Department of Communication Studies
KENNETH HILLIS, Chair
V. William Balthrop, Carole Blair, Paul Ferguson, Lawrence Grossberg, Madeline Grumet, Kenneth Hillis, Gorham A. Kindem, Dennis K. Mumby, Della Pollock, Lawrence B. Rosenfeld, Francesca Talenti.
Richard Cante, Cori Dauber, Sarah Dempsey, Christian O. Lundberg, Steven K. May, Torin Monahan, Patricia Parker, Edward Rankus, Joyce Rudinsky, Michael S. Waltman, Eric K. Watts.
Renee Alexander Craft, Michael Palm, Anthony Perucci, Sarah R. Sharma, Kumi Silva, Neal Thomas.
Robert Allen, Jonathan Boyarin, Jane Brown, Arturo Escobar, Greg Flaxman, Jacquelyn Hall, Jordynn Jack, Mark Katz, Federico Luisetti, John McGowan, John Pickles, Jack M. Richman, Barry Saunders, Randall Styers.
Dana Coen, Joseph Megel, Stephen Neigher.
Beverly Long Chapin, Robert Cox, Elizabeth Czech-Beckerman, Howard D. Doll, Robert J. Gwyn, William M. Hardy, James W. Pence Jr., Julia Wood.
The study of communication is essential for participating in an increasingly complex and mediated global environment. Through its teaching, research, and service, the Department of Communication Studies addresses the many ways communication functions to create, sustain, and transform personal life, social relations, political institutions, economic organizations, and cultural and aesthetic conventions in society; promotes competencies required for various modes of mediated and nonmediated communication; and develops skills for analyzing, interpreting, and critiquing communication problems and questions.
The programs of study offered by the department thus provides a firm foundation for enriched personal living, for professional effectiveness regardless of the specific career one may pursue, and for informed participation in the human community.
Programs of Study
The degree offered is the bachelor of arts with a major in communication studies. The department houses the minor in writing for the screen and stage, an interdisciplinary program involving the Departments of Dramatic Art and Communication Studies, and the Department of English and Comparative Literature’s Creative Writing Program. The department also contributes to the interdisciplinary minor in global cinema (see the Department of English and Comparative Literature in this bulletin).
The department administers a major in cultural studies, which results in a bachelor of arts degree with a major in interdisciplinary studies–cultural studies. The cultural studies program is designed to give students the opportunity to create a rigorous interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary course of study organized around a particular theme, question, or problem.
Majoring in Communication Studies: Bachelor of Arts
• Three courses from the following with a grade of C or better in each: COMM 120, 140, 160, or 170
• Four COMM courses in a concentration
• Three COMM electives
• A minimum of 10 COMM courses, except for those students pursuing the new media option in the media and technology studies and production concentration described below
• Three COMM courses must be numbered 400 or higher.
Pre-Selected Concentrations in Communication Studies
Students should select one of the following concentrations and take a minimum of four courses within that concentration. Core courses do not count as one of the four required courses within the selected concentration. Additional courses that are not listed under any concentration may be used to meet major requirements but not concentration requirements.
• Interpersonal and Organizational Communication (COMM 120 is a prerequisite for most of the interpersonal and organizational communication courses; consult course descriptions): COMM 226, 312, 411, 422, 423, 521, 523, 524, 525, 526, 527, 620, 624, 625, 690 (based on topic); COMM/MNGT 223, 325; COMM/WMST 224
• Media and Technology Studies and Production (COMM 140 is a prerequisite for most of the media courses; consult course descriptions): COMM 130, 142, 150, 230, 249, 251, 330, 411, 412, 431, 432, 450, 452, 490 (based on topic), 534, 546, 547, 548, 549, 550, 551, 553, 635, 636, 645, 646, 650, 652, 653, 654, 655, 656, 657, 681, 682, 683, 690 (based on topic). Please note that enrollment in advanced media and technology production classes is limited, and many production classes have prerequisites.
