COMM 271 - Communication Revolutions
Section: 001
Term: WN 2014
Subject: Communication Studies (COMM)
Department: LSA Communication Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Enforced Prerequisites:
COMM 101 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better).
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course uses the theme of communications “revolutions” to explore the changing processes of communication and information circulation in the West from ancient times to the present. The course follows an historical trajectory to help students make greater sense of the contemporary blur of innovation and change in communication technologies. Stress on novelty and “new” media can obscure historical patterns, tensions, and connections, which exist at macro- and micro-levels of society. "Revolutions" is suspended in quotes to signal that while we seek to understand change over time and the effects of new communications technologies, we will also continually interrogate the "revolutionary" claims attached to communication technologies. We will analyze the context and conditions of communication and technological innovations in relation to economic, social, cultural, political, and technical structures, traditions, and processes. Among the themes we will explore are: the central role of technology in our culture, and the tension between technological devices and human users and developers; the link between communication, politics and power; the role of communications processes and technologies in marking the changing boundaries separating the public and private realms of life; the deep ties between trade, labor, transport, and communication technologies; the role of governmental and corporate institutions in influencing the uses of mediated communication in our society. Our goal is to provide the student with a sense of the history of communications technologies and the recurring theme of "revolution" in their uptake and use; to appreciate when what are now “old” technologies were new; to understand the continuities and discontinuities between past and present media, social, and cultural contexts; and to furnish the critical tools and perspectives to evaluate communications revolutions past, present, and still to come.

Course Requirements:

No data submitted

Intended Audience:

Freshmen or sophomores

Class Format:

Lecture twice per week for 1.5 hours each; discussion once per week for 1.0 hour.

COMM 271 - Communication Revolutions
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (DIS)
W 11:00AM - 12:00PM
003 (DIS)
W 12:00PM - 1:00PM
004 (DIS)
W 1:00PM - 2:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780195127010
A nation transformed by information : how information has shaped the United States from Colonial times to the present, Publisher: Oxford University Press 2000
Other Textbook Editions OK.
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for COMM 271 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
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