Department of Communication Studies
DENNIS MUMBY, Chair
V. William Balthrop, Rhetorical Theory and Criticism, Cultural Studies, Argumentation
Carole Blair, Rhetorical Theory and Criticism, Cultural Studies, Argumentation
Paul Ferguson, Performance of Literature, Directing, Adaptation and Script Writing
Lawrence Grossberg, Cultural Studies, Popular Culture, Popular Music, Philosophy of Communication and Culture
Madeleine Grumet, Performance Studies and Education
Ken Hillis, Communication Technology
Gorham A. Kindem, Documentary Production, Film History, Media Aesthetics
Dennis Mumby, Organizational Communication, Critical Theory
Della Pollock, Performance Theory and Criticism, Cultural Studies, Performance and Memory
Lawrence B. Rosenfeld, Interpersonal Communication, Family Communication, Empirical Research Methodology
Francesca Talenti, Media Studies, Animation
Richard C. Cante, Media and Cultural Studies, Sexuality Studies, Global Cinema
Cori Dauber, Rhetoric and Public Address, Military Rhetoric
Sarah Dempsey, Organizational Communication, Organizing in Global Contexts
Christian O. Lundberg, Rhetoric and Public Culture, Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, and Religion
Steven K. May, Organizational Communication, Cultural Studies
Patricia S. Parker, Organizational Communication and Culture, Critical Studies in Gender, Race, Organizational Leadership
Edward Rankus, Media Studies, Film Production
Joyce Rudinsky, Media Studies, Electronic and Interactive Media
Michael S. Waltman, Interpersonal Communication, Social Cognition, Hate Studies
Eric Watts, Rhetorical Studies, African American Communication and Culture, Critical Media Studies
Renee Alexander-Craft, Critical/Performance Ethnography, Performance of Literature, Critical Studies in Race and Gender
Michael Palm, Media Studies, History of Technologies
Tony Perucci, Performance, Performance and Media, Performance Activism, Cultural Studies
Sarah Sharma, Media Studies, Cultural Studies and Communication Technology
Kumi Silva, Gender, Race and Identity, Transnational and Postcolonial Studies
Neal Thomas, Digital Media and Technology
J. Robert Cox
Robert J. Gwyn
William M. Hardy
James W. Pence Jr.
Beverly Whitaker Long
Julia T. Wood
The Department of Communication Studies offers graduate work leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy. The doctoral program is question-driven and interdisciplinary at the same time that it provides a core foundation in critical communication studies. The program is designed to develop scholars, teachers, and practitioners capable of producing, disseminating, and applying knowledge in the academic community and in the broader public sphere.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree
The doctoral program in communication studies emphasizes the development of programs of study appropriate to each student’s particular interests and to normative expectations for sophisticated, focused dissertation research (cf. Normative Practices for Doctoral Studies, The Graduate School, UNC–Chapel Hill, November 18, 1992). It requires students to pursue excellence in core study and to build on core courses with integrative coursework based on an evolving primary research question that will ultimately define the dissertation.
Doctoral students with an M.A. must complete a minimum of 46 hours of course work:
Four core courses:
• 700: Introduction to Research and Theory in Communication Studies
• 703a: Communication and the Social
• 703b: Communication and Discourse
• 703c: Communication and the Political
Two professional development courses:
• 702: Teaching in Communication Studies (3 credits)
• 907: Research Practicum in Communication Studies
Ten research courses
Completion of the Ph.D. program—including course work, a qualifying examination, and a dissertation—normally requires four years of study beyond the M.A. degree.
Application for admission to the Department of Communication Studies must be made on the online application through The Graduate School at gradschool.unc.edu/admissions/. Applicants are admitted for the fall semester only.
All applications must be completed by posted deadlines, and should include the following:
1. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
2. Transcripts from all postsecondary educational institutions;
3. Three letters of recommendation testifying to the applicant’s preparedness for doctoral study;
4. A statement of purpose explaining why the applicant wishes to pursue graduate work in this department, his/her primary research interests and questions and any additional information not requested elsewhere;
5. The statement of purpose should be followed by identification of 4–5 keywords and a summary statement (3–4 sentences maximum) of projected research questions; and
6. A writing sample (10–12 pp. maximum) that reflects research proficiency. This should be a selection from scholarly writing (e.g. a term paper, an excerpt from an honors or M.A. thesis, a conference paper or publication. Prospective students may also choose to submit media or performance digital recordings.
