This course is designed as an introductory course on face-to-face communication in our social and personal relationships -- our acquaintances, friendships, romantic partnerships, and relations with other loved ones. The basic premise of the course is to position one to maximize communicative effectiveness in these relationships with knowledge about how communication functions combined with analysis about one's own and others' communication practices and experiences. As a social scientific approaches course, this class will emphasize an understanding and application of various theories of interpersonal communication.
This course provides students with an introduction to the field of organizational communication as it exists within the discipline of Communication Studies. Through a survey of traditional and contemporary theories used to study the relationship between communication and organization, students are asked to analyze, compare, and apply theory to gain an appreciation for how communication scholars ask questions and study modern organizations in contemporary society. Specific theories covered include bureaucracy, rationality, power, systems, inter-organizational relationships, culture, conflict, race, gender, technology, and globalization. Throughout the course, theory will be applied to examples from a range of organizations including for-profit, government, educational institutions, civil sector, and virtual organizations.
This course introduces the discipline of Communication Studies through the allied fields of media and cultural studies. Students gain foundational understanding in methods and critical approaches to contemporary media. The course begins with a survey of media structures and institutions (questions of media role in democracy), media texts and genres (questions of media form), and media and identity (questions of representation). The course transitions from this overview into topical or thematic views of media. Topics may include: (1) representation and ideology with attention to race and gender; (2) trauma and torture pre and post 9-11; (3) memories of war, trauma, and immigration with attention to imperialism, race, and gender; (4) media and social/economic systems; (5) public sphere deliberation and media as democratic processes; or (6) Disney Culture.
This course uses rhetorical and argumentation theory to introduce students to the discipline of Communication Studies. Students gain foundational understanding of the concepts, theories, and methods related to the study of American civic rhetoric. This course begins with a brief introduction to key concepts in rhetorical studies and then examines key examples of American civic rhetoric that have shaped the political culture of the United States throughout its history.
This course uses critical and cultural studies approaches to introduce students to the discipline of Communication Studies. Students gain foundational understanding in methods and critical approaches to public culture, including media. The course begins with a survey of key concepts, public culture, democracy, identity, and communication, and then moves to a topical study of discourse as part of public culture in the struggle to maintain or advance concepts of democracy within the context of competing identities related to issues of race, class, gender, and political affiliation.
This course provides an introduction to the field of computer-mediated communication (CMC) as it exists within the discipline of Communication. The course covers a broad range of CMC theories and applies them to modern use of existing technologies (e.g., email, mobile telephony) and newer media (social media and Web 2.0 systems such as Facebook, Twitter, and online dating) in an effort to uncover how these technological systems affect today's communication climate. Specific areas may include the following: online impression formation, online self-presentation, personal relationships, political campaigns, habitual media use, e-commerce, brand management, and online advertising. Students will be introduced to social science research, scholarly argument, and empirical observation.
This course introduces the Communication Studies discipline through the interpretation and analysis of cinema across historical, geographic, linguistic, and cultural contexts. Students will come away with a foundational understanding of the power of visual media in the form of film, as well as a variety of critical approaches used in communication inquiry. The course begins by surveying introductory readings in the study of film. The course then transitions toward explorations of film as a vehicle of visual communication throughout 20th-century globalization. The course concludes by discussing the present and future of cinema in the Digital Age. Students are expected to engage in conversations that question contemporary global cartography in both, the historical and technological development of cinema, as well as the implicit politics found in visual representations of other cultures.
The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity for students who are true novices, either by lack of prior experience or due to communication anxiety, to gain skills in public speaking that will be needed for their success at and beyond Puget Sound. Class sessions will include instruction and practice; additional time will be required for rehearsal and feedback with Peer Speech Consultants in the Center for Speech and Effective Advocacy. Course topics include: managing communication anxiety, basic speech structure, using speaker notes productively, effective speech delivery, impromptu speaking, extemporaneous speaking, managing questions and answers, being a supportive audience member.
This course is designed to introduce students to the role that theory plays in different types of communication research. The course looks at the different motives scholars have for studying communication, and the different types of theory they develop to pursue these motives. In addition, the main areas of communication scholarship are reviewed with respect to the theories that can inform research in those domains. The class is divided into six general topical foci: Individual/sender processes, receiver-based processes (message processing), relational processes (dyads and social networks), media, gender/culture/society, and organizations/groups. Students are expected to engage in practices of close reading, critique, and evaluation of these theories within the communication science tradition.