Students wishing to pursue the new media option in the media and technology studies and production concentration should consult the department advisor. In addition to the preliminary core requirements (including COMM 140) above, students must take COMM 150 and COMP 110, as well as two approved COMP or INLS courses from the Department of Computer Science or the School of Library and Information Sciences. The remaining three classes will be COMM classes above 400. Recommended COMM classes include 490 (based on topic), 636, 638, 646, 650, 654, 657, and 690 (based on topic). Recommended cross-disciplinary classes include COMP 180, 185, 380, 382, 416, and 590; and INLS 101, 200, 261, 318, 490, 558, 560, and 572.
• Performance Studies (COMM 160 is a prerequisite for most of the performance courses; consult course descriptions): COMM 260, 261, 262, 263, 362, 364, 411, 435, 437, 464, 466, 532, 561, 562, 563, 564, 565, 566, 593, 660, 661, 662, 665, 667, 668, 690 (based on topic), 695
• Rhetorical Studies (COMM 170 is a prerequisite for most of the rhetorical studies courses; consult course descriptions): COMM 171, 312, 355, 371, 372, 374, 375, 376, 470, 471, 472, 500, 571, 572, 573, 574, 575, 576, 577, 675, 679, 690 (based on topic)
Specialized Concentration in Communication Studies
Students may create their own concentrations by selecting at least four courses that constitute a coherent program of study. The courses selected in this concentration must be justified by the student and must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies.
A maximum of 45 hours of COMM courses will count toward graduation.
Students are invited to work closely with faculty in courses and through independent study, cocurricular programs, and research projects. Courses are also open to nonmajors whose personal and professional goals require an understanding of human communication.
Majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies–Cultural Studies: Bachelor of Arts
• COMM 350 Practices of Cultural Studies
• COMM 642 Special Topics in Cultural Studies: Research (or other approved substitute)
• Six additional courses approved by a faculty advisor
Students are strongly encouraged to take one of ANTH 380, COMM 318, or RELI 323. Students are encouraged to take classes in at least three departments that address their interests. No more than four courses (12 hours) taken in the same department may count toward the major. A student should strengthen his or her course of study by choosing Approaches, Connections, and elective courses that complement courses in cultural studies.
Students with an overall GPA of 3.2 or above and a GPA of 3.3 or above in cultural studies courses are encouraged to undertake an honors thesis project during the senior year for a total of six credit hours (COMM 691H and 692H). These hours will be in addition to the 24 hours (eight courses) minimally required for the major.
The cultural studies program is designed to give students the opportunity to create a rigorous, interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary program organized around a particular theme, question, or problem. It enables students, for example, to create their own cluster around a specific area of interest (e.g., third world/ethnic studies, technology, science studies, theory), or to establish links across a range of classes that define a specific intellectual focus. Cultural studies offers a home to students united by questions of the complex, dynamic workings of culture in contexts and with interests as diverse as the social studies of science, local migrant farm workers, or the influence of built space on consciousness.
The major is designed for undergraduate students who wish to combine the strengths of various departments and curricula in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students in the cultural studies program tend to be strongly motivated, self-disciplined, intellectually curious, and able to assume responsibility for their unique curricular program. The program is distinguished by intensive advising, collaboration across disciplinary perspectives, and opportunities to extend learning beyond the space of the classroom. Students are encouraged, for example, to participate in study abroad and off-campus internships and to become involved in various working groups on campus. Students interested in cultural studies should meet with the director of the program to explain their interests.
For additional information, contact Chris Lundberg, Director, email@example.com, or Larry Grossberg, Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org, Cultural Studies Program, Department of Communication Studies, CB# 3285, Bingham Hall.
Minoring in Writing for the Screen and Stage
The minor in writing for the screen and stage is an interdisciplinary program drawing upon the faculties and resources of the Department of Dramatic Art, Department of Communication Studies, and the Creative Writing Program of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. The minor provides students with the opportunity to focus on the craft of dramatic writing and is open to students from all liberal arts disciplines. Candidates must have a 2.7 grade point average or better to begin the minor and must have taken ENGL 130, ENGL 132H, or COMM 330; the prerequisite may be waived on the basis of material submitted, faculty recommendations, and the approval of the director of the minor in writing for the screen and stage. An application is required for acceptance; please visit comm.unc.edu to review this process. Continued participation in the minor is based on the student’s work and the recommendation of the program’s instructors. Students must achieve a C grade or better in core requirements.