In addition to the requirements for admission to the graduate program, applicants for the doctor of philosophy degree program must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in communication studies or a related discipline from an accredited college or university in the United States (or its equivalent from a foreign institution).
International applicants must include Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. They are also required to submit a financial certificate prior to being admitted into the program.
All applicants should refer to the department’s Ph.D. Policies and Procedures online for more information about the admissions.
For more information, contact:
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Communication Studies
CB# 3285, Bingham Hall
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3285
Financial assistance is available in several forms. Please see the financial aid chapter in this catalog for more information on various sources of available funds and deadlines.
All applicants to the department are eligible for teaching and/or research assistantships; applicants should indicate their desire for such an award on the application form. Generally, first-year students assist with two introductory undergraduate courses. Applicants for the doctor of philosophy degree may have responsibility for their own class, depending upon previous experience. All assistantship assignments are awarded on a competitive basis. In some cases out-of-state applicants who are awarded an assistantship are recommended by the department for a remission of the out-of-state portion of their tuition.
To be considered for The Graduate School’s Competitive Merit Assistantship, applications must be completed by December 15.
Courses for Graduate and Advanced Undergraduate Students
NOTE: Courses are offered on demand except as otherwise noted.
411 Critical Perspectives (3). This course explores theories of criticism and symbolic action through readings, lecture, and practical criticism of literature, media, discourse, and other symbolic acts.
412 Critical Theory (3). Overview of those realms of modern and contemporary thought and writing that are known as, and closely associated with, “critical theory.”
413 Freud (3). Examination of Freudian thought within and across historical contexts, with special attention to the centrality of gender and sexuality in the operations of the “human organism.”
422 Family Communication (3). Prerequisite, COMM 120. Growth in technologies, more frequent travel, and movements of products and people across the borders of nation states change concepts of family and community. Foregrounded by these realities, this course combines theories of family and communication with documentation of lived experience to interrogate family communication patterns in contemporary culture.
430 History of American Screenwriting (3). This viewing and research-intensive course examines the history of American narrative film through the screenwriter’s experience, using a decade-by-decade approach to examine the political, social, global, psychological, religious, and cultural influences on the art, process, and careers of screenwriters.
431 Advanced Audio Production (3). Prerequisite, COMM 130. Grade of C or better in COMM 130. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Advanced analysis and application of the principles and methods of audio production.432 Visual Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Overview of, and intensive practice in, advanced directing techniques for film, video, and digital media.
433 Intermediate Scriptwriting (3). Prerequisite, COMM 131. Required course for the minor in writing for the screen and stage. Conceiving and outlining a feature length screenplay.
434 Minorities and the Media (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. The course traces the development of minorities in film, radio and television, and the press, looking at trends and treatment of minorities by the media, and how and if they have changed.
435 Memory Acts (3). Advanced introduction to foundational work in memory and performance studies, emphasizing theory and practice of various forms of remembering.
436 Gender and Performance (WMST 437) (3). See WMST 437 for description.
437 United States Black Culture and Performance (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Examines how the United States Black experience is constituted in and through performance across a range of cultural contexts including the antebellum South, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Aesthetic, and contemporary urban life.
442 Cultural Studies (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. This class will introduce students to the major theoretical and methodological commitments of cultural studies as a perspective on communication, culture, and society.
450 Media and Popular Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Examination of communication processes and cultural significance of film, television, and other electronic media.
451 Special Topics in Media and Popular Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. A special topics course on a selected aspect of media and cultural studies.
452 Film Noir (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Course combines reading about and viewing of 1940s and 1950s films combining narrative techniques of storytelling, novels, and the stage with purely filmic uses of spectacle, light, editing, and image.
464 Performance Composition (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Theory and practice of collaborative performance, emphasizing image, intertextual adaptation, site-specific and installation work, avant-garde traditions, and the play of time and space.
466 Advanced Study of Literature in Performance (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. This course engages the theory and embodiment of prose fiction, poetry, and other kinds of literary texts, including nonfiction. Students practice adaptation and script preparation, solo/group performance, and performance critique.
470 Political Communication and the Public Sphere (3). A course covering the relationship between communication and political processes and institutions. Topics include media coverage and portrayal of political institutions, elections, actors, and media influence on political beliefs.
