2000 Introduction to Communication Studies (4 sem. hours). Dr. Curtis Coats
We see up to 5,000 advertisements a day. Do they influence us? A handful of companies own 90% of the media in the world. Should we care? Media messages dominate our identities, our culture, and our political system. Can we cut through the clutter?
This course is designed to engage these questions through an exploration of communication and media theories that think about the production of media texts, the meanings embedded in texts, and the consumption of media texts. Most of us live media-saturated lives. This course will help us better understand our media-saturated lives and equip us to be critical media producers and consumers.
MW 2:45-4 AC 222
2100 History of the Media (4 sem. hours). Dr. Curtis Coats
Why do three f-bombs earn an "R" rating? Why does explicit violence get a PG-13 rating but explicit sex get a R rating? How have filmmakers marketed films to tout their salacious content to sell tickets? How have journalists, film critics and American culture responded to these films?
In this class, we will consider historical theories and methods through an exploration of the "Production Code," a censoring policy that dictated moral norms in films from 1930-1967. In this focused exploration, we will consider how culture influenced the development of American cinema and how American cinema influenced culture. To do this, we will explore film -- its production, its content, its politics of censorship, its marketing, and its place in American culture.
MW 1-2:40 AC 222
2200 Public Rhetoric (4 sem. hours). Dr. Anita DeRouen
Students will study principles and strategies for effective oral communication. The course will emphasize principles and theories of rhetoric, while teaching students methods for researching, organizing, and delivering various forms of public rhetoric. It will also explore ethical, social, and political issues surrounding public address.
TTh 10-11:15 W 12-12:50 AC 222
3000 Modernism, Postmodernism & Film (4 sem. hours). Dr. Anne MacMaster
This course will examine the interaction between the evolving techniques of the medium of film and the innovations in literature that we call modernism and post-modernism. We'll read some of the pivotal works of modernist literature - for example, Kafka's novella The Metamorphosis, T. S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land" and Faulkner's novel The Sound and the Fury and/or As I Lay Dying, and we'll consider the stylistic innovations of these works alongside the cinematic techniques of films from the same decade - for example, the 1930 film All Quiet on the Western Front. We'll also consider why some works of modernism (Mann's Death in Venice, for instance, or D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love) yield excellent adaptations (such as the 1971 film Death in Venice or the 1969 film Women in Love), while many works of modernism prove un-adaptable. Are there two different kinds of modernism, represented by Mann and Lawrence, on the one hand, and Faulkner and Joyce or Woolf, on the other?
Moving beyond modernism, we'll read works of post-modernism - Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being and/or Rushdie's Midnight's Children - with the goal of comparing and contrasting modernism and postmodernism as two temperaments or frames of mind. Here, too, we'll consider the relation between literature and film: Why do postmodern novels prove more adaptable than modernist ones? And why did the critics love but the author hate the 1988 film The Unbearable Lightness of Being? Depending upon the release date of DVDs and showings in theatres during the spring semester, we'll see and analyze the new film adaptations of Midnight's Children and As I Lay Dying. We'll read five or six novels or novellas and view five or six films, sampling other films and long works as we go.
TTh 1-2:40 AC 218
3100 American Pop Culture (4 sem. hours). Dr. Curtis Coats
A billion people are now on Facebook. If we're all "friends," then why can't we get along? Social institutions (e.g. Presidential campaigns) pay close attention to tweets, hashtags and memes. What does that mean? Ours is a culture of sport, of religion, of entertainment and consumption. How do all of these work together to influence who we are and how we understand each other?
Contemporary America is a society whose cultural identity is heavily impacted by popular culture. Popular culture to one extent or another influences the way we think of ourselves, our values and norms, our goals in life, what we eat, our material culture, our technology, and our ideas of pleasure and desire. It is also one of the major ways that our society interacts with the rest of the world and how the rest of the world defines us. This course gives us a unique opportunity to examine the nature of popular culture and its relationship to American society as well the methods and theories of social science used to interpret it.