• COMM/DRAM 131 Writing for the Screen and Stage
• DRAM 120 Play Analysis
• COMM 433 Intermediate Screenwriting
• COMM 430 History of American Screenwriting
• COMM 537 Master Screenwriting
The following sequence of courses is recommended:
Junior Year Fall Semester
• COMM/DRAM 131
• DRAM 120
Junior Year Spring Semester
• COMM 433
• COMM 430
Senior Year Fall Semester
Senior Year Spring Semester
• Electives (optional, not required) DRAM 331 Playwriting II, DRAM 135 Acting for Nonmajors, COMM 334, Writing the One-Hour TV Drama
For additional information, contact Dr. Dana Coen, Director, Writing for the Screen and Stage minor, Department of Communication Studies, CB# 3285, 204 Swain Hall, email@example.com.
Honors in Communication Studies
The department participates in the University’s Honors Program. Students eligible for the program (see University requirements) may consult with the departmental honors advisor about enrolling in COMM 693H and 694H, or COMM 691H and 692H for honors students in cultural studies. These courses can be used for elective credit in the major but not for satisfying core course or concentration requirements.
Department advising for the major in communication studies is conducted by 1) a full-time lecturer/advisor who holds office hours in Bingham Hall and Steele Building (see the department’s Web site for this person’s office and office hours), 2) representative faculty from the different concentrations during the two weeks prior to registration for the following semester, and 3) the director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Communication Studies (see the department’s Web site for this person’s office and office hours).
Special Opportunities in Communication Studies
Opportunity for independent study is available through enrollment in COMM 396 or 596. Interested students should consult a faculty advisor in the department.
The department offers an extensive internship program in media-related industries, business, public service, and other organizations. Internships allow students to explore the relationship between communication theory and its practice in everyday life. Credit can be obtained through consultation with the internship advisor and enrollment in COMM 393. More than 100 organizations participate in the program. Note: Internship credit counts as elective hours and does not count toward the 30 credit hours required for the major. Information can be found at comm.unc.edu/undergraduate/oppcommmaj/interninfo/internship.
WUNC Radio and WUNC-TV
Limited opportunities exist for internships and employment with the public radio and television stations in Chapel Hill and in the Research Triangle Park.
Student groups adapt scripts, direct, and stage productions for the public. Additionally, individual students often appear in regular performances sponsored by graduate students in the Department of Communication Studies and in productions directed by faculty members.
Student Television (STV)
STV is a student-run video production operation that provides hands-on opportunities in a variety of programming assignments.
Students may take coursework toward the major through the University’s study abroad program. Departmental approval for major credit is required. The department also offers a London-based summer internship in media production and performance studies for qualified students.
The department offers a number of awards for leadership and contributions to the field, in all areas of specialization. Awards are presented at a department ceremony in the spring semester.
The department has extensive media production and performance studies facilities located in Swain Hall and Bingham Hall. Swain Hall is home to state-of-the-art media production equipment, classroom space, and editing suites. It also houses Studio 6, where numerous live performances are staged. Bingham Hall contains the Martha Nell Hardy Performance Space.
Graduate School and Career Opportunities
Advanced study and research may be pursued in a problem-defined approach to communication research. A substantial number of graduate assistantships allow M.A.-through-Ph.D. and Ph.D.-only candidates to gain experience in research, teaching, production, and administration. Graduate study is characterized by intensive participation in seminars, original research and creative activities, and close work with individual faculty members.
The career outlook for students with degrees in communication studies is promising, and graduates enter a variety of professions that value communication knowledge and skills. Communication studies majors are prepared to serve as communication specialists in business; in federal, state, and local governments and agencies; and in public service. Some of the more specific areas in which majors pursue careers are teaching, social advocacy, public relations and advertising, personnel management and training, management consulting video and film production, and emerging technologies. Students are also prepared for graduate study and research in communication studies and in related academic disciplines such as law.
An understanding of communication provides a strong base for a wide range of career options. The mission of the department is to go beyond narrow technical training by providing a liberal arts approach to communication. This provides the student with maximum latitude for promotion and advancement and avoids limited career opportunities resulting from narrow approaches to the field.