471 Rhetorics of Public Memory (3). Takes up the fundamental assumptions of contemporary memory studies and the centrality of rhetoric to memory. Research focus on how constructions of the past respond to the present and the future.
472 Rhetorical Criticism (3). Prerequisite, COMM 170. Approaches to the analysis and assessment of rhetorical practice with a focus on how rhetoric reflects and shapes public culture.
500 Visual and Material Rhetoric (3). Prerequisite, COMM 170. This course explores the use of rhetorical criticism as a way to understand how the visual and material are used for symbolic and political purposes. Examples ranging from news images to public art will be studied.
521 Communication and Social Memory (3). Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. An investigation of psychological aspects of communication, particularly the perceptual and interpretive processes underlying the sending and receiving of messages.
523 Communication and Leadership (3). Prerequisite, COMM 120. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Critical examination of alternative theories of leadership and trends in the study of leadership; focuses on the communicative dimensions of leadership.
524 Gender, Communication, and Culture (3). Prerequisites, COMM 224 and 372. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Course examines the speeches and other texts that announced and embodied the goals and political strategies of multiple branches of three waves of feminist activism in the United States.
525 Organizational Communication (3). Prerequisites, COMM 120 and 325. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Provides a critical exploration of organizational communication theory, research, and application, examining the factors involved in the functioning and analysis of complex organizations.
527 Organizational Ethics (3). Prerequisite, COMM 325. A critical examination of the theory, research, and practice of organizational ethics.
530 Introduction to Phonetics (SPHS 530) (3). See SPHS 530 for description.
532 Performing the Screenplay (3). Introduces students to approaches for creating performance from screenplays and other texts for electronic media forms, focusing on scripts as literature and the tensions between live and electronically delivered performances.
534 Aesthetic and Technical Considerations in Making Short Videos (3). Prerequisite, COMM 230. The course examines the aesthetic and technical elements at work and play in cinematic storytelling. The student is required to complete three projects and will gain hands-on experience in narrative filmmaking.
535 Adaptation and Directing (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. This course introduces students to practices in adapting and directing literary text for ensemble performance. Students will be engaged in collaborative critique and discussion/development of production values.
537 Master Screenwriting (3). Prerequisite, COMM 433. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Students will write and workshop a full-length feature film screenplay. In addition, students will learn about the film and television business through a combination of research, in-class discussions, and live interactive interviews with industry insiders.
539 Production and Practice (3). Prerequisite, COMM 230. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Course serves as a “production house” for projects that serve the UNC and broader communities. Students will serve on professionally run crews, spend two weeks determining what the projects will be, and devote the remainder of the semester making the projects.
540 Speech Science (SPHS 540) (3). See SPHS 540 for description.
543 World Media History (3). Study of the development of the art and craft of the film through examining individual films and topics stressing the interaction of aesthetic considerations with sociocultural and institutional settings.
544 Electronically Mediated Communication and Information Machines (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. A survey of developing telecommunication systems and technologies and their impact on the traditional electronic media and society.
545 Pornography and Culture (3). Examines the social, cultural, political, legal, historical, and aesthetic implications of pornography.
546 History of Film I, 1895 to 1945 (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the department. Studies the development of the art of film through World War II by examining individual films and filmmakers and the emergence of national cinemas through interaction among aesthetic, social, economic, and technological factors.
547 History of Film II, 1945 to Present (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Study of the development of the art of film from the end of World War II to the present day by examining individual films and filmmakers and the emergence of national cinemas through interaction among aesthetic, social, economic, and technological factors.
548 Humor and Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Investigates how humor, comedy, and laughter function socially and culturally through close examination of selected United States popular media texts and the primary modern theoretical writings on these issues.
549 Sexuality and Visual Culture (3). Examines questions about sexuality and how it has changed over time, through various media of visual communication.
550 American Independent Cinema (3). Prerequisite, ART 159, COMM 140, or ENGL 142. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Intensive investigation of some particularly influential strains for United States independent narrative cinema, with a focus on sociocultural contexts and the fuzziness of the word “independent.”
551 Hitchcock and the Sign (3). Prerequisite, ART 159, COMM 140, or ENGL 142. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Course gives Alfred Hitchcock’s cinema careful attention while tracking longstanding debates about signification and reference from philosophy, semiotics, literary theory, narratology, and visuality into recent critical and cultural theory.
