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Communication Studies Courses

The following courses are currently available from the Communication Studies department.  Please consult the College Catalog for requirements and the Registrar's Office for scheduling and availability.

COMM 102 - INTRODUCTION TO MASS MEDIA
The study of the mass media's relationship to social and political power, democracy, and multiculturalism. Students will examine media industries, regulation, globalization, and the cultural production of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Media forms may include journalism, music, radio, television, film, magazines, books, internet, video games, advertising, and public relations. Hours credit: 3.

COMM 111 - INTRO COMMUNICATION & CULTURAL STUDIES
This course examines the way in which people construct and communicate meaning through visual and material culture. Students examine such cultural artifacts as film, television, music, clothing, advertisements, architecture, rituals, and public discourse. The course introduces students to various methods of analyzing forms of communication including textual analysis, audience research, and the study of institutions. Hours credit: 3.

COMM 159 - PUBLIC SPEAKING
Experience in public speaking. Emphasis on research, preparation, and delivery of the persuasive-informative public speech. Hours credit: 3.

COMM 175 - PRACTICAL REASONING
Identical with Philosophy 175. Hours credit: 3.

COMM 181 - INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Identical with Art 181. Hours credit: 3.

COMM 204 - COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES & CULTURE
The study of the relationship between culture and communication technologies, including oral communication, visual symbols, print, film, radio, television, cassettes, and digital media. Examination of how media industries, governments, militaries, religious movements, audiences, and communities employ communication technologies in power struggles, ideological conflicts, and cultural clashes in various global contexts. Reflection upon philosophical conceptions of sensory perception and media consumption experiences. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

COMM 211 - NEWS REPORTING
Practice with leads, the inverted pyramid, quotes and attribution, documentary sources, layout, and editing; exploration of journalistic ethics, community responsibility, and the question of "What is news?" Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: ENGL 103R (or exemption) or the equivalent.

COMM 212 - FEATURE WRITING
Students will learn to write feature articles for newspapers and magazines. Features, often called the "soft side" of news, can be about anything, from the science behind global warming, to a story about a university's champion debating team, to a celebrity profile. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: ENGL 103R (or exemption) or the equivalent.

COMM 213 - NEWSPAPER PRODUCTION LAB
This course offers practical experience in all aspects of college newspaper production, including interviewing, investigation, reporting, AP style, copy editing, and use of digital publishing software. Students in this class are primarily responsible for the regular production of The Sundial, the college newspaper. Hours credit: 1 or 2 determined in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite or corequisite: COMM 211 or 212 or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit up to a maximum of six credits. Offered on a Pass/Fail basis only.

COMM 214 - NEWSPAPER PRODUCTION EDITOR
This course offers practical experience as a newspaper production editor, including newspaper and staff management, supervision and mentorship of staff writers and reporters, oversight of newspaper sections, story editing, copyediting, digital layout and design, new media coordination, and public relations. This class is intended for students who serve as editor-in-chief, managing editor, or section editor of The Sundial, the college newspaper. Hours credit: 2 or 3 determined in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 211 or 212 plus 3 credit hours of COMM 213 or permission of the instructor. COMM 213 and COMM 214 together may be repeated for credit up to a maximum of nine credits. Offered on a Pass/Fail basis only.

COMM 231 - LATIN AMERICAN MEDIA
A survey of Latin American media, such as film, radio, television, journalism, advertising, and digital media. Topics may include media industries and globalization, national and regional identity, political and social conflict, democracy and modernity, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, and social class. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.

COMM 241 - AMERICAN RADIO & TELEVISION
A survey of the history of radio and television in the United States with emphasis on industry, policy, and the cultural production of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social class, region, and national identity. Students will study entertainment and news programs, commercial and public networks, advertisers, regulation, and technology. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.

COMM 274 - MEMORY/BRITAIN AND THE WORLD WARS
During the spring course, students will read books and scholarly articles about the historical context for the two World Wars as well as rhetorical theory regarding monuments and memorials. The class will visit Monument Terrace and the D Day Memorial as sample war memorials. Students will complete one short critical essay and a research paper. The final paper will be accompanied by a presentation to the class. Hours credit: 1. Open only to students enrolling in COMM/HIST 274S during Summer 2014. One time only.

COMM 274S - MEMORY/BRITAIN AND THE WORLD WARS
During the summer travel seminar, which will be based in Reading, students will visit sites in London, including the Imperial War Museum, Churchill’s War Rooms and various monuments. The class will also travel to other memorials in the surrounding area such as Portsmouth, Bletchley Park, Coventry, and Dover. Students may also travel to Flanders to visit the important war memorials there. Students will keep a journal of their reflections and will make a presentation on a memorial of their choice to the class. A final reflection paper will synthesize the travel experience with the course material studied in the Spring. All course work will be due no later than the fourth week of the fall semester following the travel seminar. Hours Credit: 2. Prerequisite: COMM/HIST 274. One time only.

