their broader social implications. Students who take this course will acquire the tools to better understand and conceptualize issues and problems related to communication, and mass and social media prevalent today.
COMM 225: Children and Media (Leeann Siegel)
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 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 emotional development. Students in this course produce a prototype for an educational children's media property as their capstone project.
COMM 290: Visual Culture and Communication (Jasmine Erdener and Hanna E. Morris)
This course will introduce students to foundational aspects of visual communication theory and practice with particular attention to contemporary culture in the United States. Course readings will engage with critical questions of power, representation and ways of seeing in an increasingly globalized and digitally mediated context. Class discussions will unpack the power dynamics and visual regimes of race, gender, class, and citizenship. Historical case studies will supplement contemporary discussions of the visual. A key theme of this course will be creative forms of subversion and resistance—or, the “image politics” of visual communication. This course will be grounded in the everyday and will draw upon current events and contemporary controversies. Students will become well versed in the study and practice of visual communication—with the option of producing a final creative visual project or critical critique depending on students’ interests.
Courses Offered During Summer Session 2: July 5 - August 9
COMM 130: Media Industries and Society (Lauren Bridges and Diami Virgilio)
The aim of this course is to prepare you to work in the media business as well as to be an informed citizen by acquainting you with the work and language of media practitioners. The class also investigates the exciting, and (to some employed there) scary changes taking place in the news and publishing industry, the advertising industry, the movie industry, and several other areas of the media system. In doing that, the course ranges over economic, political, legal, historical, and "cultural" considerations that shape what we see when we go online, use social media, watch TV, read books, play video games, and more. You'll never look at media the same way again.
COMM 339: Critical Perspectives in Journalism (Jennifer R. Henrichsen)
Journalists and the role of journalism in democratic societies is frequently in the headlines and of increasing importance to our national debate. This course will draw from the headlines and key scholars to provide undergraduate students with a critical understanding of and orientation toward journalism. Students will read theoretical selections and commentary by and about journalists. Students will analyze and contextualize readings related to current events. Specific attention will be paid to the changing roles of journalists amidst significant technological and political change. A comparative lens of journalism in different cultural contexts will also occur. Students will engage with different models of journalistic practice; changing norms, values, sourcing practices; and journalism ethics. Class will comprise of lecture, discussion, and engagement with various forms of news media, including articles and documentaries. The majority of class will be a structured seminar in which students will discuss the required readings within the context of current events and the overarching context of the class. Students should come to each class prepared to discuss, ask questions, and engage in constructive ways with their fellow students and their instructor.
Courses Offered During 11-Week Session: May 21 - August 3
COMM 290: The Internet: Then, Now, and Right Now (Ryan Tsapatsaris)
Through a series of case-studies, this course will seek to answer the questions “how do people behave online” and “when and how are online behaviors specific or universal”. The course will primarily focus on contemporary behaviors in spaces like YouTube, Facebook, (Black) Twitter, Grindr, Tinder, Myspace, and MMORPGs (World of Warcraft) along with a brief analysis of the early web spaces of the 1970s-1990s. It will also explore cultural production, such as memes, and other user-generated content. In the final weeks of the course, we will examine contemporary Internet happenings from Summer 2019 and investigate how current behaviors are similar and dissimilar from historical practices. While previous familiarity with various Internet spaces will be helpful, this course is meant as a primer, and as such, will make no assumptions about students’ prior knowledge of the myriad sites being analyzed. That being said, students will be encouraged to discuss spaces they engage with online that may not appear in the assigned readings.
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)