553 Media and Activism (3). A study of the electronic media as a feedback mechanism for community organization and social change. A variety of broadcast and nonbroadcast uses of the media are studied.
561 Performance of Women of Color (WMST 561) (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Explores through performance contemporary poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and feminist thought by women of color in the United States.
562 Oral History and Performance (FOLK 562, HIST 562, WMST 562) (3). This course combines readings and fieldwork in oral history with study of performance as a means of interpreting and conveying oral history texts. Emphasis on local fieldwork.
563 Performance of Children’s Literature (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. The course explores advanced performance theory while focusing exclusively on contemporary poetry, prose fiction, and drama intended for young audiences. Both solo and group performances for young viewers are included.
564 Performance and Popular Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Critical examination of the operation of performance as a cultural phenomenon, with an emphasis on meaning, power, and resistance in cultural events, social practices, and media spectacles.
566 Media and Performance (3). Practical and theoretical study of live, multimedia performance.
570 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism (SPHS 570) (3). See SPHS 570 for description.
571 Rhetorical Theory and Practice (3). Prerequisite, COMM 170. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Investigates the theoretical definitions and uses of rhetorical interpretation and action in spoken, written, visual, material practices, discourses, and events.
572 Public Policy Argument (3). Prerequisite, COMM 170. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Analyzes argument in a variety of contexts with an emphasis on public policy and exploring tensions involved in addressing both expert and public audience in the political sphere.
573 The American Experience in Rhetoric (3). Prerequisite, COMM 170. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Examines public discourse from the colonial period to the present. Discourses, critical perspectives, and historical periods studied will vary.
574 War and Culture (PWAD 574) (3). Examines American cultural myths about war generally and specifically about the causes of war, enemies, weapons, and warriors, and the way these myths constrain foreign and defense policy, military strategy, and procurement.
575 Presidential Rhetoric (3). Prerequisite, COMM 170. The power of the presidency depends in part upon the president’s ability to rally public opinion, which depends upon the president’s ability to use the “bully pulpit.” This course examines the hurdles presidents face and the steps presidents take to shape opinion.
576 Making and Manipulating “Race” in the United States (3). This course will examine how tropes of “race” are symbolically invented and experienced psychologically and emotionally. This course assesses how “race” reflects and shapes cultural politics.
577 African American Rhetoric (3). This course will explore the complex ways in which Black aesthetic forms and creative expression function as public discourse.
582 Introductory Audiology I (SPHS 582) (3). See SPHS 582 for description.
596 Advanced Independent Study/Directed Reading (1–3). Permission of the department. Majors only. 3.0 cumulative grade point average and 3.5 communication studies grade point average required. For the communication studies major who wishes to pursue an advanced independent research project under the supervision of a selected instructor. Intensive individual research on a problem designed by instructor and student in conference.
610 Reading Quantitative Research in Communication Studies (3). Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Review of the basics of quantitative research (e.g., scientific method, modes of data collection, instrument development, data analysis techniques) with the goal of gaining skill in reading published articles in communication studies journals.
617 Introduction to Communication Disorders (3). Explores the etiology, epidemiology, assessment, and educational implications of speech and language disorders.
620 Theories of Interpersonal Communication (3). Prerequisite, COMM 120. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Course focuses on how communication is used to build and sustain interpersonal relationships. Forms and functions of communication are examined as a means of testing and defining relationships.
624 Hate Speech (3). The primary focus of hate speech is on the ways that interactants manipulate hatred to accomplish a variety of social and personal goals. The pursuit of this focus will allow the student to appreciate the operation of hatred in a variety of contexts. Often taught as a service-learning course.
625 Communication and Nonprofits in the Global Context (3). Introduces students to the opportunities, challenges, and rewards of participation within the nonprofit/NGO sector. The course also equips students with the skills needed to design and conduct engaged scholarship.
629 Topics in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication (3). Prerequisite, COMM 120. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Designed for advanced students, course provides in-depth examination of particular theories of human communication. Course focus varies. May be repeated.
635 Documentary Production (3). Prerequisite, COMM 230. A workshop in the production of video and/or film nonfiction or documentary projects. The course will focus on narrative, representational, and aesthetic strategies of documentary production.