COMM 277 - AMERICAN MOVIES
An overview of the history and aesthetics of American films made both in Hollywood and independently. It examines the stylistic and narrative techniques utilized by filmmakers, the political economy of the film industry, and cinema's role in the global market. Students will explore various types of writing about film and develop their critical analysis and writing skills. Identical with Art 277. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

COMM 279 - DIGITAL FILMMAKING
This course is a basic introduction to filmmaking in the digital format; no previous filmmaking experience is necessary. It will familiarize students with the components of the digital video camera, the process of creating a moving image from single digital images, and the basics of non-linear digital editing. Identical with Art 279. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: ART/COMM 181; 277; or permission of the instructor.

COMM 284 - TOPICS IN PHOTOGRAPHY
Identical with Art 284. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: Art 103R; Art/Comm 181; or permission of the instructor.

COMM 301 - RHETORICAL THEORY & CRITICISM
A study of persuasive strategies based in classical rhetoric and their use in contemporary society. Students will also explore several approaches to the criticism of persuasive messages including neo-Aristotelian, narrative, genre, semiotic, feminist, and ideological. Possible objects of study include speeches and public discourse, opinion editorials, television shows, art, music videos, and advertising. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: COMM 111 and sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. Offered second semester.

COMM 332 - DIGITAL MEDIA STUDIES
A survey of the history, theory, and contemporary manifestations of digital media. Course topics are digital journalism and democracy, media industries and media convergence, social media and online communities, new media and political activism, and digital aesthetics and cultural identity. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.

COMM 334 - JOURNALISM AND NEW MEDIA
Examination of journalism and new media forms, e.g., newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the internet, and mobile phones. Investigation of contested conceptions of journalism as an objective, political, and commercial entertainment medium, as a radical, popular form for self-representation and citizen journalism, and as self-expression by marginalized groups, such as ethnic minority news, women's and feminist journalism, and the GLBT press. Case studies from local and global contexts. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.

COMM 375 - PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE
Identical with Philosophy 375. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

COMM 376 - ADVANCED DIGITAL FILMMAKING
This advanced course in the art of digital filmmaking teaches students how to create and tell visual multimedia stories in the digital age by using video, still images, time-lapse photography, and audio. Students will study new visual storytelling practices and film art using mobile devices and apps to produce narratives for the web, iPads, and smartphones. Hours credit: 3.0. Prerequisite: ART/COMM 279 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 380 - WORLD CINEMA
This course explores the major movements in World Cinema. It also examines such related issues as the impact of globalization on national cinemas, the role of the state in legislating film policy, and the integration of cinema with movements for political and economic change. Identical with Art 380. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: ART/COMM 277 or permission of the instructor.

COMM 382 - STUDIES IN FILM
The topic of this course will vary from year to year. Students may examine specific genres, directors, national cinemas, or film theories. Identical with Art 382. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: ART/ COMM 277 or permission of the instructor. Alternate years. May be repeated for credit when topic differs.

COMM 384 - DOCUMENTARY HISTORY & THEORY
This course is an introduction to the history, theory, and aesthetics of documentary film. It traces several major historical movements in the development of documentary from Russia and Great Britain to Canada and the United States. Students will explore questions of ethics in documentary production, the development of various formal techniques, and a number of theoretical approaches to analyzing documentaries. Identical with Art 384. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: ART/COMM 277 or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.

COMM 390 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

COMM 425 - EXPLORING MEDIA THEORIES
Participants in the seminar examine the ideas that have informed critical media theories and the application of those theories to studies of contemporary media institutions, policies, and practices. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

COMM 432 - GLOBAL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION
Analysis of global media and communication with emphasis on cultural production and exchange among the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Topics include cultural imperialism, global cultural pluralism, localization, hybridity, modernity, and cultural identity. Examination of the cultural politics of media representations and asymmetrical circulation from Western nations (Global North) to non-Western nations (Global South) as well as contra-flows and diasporic media. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

COMM 489 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

COMM 493 - SENIOR SEMINAR
A critical study of significant works in communication studies and a review of research methods and theory. In the second semester, students work independently with advice from the faculty to complete a project. Students electing the research option will write a research paper and deliver a public oral presentation. Students who select the creative media project will produce a short film, a website, a multimedia project, or an investigative journalism project and give a public screening/presentation. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: COMM 301 and permission of the Department.

COMM 494 - SENIOR PROJECT
A critical study of significant works in communication studies and a review of research methods and theory. In the second semester, students work independently with advice from the faculty to complete a project. Students electing the research option will write a research paper and deliver a public oral presentation. Students who select the creative media project will produce a short film, a website, a multimedia project, or an investigative journalism project and give a public screening/presentation. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: COMM 301 and permission of the Department.

COMM 497H - HONORS IN THE MAJOR

COMM 498H - HONORS IN THE MAJOR