The burgeoning growth of communication industries and support fields provides a range of career opportunities. Graduates of the department, who number well over 4,000, are engaged in a variety of occupations ranging from work for international corporations to jobs at local nonprofit organizations.
The Department of Communication Studies, CB# 3285, 115 Bingham Hall, (919) 962-2311. Web site: comm.unc.edu.
50 First-Year Seminar: Helping Families Manage the Effects of Disasters (3). Considers the effects of disasters on children, families, and communities, and offers an understanding of and practice in how to lessen victims’ trauma and decrease chances of long-term damage when disaster strikes.
51 First-Year Seminar: Organizing and Communicating for Social Entrepreneurs (3). This course examines the historical and current development of social entrepreneurship as a field of study and practice, with particular attention to successful organizational communication strategies designed to solve community problems.
53 First-Year Seminar: Collective Leadership Models for Community Change (3). This course will explore communication models for collective leadership involving youth and adults in vulnerable communities. Partnering with local youth-focused organizations, students will work in teams to research and design community-based change projects.
61 First-Year Seminar: The Politics of Performance (3). In this course students will explore the possibilities of making political performances, or making performances political. We will be particularly concerned with how performance may contribute to processes of social change.
62 First-Year Seminar: African American Literature and Performance (3). This course examines the question of what characterizes “Blackness” as it manifests through experience, history, and symbol in the United States, as well as the impact of African practices and identities upon blackness in the United States. The course is concerned with what has been termed the “black literary imagination.”
63 First-Year Seminar: The Creative Process in Performance (3). Students will be engaged with multimedia, music, dance, and theater performances. We will explore the creative processes and cultural contexts of these performances and will compare the arts as a way of knowing the world to the creative processes of academic scholarship.
70 First-Year Seminar: Southern Writing in Performance (3). A performance-centered seminar focusing on the works of North Carolina writers, especially those who write fiction and poetry, and on researching, discussing, adapting, and performing that content.
71 First-Year Seminar: Conflict, Culture, and Rhetoric: The Search for Peace in Northern Ireland (3). This seminar will explore culture, conflict, and rhetorical practice through an extended case study of the conflict in Northern Ireland. The discourse will include speeches, pamphlets, political flyers, music, poetry, fiction, film, and graffiti.
82 First-Year Seminar: Globalizing Organizations (3). In this course, we explore the communication issues that arise within international contexts. Through the analysis of readings and films, we will delve into the contentious debates surrounding globalization and explore the ethical and social issues that arise within global forms of communicating and organizing.
85 First-Year Seminar: Think, Speak, Argue (3). This is a course in learning to think more critically, speak more persuasively, and argue more effectively by focusing on practical skill development in reasoning and debate.
89 First-Year Seminar: Special Topics (3). Special topics course. Content will vary each semester.
100 Communication and Social Process (3). Addresses the many ways our communication—including language, discourse, performance, and media—reflects, creates, sustains, and transforms prevailing social and cultural practices.
113 Public Speaking (3). Theory and extensive practice in various types of speaking.
120 Introduction to Interpersonal and Organizational Communication (MNGT 120) (3). An introduction to communication theory, research, and practice in a variety of interpersonal and organizational contexts. This course examines the role of communication in both personal and professional relationships.
130 Introduction to Media Production (3). Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Prerequisite for all production courses. Introduces students to basic tools, techniques, and conventions of production in audio, video, and film.
131 Writing for the Stage and Screen (DRAM 131) (3). See DRAM 131 for description.
140 Introduction to Media History, Theory, and Criticism (3). An introduction to the critical analysis of film, television, advertising, video, and new media texts, contexts, and audiences.
142 Popular Music (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. This class explores the historical, social, political, and cultural significances of popular music as a communicative practice in the United States from 1950 to the present.
150 Introduction to New Media (3). An introduction to the design, aesthetics, and analysis of various forms of digital media. Hands-on experience with different modes of creation, including graphics, Web-based communication, and social media.
160 Introduction to Performance Studies (3). As the introductory course in performance studies, students will explore and experiment with performance as ritual, performance in everyday life, and the performance of literature.