636 Interactive Media (ART 406) (3). Explores interactive media through creative projects that include sound, video, and graphic elements. Technical information will serve the broader goal of understanding the aesthetics and critical issues of interactive media.
638 Game Design (3). Prerequisite, COMM 150. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Studio course that explores gaming critically and aesthetically. Practice in game design and production including 3-D worlds and scripting.
639 Special Topics in Media Production (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. A special topics course on a selected aspect of media production or writing. May be repeated.
642 Special Topics in Cultural Studies (3). Prerequisite, COMM 442. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. This course will explore various specific topics, theories, and methodologies in cultural studies.
645 The Documentary Idea (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Historical and theoretical examination of expressions of the documentary idea in different eras and various modes including film, television, and radio.
646 Introduction to the Art and Mechanics of Two-Dimensional Digital Animation (3). Prerequisite, COMM 130 or 150. Grade of C or better required in prerequisite. Students use Adobe After-Effects and Adobe Photoshop as their primary image software to create several original animations. Assignments are given weekly, and a substantial final project is expected.
647 Advanced Projects (3). Prerequisites, COMM 230 and one of COMM 534, 635, 646, 653, or 654. Recommended preparation, several production courses above COMM 230. Course provides a structured environment, instructor and peer feedback, along with production and postproduction resources for completing an advanced near-to-graduation media project. Projects can be narrative, documentary, experimental, or interactive, with a running time for videos of no longer than 20 minutes.
650 Global Media Economics after Convergence (3). Prerequisite, ART 159, COMM 140, or ENGL 142. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. One introductory economics course is recommended but not required. From basic concepts developed from the historical economics of film, the course moves through more recent cases into the assessment of systematic attempts to model aspects of global, convergent media.
651 Contemporary Global Media (3). Study of contemporary film/television within a specific international context, such as Great Britain, with particular attention to comparisons and contrasts with the United States and Hollywood.
652 Media and Difference (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. This course examines critical and theoretical issues concerning the representation and study of various modes of difference, such as sexuality, race, and gender, in specific media texts.
653 Experimental Video (3). Prerequisite, COMM 230. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. This course allows students to create video productions that play with forms that lie outside of mainstream media.
654 Motion Graphics, Special Effects, and Compositing (3). Prerequisite, COMM 130 or 150. Grade of C or better in COMM 130. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. In this course students learn a wide range of video post production techniques working mostly with the application After Effects.
655 Television Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. This course introduces students to critical television studies. The course emphasizes not television or culture as separate entities but instead “Television Culture.” The focus of the class is on the interrelationship between television and contemporary culture.
656 Women and Film (WMST 656) (3). See WMST 656 for description.
657 Audio Production (3). Experience in nonlinear editing is recommended, although not required. Explore audio production as art and engineering; from acquisition to mastering. Flexibility for varying skill levels is designed into the course.
658 Latin American Cinema (3). This course examines the films, audiences, and social contexts of Latin American cinema from the 1930s to the present.
659 Special Topics in Media Studies (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. A special topics course on a selected aspect of media studies, including but not limited to media texts, contexts, and/or reception. May be repeated.
661 Race and Ethnicity (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Examines race and ethnicity in specific geopolitical contexts as discursive formations, performative identities, and lived realities. Studies disciplinary/political boundaries that are produced and maintained through acts of performance.
662 Black/African Diaspora Performance (3). Recommended preparation, COMM 160. Relying on critical race theories, colonial and postcolonial theories, and theories of performance, this course engages comparative discourses of Black/African diaspora citizenship through the literature, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, and cultural performances of people of African descent, particularly in Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
663 Practicum in Performance Studies (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Course provides a workshop setting for the process of creation, dramaturgy, development, analysis, and critique of graduates’ and undergraduates’ original performance work, focusing on the needs of each project in progress.
664 Field Methods (3). Recommended preparation, COMM 562 or 841. A bridge course designed to offer graduate students and advanced undergraduates a practicum in fieldwork methods and performance ethnography.
665 Performing Consumer Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Course addresses the operation of corporate power and consumer practices as political and cultural performances, and performance as a means of pursuing social and economic justice.
667 Performance Activism (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160 or 260. History and practice of performance in contemporary social movements. Practical exploration of direct action, guerilla theatre, and performance interventions.