Academic communication criticism (or critical inquiry) typically differs from popular forms of criticism in the amount of attention it devotes to descriptive analysis. Rigorous descriptive analysis is the foundation of critical inquiry in communication studies. This course introduces students to some of the basic analytic concepts that communication critics employ to analyze film, prose discourse (essays, speeches), and visual images. Course concepts include media grammars and styles, figurative language and visual tropes, narrative forms, and genre. Throughout the course students will learn how to prepare close readings of multiple texts.
Participating in intercollegiate forensics. May be repeated for credit.
This course provides research experience in either social science or the critical/interpretative research tradition for advanced sophomores and juniors. Students assist a department faculty member in various aspects of the research process (e.g. reviewing literature, gathering and analyzing data, etc.). Students must prepare and submit a written summary of their research work for a final grade. Interested students should contact the department chair to see what research opportunities are available in a given semester.
This course offers a focused review of organizational communication in terms of historical roots, metatheoretical commitments, conceptual and theoretical approaches, and contemporary research. The first half of the course is devoted to a consideration of the organizational communication discipline in terms of history, metatheory and methodology, and important conceptual and theoretical approaches to understanding organizing and organizations. The second half of the course is devoted to discussions of a range of contemporary research on specific topics that are currently of interest to organizational communication scholars. Topics include, but are not limited to, work-life balance, emotional labor, power, and resistance in organizations.
This is a critical writing course which focuses on how popular film narratives (independent and mainstream) function in American culture. Students study visual and narrative composition of film, the politics of film aesthetics and production, and the competing rhetorics of American film directors and genres. The discussion of each film is contextualized through attention to visual and narrative construction of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and social class. Course materials include readings and videostreamed films. Additionally, students select a film of their own choosing for intense study. Not appropriate for first year students.
This advanced course addresses the cultural influences of American television from 1946 to present day. In particular, the course examines the intersections of the television medium with politics and government, social movements, cultural conflicts, film aesthetics, advertising and consumerism. Some of the topics covered in the course include the changing character of broadcast news (from Edward R. Murrow to Jon Stewart), women and feminisms in television, television genres, and television and race.
The main goal of this course is to introduce students to the social scientific tradition of communication research. Over the course of the semester, students will be responsible fordeveloping an interesting and novel research question and/or hypotheses based on scientific literature and theory. Students will learn how to critically evaluate empirical research and employ the scientific method to investigate issues and questions that arise within the study of human communication. Students will become familiar with survey research, experimentation, and techniques for data analysis.
This course introduces students to the ideology, designs, implementation, and analytic techniques of qualitative research that enable them to describe and explain social phenomena related to social and personal relationships and health. Students will learn experientially throughout the semester and, upon successful completion of this course, will be able to draw on the appropriate qualitative methodological tools to best answer original research questions.
This course examines theories of argumentation to explore how communities arrive at decisions. To that end, this course develops the skills of reason-giving and critical evaluation that are central to competent participation in a democratic society. In this course, students actively engage the formal structure of arguments. Students learn to evaluate the rhetorical claims of others while constructing their own claims with reasoning adapted to the constraints of the situation. Students learn to question, analyze and critically engage the claims, grounds, warrants, evidence and reasoning of public discourse and will grasp the major theoretical trends in the field of argumentation. While the course focuses on the major theoretical trends of argumentation, it does so through grounded topic areas to understand the relationship between theoria and praxis. Primarily, the course covers theories of the public sphere, the body, visual argument, feminist argumentation, collective memory, and critical approaches to argumentation.
An advanced course that examines the evolution of rhetorical theory during the past twenty-five hundred years and the cultural forces that have given rise to variations in the classical paradigm. Students of the language arts, classics, philosophy, as well as communication, should find the course a useful cognate in their academic programs.
For most of recorded history, the study of law and the study of rhetoric were linked. The professionalization and specialization of legal education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries severed a connection that had persisted for two thousand years. Over the past few decades, rhetorical scholars in communication departments and scholars in other academic disciplines (including political science, literary studies, and the law itself) have begun to forge a new link among the law, legal advocacy, and rhetoric, and this course introduces students to this relatively new interdisciplinary movement. The course concentrates on three intersecting themes: the law as language, the law as argument, and the law as constitutive rhetoric.