170 Rhetoric and Public Issues (3). Examines the basic nature and importance of rhetoric and argumentation. Attention is devoted to interpreting the persuasive function of texts and their relation to modern forms of life.
171 Argumentation and Debate (3). Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Analysis of issues, use of evidence, reasoning, brief making, and refutation. Argumentative speeches and debates on legal cases and on current issues. Designed for prospective law students, public policy students, speech teachers, and college debaters.
223 Small Group Communication (MNGT 223) (3). Prerequisite, COMM 120. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Introduction to the theory and practice of communication in the small group setting. Topics may include group development, conformity and deviation, gender, problem solving, and power and leadership.
224 Introduction to Gender and Communication (WMST 224) (3). Examines multiple relationships among gender, communication and culture. Explores how communication creates gender and shapes relationships and how communication reflects, sustains, and alters cultural views of gender.
226 Nonverbal Communication (3). Prerequisite, COMM 120. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Examines the roles and functions of nonverbal behavior in the communication process. Topic areas may include physical appearance; body, face, and eye movements; paralinguistics; haptics; nonverbal deception; the effects of environment; and personal space.
230 Audio/Video/Film Production and Writing (3). Prerequisites, COMM 130 and 140. Grade of C or better in COMM 130. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites. The material, processes, and procedures of audio, video, and film production; emphasis on the control of those elements of convention that define form in the appropriate medium. Lecture and laboratory hours.
249 Introduction to Communication Technology, Culture, and Society (3). Historical exploration of the sociocultural import of communication technologies, from the introduction of the telegraph in the mid-1800s through current implications of the Internet and various digital devices.
251 Introduction to American Film and Culture, 1965–Present (3). An introduction to some key connections between American film history and cultural history since 1965, most of which remain backbones of United States film culture to this day.
260 Introduction to Performance and Social Change (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. This course addresses the relationship between performance and power, focusing on topics concerned with the potential for performance to contribute to social change.
262 Introduction to Performance Ethnography (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. This course explores performance ethnography as a qualitative research method through readings, discussions, exercises, and fieldwork. Students engage performance as a way of knowing, creating both written and performed scholarship.
263 Introduction to the Study of Literature in Performance (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Study of a variety of literary texts (lyric, epic, dramatic) through the medium of performance.
312 Persuasion (3). Prerequisite, COMM 120. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Examines contemporary theory and practice of influencing others’ attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Focuses particularly on analyzing and developing persuasive messages.
318 Cultural Diversity (3). Introduction to basic paradigms of thinking about cultural difference, encouraging students to examine how these paradigms shape how we think, act, and imagine ourselves/others as members of diverse cultures.
325 Introduction to Organizational Communication (MNGT 325) (3). Prerequisite, COMM 120. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. The course explores the historical and theoretical developments in the research and practice of organizational communication.
330 Introduction to Writing for Film and Television (3). An introduction to screenwriting for film and television.
331 Writing the Short Film (3). Students practice and learn the craft of narrative, short film writing by conceptualizing, outlining, writing, and rewriting three short film scripts. They include one three-minute silent, one five-minute script with dialogue, and one 15-minute script with dialogue.
332 Film Story Analysis (3). A variety of feature films (both domestic and foreign) are screened in class and analyzed from a storytelling perspective. Emphasis is on the range of possibilities the screenwriter and film director face in the process of managing the audience’s emotional involvement in a story.
333 Writing the Feature Film (3). Prerequisite, COMM 330. Students complete the feature-length screenplay started in COMM 330 by finishing and rewriting it in a workshop setting. All students must have already completed an outline and the first 15 to 17 pages of their work.
334 Writing the One-Hour TV Drama (3). Prerequisite, COMM 330. Students in this class will live the life of a writing staff on a just-picked-up, fictional, one-hour television series. As if on a real series, they will individually and cooperatively create story ideas, treatments, and outlines, as well as write scenes, acts, and entire scripts.
350 Practices of Cultural Studies (3). Introduces students to the history, methods, and central intellectual questions of cultural studies.