668 The Ethnographic Return (3). This course explores the intersection of ethnographic theory/practice and discourses of sustainable community change with the aim of making appropriate and effective contributions to community development.
669 Special Topics in Performance Studies (3). Prerequisites, COMM 160. Advanced study of selected topics drawn from performance history, theory, and practice. May be repeated.
670 Special Topics in Rhetorical Studies (3). Prerequisite, COMM 170. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. A special topics course on a selected aspect of rhetoric and cultural studies. May be repeated.
675 Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere (ENST 675) (3). Examines communication practices that accompany citizen participation in environmental decisions, including public education campaigns of nonprofit organizations, “risk communication,” media representations, and mediation in environmental disputes.
681 Contemporary Film Theory (3). Prerequisite, ART 159, COMM 140, or ENGL 142. Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Overview of poststructuralist, or ‘contemporary’ film theory. Traces its development, its techniques, fierce critiques lobbed at it since the early 1980s, and its points of continuing importance.
682 History of the Moving Image: Pasts, Presents, Futures (3). Prerequisite, ART 159, COMM 140, or ENGL 142. Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Theories of moving images and imaging technologies—from the primitive to the not-yet-existing—that focus on their multifaceted relations with various registers of time, memory, flux, and futurity.
683 Moving-Image Avant-Gardes and Experimentalism (3). Prerequisite, ART 159, COMM 140, or ENGL 142. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. History and theory of international avant-garde and experimentalist movements in film, video, intermedia, multimedia, and digital formats. Content and focus may vary from semester to semester.
691H Honors in Cultural Studies (3). Permission of the instructor. Required of all senior honors candidates in cultural studies. First semester of senior honors thesis.
692H Honors in Cultural Studies (3). Permission of the instructor. Required of all senior honors candidates in cultural studies. Second semester of senior honors thesis.
693H Honors (3). Permission of the department. Majors only. 3.2 cumulative grade point average required. Individual projects designed by students and supervised by a faculty member.
694H Honors (3). Permission of the department. Majors only. 3.2 cumulative grade point average required. Individual projects designed by students and supervised by a faculty member.
Courses for Graduate Students
NOTE: Courses are offered on demand except as otherwise noted.
700 Introduction to Research and Theory in Communication Studies I (3). Admission to graduate program or permission of the department. Considers theory and philosophy in the study of communication. Surveys major paradigms of contemporary social/cultural theory (and their roots in modern philosophy) in relation to examples of communication research and practice. First of two semesters.
702 Teaching in Communication Studies (3). Communication studies graduate students only. An introduction to teaching at the university level for new teaching assistants and graduate students hoping to have teaching-related responsibilities in communication studies. It is designed to encourage us to have intellectually rigorous and personally meaningful conversations about our teaching.
703 Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication (3). This course will be offered with three separate foci, each cutting across interdisciplinary concerns in communication studies: the social, the political, and discourse.
712 The Body and Performance (3). This course will explore through performance the various ways the human body is “marked” or signified in culture.
713 Performance Criticism (3). Deals with the key methods of describing and evaluating literature and literature in performance.
722 Seminar in Human Relationships (3). In-depth examination of contemporary research on communication and human relationships. Foci vary and may include intimacy, groups, families, and other communication relationships.
723 Research in Organizational Communication (3). Explores theoretical, methodological, and practical issues encountered in ethnographic, case study, and field research on communication phenomena in organizations.
724 Feminism, Science, and Communication (3). Critical examination of key feminist arguments about science and communication scholarship as conventionally defined; exploration of alternative goals, assumptions, and practices for research consistent with feminist theories and methodologies.
725 Interpretive Studies in Organizational Communication (3). Prerequisite, COMM 525. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Focuses on the theory and practice of interpretive organizational communication research, including organizational phenomena such as culture, metaphor, symbolism, ritual, and narrative.
726 Critical Studies in Organizational Communication (3). Prerequisite, COMM 525. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Focuses on the theory and practice of critical organizational communication research, including organizational phenomena such as power, discourse, and culture.
738 Production Studies (3). Studies the integration of audio/video/film theory and practice through lectures, readings, discussions, oral presentations, and the completion of audio, video, and film projects.
739 Media Production (3). Permission of the department. Study of problems involved in writing and producing various forms of media programming. Emphasis on script and production elements necessary to translate scripts into media products.