Public Discourse: This course analyzes the creation, reception, and impact of American public discourse over the last five decades. Course material focuses on the process of rhetorical advocacy as it occurs in key political and cultural events and significant public controversies. Through detailed analysis of message construction, the course enhances students' appreciation of the range of strategic choices available to public advocates, increases students' understanding of the limitations and constraints that confront public advocates, and nurtures students' ability to analyze and evaluate public discourse. Through the reconstruction and analysis of important episodes and controversies in recent American history (including decisions to drop the atomic bomb, the cold war, Vietnam, civil rights, and feminism), the course develops students' knowledge of the role of public discourse in historical events and illustrates the relationship between rhetorical practice and American public culture.
African American Discourse: This course analyzes the tradition of African American public discourse from the late eighteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. Through detailed analysis of message construction, the course enhances students' appreciation of the range of strategic choices available to African American advocates, increases students' understanding of the limitations on constraints that have confronted public advocates, and nurtures students' capacity to analyze and evaluate various forms of public discourse. Course topics include: the emergence of an African American public voice in late eighteenth-century America (e.g. Benjamin Banneker, Absolom Jones), African American abolitionist voices (e.g. David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Henry Highland Garnet), the advocacy efforts of African American women (Maria W. Stewart, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells), African American public discourse in the reconstruction and post-reconstruction era (e.g. Joseph Rainey, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois), the twentieth-century civil rights movement (the Brown decision, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, "black power" advocates), and various contemporary civic controversies (e.g. reparations, affirmative action).
This course examines the historical development of "the rhetorical presidency," the genres of presidential and judicial discourse, the argumentative dynamics of legal interpretation (how people argue about the meaning of texts), and the process of policy deliberation in the legislative branch. The course also explores the idea that political communication constructs or constitutes our culture's "social reality" (our shared values, traditions, behavioral norms, etc.). The course prepares students to become more sophisticated and literate consumers of political communication.
Many orientations to the social world are formed from our experiences that extend from family identities; in particular, the ways individuals relate and communicate with others are profoundly affected by our familial relationships. Furthermore, understanding the family as a communication system is imperative in an era when family issues are at the forefront of national concerns in governmental, educational, health, and religious arenas. This class regards the examination of "family" as fundamental to a comprehensive understanding of relational communication. This upper level course is intended to help students understand how communication helps people develop, maintain, enhance, or disturb family relationships. Students learn to think, write, and speak critically about what "family" means, and about the various forms, functions, and processes of family communication. This course is designed to help students better understand family communication in their own lives, both theoretically and practically.
This is an advanced relational course, ideal for students who have previous exposure to relational theory and constructs. This course introduces a variety of 'dark side' topics and issues that are often neglected as important phenomena in the scope of human relationships. The course includes a critical examination of the 'dark side' of communication moving beyond the Pollyanna-like perspectives that pervade much of interpersonal communicative research, (i.e., be attractive, open, honest, good-humored, etc.) in an attempt to achieve a more realistic and balanced view of human interaction.
Health communication campaigns are coordinated, large-scale efforts to promote health and reduce health risks. Campaigns are traditionally rooted in 1) persuasive approaches which focus on altering attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors and 2) communicative approaches that evaluate multiple levels of communication, different channels, and diverse communication technologies. This course introduces the historical perspectives of health campaigns, provides insights into various theories which inform campaign work, and reviews the methodological considerations of researching, implementing, and evaluating health campaigns. In this course students explore the design and analysis of health campaigns blending theory, practice and methods to critique past, present, and future campaigns. This course stresses practical application as students develop a hypothetical health campaign by which they come to fully understand the ways that campaigns are planned, organized, executed, and evaluated. This course covers a wide range of theories and topics on health campaigns including but not limited to: Agenda Setting, Agenda Building, Uses and Effects, Cultivation, Parasocial Interaction, Edu-tainment, Social Marketing, Diffusion of Innovations, Health Belief Model, Social Norms, Stages of Change, and Knowledge Gap. Applies to the Bioethics (BIOE) program.
This course will survey a number of topics relevant to the institutional settings of medicine (e.g. patient-provider interaction, health care team interactions), intercultural factors that influence health care (e.g., divergent needs, preferences, and access based on culture), the interpersonal ramifications of illness (e.g. coping, social support), and societal concerns regarding health and healthcare delivery (e.g., health insurance system, technological influence in healthcare, crises communication). Students will have an opportunity to explore and better understand the role communication plays in healthcare delivery, health promotion, disease prevention, environmental and risk communication, media and mass communication, and technology.