355 Terrorism and Political Violence (PWAD 355) (3). This course is a multidisciplinary analysis of the phenomena of terrorism and political violence, their history, causes, the threat they pose, and what steps the United States can take in response.
362 Ritual, Theatre, and Performance Art (FOLK 565) (3). Prerequisite, COMM 160. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Explores how each of these forms of performance communicates meaning and feeling and points to possibility. Students develop performances in each mode, informed by readings in anthropology and directing theory.
364 Production Practices (3). This course introduces students to the process of creating and producing technical aspects for live performance. Students engage in all practical and artistic aspects of production. Course includes a laboratory requirement.
371 Argumentation (3).This course examines the theory and practice of argument and deliberation in communication studies, drawing from resources in rhetorical studies, informal logic, and argumentation. Intended for prelaw, public policy, and other students interested in argumentation.
372 The Rhetoric of Social Movements (3). Explores the discourse of dissident voices in American society, particularly as they speak about grievances pertaining to race, gender, the environment; focuses on rhetorical strategies that initiate and sustain social movements.
374 The Southern Experience in Rhetoric (3). Examines recurrent themes in the rhetoric of significant Southerners and important campaigns. Considers both the rhetoric of the establishment and the rhetoric of change.
375 Environmental Advocacy (ENST 375) (3). Explores rhetorical means of citizen influence of practices affecting our natural and human environment; also, study of communication processes and dilemmas of redress of environmental grievances in communities and workplace.
376 The Rhetoric of War and Peace (PWAD 376) (3). Explores philosophical assumptions and social values expressed by advocates of war and peace through a critical examination of such rhetorical acts as speeches, essays, film, literature, and song.
390 Special Topics in Communication Study (3). A special topics course on a selected aspect of communication studies.
393 Internships (1–3). Permission of the department. Majors only. 2.5 cumulative grade point average required. Individualized study closely supervised by a faculty advisor and by the departmental coordinator of internships. Cannot count toward the COMM major.
396 Independent Study and Directed Research (1–3). Permission of the department. Majors only. 3.0 cumulative grade point average and 3.5 communication studies grade point average required. For communication studies majors who wish to pursue independent research projects or reading programs under the supervision of a selected instructor. Intensive individual research on a problem designed by instructor and student in conference.
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.
423 Critical Perspectives on Work, Labor, and Professional Life (3). This upper level seminar develops a critical perspective on work, labor, and professional life within the global context. Throughout, we will engage in moral and philosophical debates about the status of labor and the meanings of work in our daily lives.
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). Prerequisites, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites. 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.
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.
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.
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.
490 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 communication studies.
493 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.
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.
526 Critical-Cultural Approaches to Organizational Communication (3). Prerequisite, COMM 325. Permission of instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. The study of “organizational culture” operates on a set of assumptions distinct from traditional management perspectives. This course explores the cultural perspective as an alternative approach to understanding organizational communication processes.
527 Organizational Ethics (3). Prerequisite, COMM 325. A critical examination of the theory, research, and practice of organizational ethics.
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 Introduction to Screen Adaptation (3). Prerequisite, COMM 131, 330, ENGL 130, or 132H. Students practice the craft of screen adaptation by conceptualizing, outlining, and writing scenes based on material from another medium (both fiction and nonfiction). Work is presented, discussed, and performed in a workshop environment. Topics include compression of time, composite characters, creation of new scenes, and fidelity to the original work.
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.
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, ARTH 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, ARTH 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 field work in oral history with study of performance as a means of interpreting and conveying oral history texts.
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.
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.
593 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.
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.
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.
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 (ARTS 636) (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 three-dimensional worlds and scripting.
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 with a grade of C or better. 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 Cultural Politics of Global Media Culture (3). Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Primary subjects will be popular culture and media technology, and guiding questions will be organized around the relationships of each to commerce and/as social change.
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 with a grade of C or better, or COMM 150. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. In this course students learn a wide range of video postproduction 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 in 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.
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.
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.
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, ARTH 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, ARTH 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, ARTH 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.
690 Advanced Topics in Communication Studies (3). Prerequisite, COMM 170. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. A special topics course on a selected aspect of communication studies. May be repeated.
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.
695 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.