750 Cultural Studies (3). Graduate standing required. Introduction for graduate students to the current literature and critical perspectives in the areas of media and cultural studies.
752 Media and Social Change (3). This seminar inquires into the range of relationships between media and social life, with a particular emphasis on media’s role in movements for social, economic, and/or cultural transformation.
753 Theories of the Audience/Public (3). This course offers a sustained analysis of the ways in which the media, audience, and/or public have been variously conceptualized historically, in critical theory.
754 Political, Institutional, and Economic Contexts of Media and Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 700. A detailed analysis of the relationship between government, policy making, corporate and business interests, and various theoretical approaches to their impact on media and culture.
755 History of Cultural Studies (3). This class introduces cultural studies through its British “origins,” especially but not only the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and the Open University.
756 National, International, Transnational, and Global Movie/Media History (3). Explores the economic, social, ideological, technological, and aesthetic development of film and television as international, transnational, transcultural, and global entities, questioning the viability of the concept of national cinema/media in the 21st century.
758 Studies in Film and Television (3). Graduate introduction to the study of film, television, and video. This course traces the theoretical and methodological development of media studies.
761 Adaptation Seminar (3). This seminar recognizes and applies narrative theory in understanding texts, lives, and cultural practice broadly.
769 Topics in Performance Studies (3). Second-year graduate students and/or permission of the instructor. Special problems in performance studies.
770 History of Rhetoric I (3). A critical survey of the history of rhetoric, focusing on Classical theories of rhetoric from Greece and Rome through the Medieval period.
771 History of Rhetoric II (3). A critical survey of the history of rhetoric, focusing on theories of rhetoric from the Renaissance through the 19th century.
772 Seminar in Contemporary Rhetorical Theory (3). A critical survey of the history of rhetoric, focusing on rhetorical theory from the 20th century to the present.
774 Visual and Material Rhetorics (3). Addresses conceptual and practical issues in the rhetorical analysis and criticism of visual and material objects, practices, and events.
790 Seminar in Kenneth Burke (3). Seminar is an in-depth analysis of the writings of Kenneth Burke, concentrating on primary source materials.
792 Philosophy of Communication and Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 700. Considers the history of and developments in the philosophy of communication and culture, as well as the role these concepts have played in western philosophy.
798 Topics in Research Methods (3). Advanced study of selected topics in research methods. Topics vary.
811 Rhetorical Criticism (3). Prerequisite, COMM 571. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Investigates the function of rhetorical criticism, the critical method, and a variety of approaches to the performance of rhetorical criticism.
812 Practicum in Rhetorical Criticism (3). Focuses on practice in writing rhetorical criticism and on mid-range theoretical concepts that inform critical analysis and argument.
821 Communication in Close Relationships (3). Prerequisite, COMM 620. Examination of contemporary theory and research on communication in close relationships. Topics include communication in relational formation, change, and termination.
822 Seminar in Family Communication (3). This course is an advanced seminar in which students may study family communication and produce original research.
824 Seminar in Feminist Studies in Communication (3). Prerequisite, COMM 722. This course compares and critically evaluates the work of major feminist scholars in the field of communication.
825 Seminar in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication (3). A variable topic seminar that permits faculty and graduate students the opportunity to explore significant historical and emerging issues in the field of communication.
841 Performance Ethnography (FOLK 841) (3). This seminar focuses on methods of ethnography and fieldwork ethics. Performance as theory and practice informs methodological inquiries as well as the analysis of specific ethnographic texts and case studies.
842 Seminar in Performance and Cultural Studies (FOLK 842) (3). This course focuses on performance-related issues in the emergent field of cultural studies.
843 Seminar in Contemporary Performance Theory (FOLK 843) (3). An advanced graduate seminar, this course will address recent developments and problems in performance theory. It will consider cross- and multidisciplinary approaches to performance as sites for consideration and debate.
844 Seminar in Performance and History (3). This course explores diverse relations among performance and history, including the performance of life histories, the use of spectacle in history, everyday performances of historical protocols, and performance itself as an historical construct.
845 The Political Economy of Performance (3). This course examines social relations, particularly power relations, by focusing on resistance as performance and the performance of resistance arising from the dynamics and conflicts within specific locations of a political economy.
846 Performance Pedagogy (3). Draped in the political, economic, and domestic histories of western culture our current pedagogies still point out the world that matters to each new generation. We will study these pedagogies from the perspectives of institutions, economies, and human relationships they simultaneously reflect and work to transform.