Using a variety of different organizational lenses (i.e. culture, workgroup, and agent), students learn to think through issues in modern organizations. Course materials encourage students to take the role of organizational agents as they face ethical dilemmas in examining contemporary organizational issues such as gender, language, class, and technology. Students can expect a variety of theory and application, integration through intensive class discussion, ethics case papers, and an in-depth group project, which includes a 40-minute professional presentation. Other assignments focus on developing writing skills that are appropriate for typical business and professional settings. The goal of the course is to encourage student reflection on how everyday communication (e.g. writing a simple memo) can affect and construct a system of interaction with profound organizational and social consequences.
Using a variety of different organizational lenses (e.g. culture, workgroup, and agent), students learn to think through how social identity issues materialize in modern organizational policy and practice. Course materials encourage students to take the role of diverse organizational agents as they face ethical dilemmas in examining contemporary social identity issues such as gender, race, class, and age. Students can expect a variety of theory and application integration through intensive class discussion, reflective and analytic writing assignments and a final research project. The goal of the course is to encourage students to identify issues of organizational power and practices of oppression, particularly as these practices may result in disparate material consequences of economic health and well-being.
Since organizations cannot exist without communication and interaction, organizational life is filled with communication activities that intersect with personal boundaries. Management and coordination, training, decision-making, and conflict are only a few examples. On another level, organizations are themselves the products of the constant processes of organizing. Thus, communication forms and maintains organizations by enabling the process of organizing. This course is designed to give students an intensive inquiry into systems theory as a way of understanding organizations as a function of communication and environment. Initially students review a variety of approaches which inform their understanding of organizational communication as it is practiced in the everyday life of organizations; however, the lion's share of the semester is spent studying intersections of communicating about and across systems and considering the impact of that communication on stakeholders. The course closes by considering the very basis for which the use of systems theory began'to understand the relationship of organizations to the environment. Of course how people conceptualize what counts as environment changes over the years so in particular the course focuses on the impacts organizational practices impose on our natural environment and how management might change those practices to create a sustainable environment.
The purpose of this course is to enhance students' understanding of diversity issues as they relate to the study of communication. The course looks at how the media, its images and discourses, shape one's understanding of experiences, shape the experiences of women, and the experiences of people of color. The course also explores the ways in which elements of the media socially reproduce prejudice and foster resistance to prejudice. As a result of engagement in the course, students gain the ability to critically analyze and evaluate media products. They also become aware of critical professional issues in relation to a diversified workforce as it relates to the production, distribution, and consumption of media products.
Cross-listed as AFAM/COMM 370.
The course focuses on critical understanding and evaluation of Disney as a constitutive element of contemporary culture both in the United States and globally. Through analysis of Disney animated films, Disney corporate reach and marketing, and Disney theme parks ("Where dreams come true") students engage questions highlighted by Henry Giroux about Disney, "such as what role [Disney] plays in (1) shaping public memory, national identity, gender roles, and childhood values; (2) suggesting who and what qualifies as an agent; and (3) determining the role of consumerism in American Culture around the globe" (The Mouse that Roared, p. 10, 2010). The course draws heavily on literature and theory from rhetorical criticism, media criticism, and cultural studies to engage the textual productions of Disney, Disney's historical location in U.S. culture, Disney's corporate structure and self-presentation, and its experiential vacation through theme parks, resorts, and vacation clubs. Disney broadly, and its theme parks specifically, offers highly orchestrated and managed immersive entertainment spaces. A clearer understanding of Disney cultural reach allows the course to enter discussions about citizenship, identity production including race, gender, ethnicity, and nationalism, labor and capital flow, ideology and interpellation, cultural appropriation and homogenization, consumerism and commodification, hyperreality, narrative, and resistance. Satisfies the Knowledge, Identity, and Power graduation requirement. Prerequisite: COMM 240.
This course introduces students to the methodological and theoretical approaches of cultural studies and does so with attention to both the interrelationships of race, gender, and class as well as the contemporary politics of social justice. Although this course is, in general, not canonical in its orientation, the suggested readings do point students toward some key scholarship in cultural studies. Beyond seeing cultural studies, as traditionally viewed by academics, as developing out of Western academic critiques of culture and philosophy, this course examines the multiple locations, and politics of these locations, that gave rise to cultural studies. The course has many goals: to introduce the nascent field of cultural studies scholarship, to encourage analysis of the 'politics of location' of cultural studies research, to provide a broad understanding of the history of cultural studies, and to help students ground their own perspectives within an area of cultural studies scholarship with particular and particularistic assumptions, perspectives, and approaches.
This course is part of the human communication and technology curriculum. This course explores issues and questions about computer-mediated communication in multiple contexts, in order to understand the psychological, interpersonal, professional, social, and cultural implications of computer-mediated communication. The objective of Communication and the Internet is to develop a critical view of online communication by applying the processes and principles of social scientific theories and research to issues and patterns of Internet communication. Lectures, discussions, and assignments are designed to give students insight into the way technology currently impacts their daily lives, and how it may affect them in the future.
Upper level courses in various areas of the communication discipline. Course content varies with each offering.
This course provides research experience in either social science or the critical/interpretative research tradition for juniors and seniors. Students assist a department faculty member in various aspects of the research process (e.g. reviewing literature, gathering and analyzing data, etc.). Students must prepare and submit a written summary of their research work for a final grade. Interested students should contact the department chair to see what research opportunities are available in a given semester.
This course is the capstone of the media studies curriculum. Students have the opportunity to study the historical, technological and economic contexts within which images of the human body have been circulated, regulated, and negotiated.
This course is the capstone of the rhetorical studies curriculum. As such, it presupposes that students grasp the analytic techniques introduced in COMM 244 and the conceptual issues introduced in COMM 344. Its purpose is to examine exemplary forms of scholarly inquiry in rhetorical studies in order to better prepare students to engage in independent and creative scholarly inquiry.
This course is the capstone of the relational and behavioral studies and health communication curricula. Students will review current research that intersects interpersonal, family and health communication, considering its methodological, critical, and practical implications. Students taking this course should be knowledgeable about relational and health theories and research reviewed in other related courses.
This course is one possible capstone of the organizational studies curriculum. Students consider how communication and collaboration technologies influence the creation, content, and pattern of knowledge networks within and between organizations. The course focuses special attention on recently emerging organizational forms including the virtual organization, the network organization, and the global organization. The remainder of the course examines how communication technology systems are changing the very fabric of our work experience in the twenty-first century. Discussion focuses on the relationships between technologies and social practices at the individual, group, organizational, interorganizational and global levels, as well as organizational and societal policy issues.
This course is a capstone of the Organizational Studies Curriculum. Students have the opportunity to explore a variety of qualitative inquiry methods as applied to the study of anticipatory socialization, entry, assimilation, and expectations of work/life balance in organizations.
This course is the capstone of the human communication and technology curriculum. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of critical concepts for thinking about the ways in which social technologies reshape social processes (and vice versa), and the implications of these processes for relationship development. The reading list covers both foundational theoretical work and cutting edge scholarship in this vibrant and emerging arena, addressing issues such as self-presentation, impression formation, online relationship initiation, relational maintenance and termination, and historical treatments of communication technologies.
This advanced course focuses on describing, explaining, and predicting communication processes that occur within the context of close relationships, with a focus on the effects of technology on these processes. The field of personal relationships is interdisciplinary, with scholars from areas such as communication, family studies, and social psychology all contributing to knowledge about communication in relationships. Similarly, mediated communication research is conducted by scholars in various fields -- including communication, computer science, and sociology. Therefore, this course emphasizes communication but also includes concepts and theories from other fields. The overall goal of the class is to help students better understand some of the factors affecting relationships and technology, and to appreciate the impact of communication on their relationships in a variety of contexts. This course balances an in-depth examination of several classic studies in the field of relational communication with close readings of cutting-edge research published in the past five to ten years. Each week, students read articles that consider topics in both online and offline contexts. Students demonstrate mastery of material from each of their previous communication classes -- particularly their courses in social scientific methods and theory -- to enter into the scholarly conversation surrounding the examination of communication in relationships.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.
Independent study is available to those students who wish to continue their learning in an area after completing the regularly offered courses in that area.
This scheduled weekly interdisciplinary seminar provides the context to reflect on concrete experiences at an off-campus internship site and to link these experiences to academic study relating to the political, psychological, social, economic and intellectual forces that shape our views on work and its meaning. The aim is to integrate study in the liberal arts with issues and themes surrounding the pursuit of a creative, productive, and satisfying professional life. Students receive 1.0 unit of academic credit for the academic work that augments their concurrent internship fieldwork. This course is not applicable to the Upper-Division Graduation Requirement. Only 1.0 unit may be assigned to an individual internship and no more than 2.0 units of internship credit, or internship credit in combination with co-operative education credit, may be applied to an undergraduate degree.