849 Seminar in Culture and Identity (3). This course looks at issues of the representation and production of identity, subjectivity, and agency—in various forms—in the practices of media.
850 Seminar in Media Studies (3). Selected problems in media aesthetics. Exact topic to be covered is announced before classes begin.
851 Research Methods in Media and Cultural Studies (3). Graduate standing required. Introduction to the issues, methods, and materials of research in media and cultural studies.
852 Seminar in the History of Media (3). Application of historical research techniques to problems in the mass media. Exact topic is announced before classes begin. May be repeated.
853 Seminar in Popular Culture (3). This course will look at special topics in the study of popular culture. Designed for advanced graduate studies, it will consider critical responses to existing scholarship with original research.
854 Seminar in Media Difference (3). This seminar explores critical theories of difference and puts them into dialogue with media representations of difference.
855 Seminar in Cultural Studies (3). Prerequisite, COMM 755. This class explores the impact of some developments in postmodernism—as an interpretive, historical, and philosophical discourse on the possible development of cultural studies.
856 Seminar in Communication Technology (3). Prerequisite, COMM 700. Examines new communication technologies, their spatial and social diffusion, and how these relate to theories of culture, politics, and technology and the real-world contexts in which technologies are received. May be repeated.
857 Seminar in Cultural Studies and Popular Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 700. This course will focus on specific topics, issues, or queries of popular culture as these have been or can be studied within cultural studies.
858 Seminar in Feminist Studies of Film and Television (WMST 858) (3). Graduate standing required. This graduate seminar explores theoretical and practical points of contact between feminism, film, and television using psychoanalysis, narrative analysis, ideological analysis, and cultural studies.
859 Seminar in Media and Cultural Studies (3). This course, designed for advanced graduate students, will explore specialized topics in interpretive, critical, and cultural research in media studies.
860 Aesthetics and Communication (3). Explores how theories of aesthetics have struggled with notions of beauty, value, pleasure, and pain in the human communicative experience.
871 Rhetoric and Social Theory (3). This course will draw upon contemporary discussions in both rhetorical theory and critical social theory to explore a set of tensions in the western philosophical/political ideals of the public sphere and the political subject as a discursive agent within such public spaces and venues.
872 Public Policy Argument (3). Advanced theory and practice of public argument. Examines the history of the public sphere, critical theories of its operation, and its relevance to contemporary politics. Case studies change by semester.
873 African American Rhetoric (3). This course will examine the manner in which Black aesthetic and intellectual expressions and controversies function as public discourse in cultural politics.
874 Rhetorics of Space and Place (3). Considers place in relation to space and time. Primary concentration on implications of theorizing place as communicative practice rather than communicative context.
875 Rhetoric and Public Memory (3). Addresses the fundamentally rhetorical character of public memory. Analyzes theoretical presuppositions about memory. Openings for rhetorizing memory.
879 Topics in Rhetorical and Cultural Studies (3). Special problems in rhetorical and cultural studies. May be repeated.
900 Research Practicum (1–3). Permission of the internship coordinator. Individualized practical experience supervised by a faculty advisor and by the departmental coordinator of internships. May be repeated.
901 Directed Research (3). Permission of the instructor. Individual research on a problem defined by the graduate student and graduate faculty member in conference. May be repeated.
902 Research Practicum in Media and Cultural Studies (3–6). Prerequisites, COMM 750 and 851. Permission of the instructor. Individualized directed research by advanced students supervised by a member of the graduate faculty. May be repeated.
903 Research Practicum in Communication Studies (1–3). Individualized practical research.
904 Research Practicum in Communication Studies (1–3). Individualized practical research.
905 Research Practicum in Communication Studies (1–3). Individualized practical research.
906 Research Practicum in Communication Studies (1–3). Individualized practical research.
907 Research Practicum in Communication Studies (1–3). Individualized practical research.
909 Proseminar in Professional Development (1). This course advances graduate students’ exposure to academic resources and common norms, practices, and procedures related to academic professionalism in Communication Studies.
992 Non-Thesis Option (3–9). Focuses on the development of a master’s project or a major paper other than a thesis.
993 Master’s Thesis (3–6).
994 Doctoral Dissertation (3–21).