Courses in COMMUNICATION (DIVISION 352)


100. Public and Interpersonal Communication.
Not open to seniors. (3). (Excl).

This course focuses on helping students to develop effective public and interpersonal communication skills. We will review the basics of communication theory and models of effective communication in interpersonal and public settings. The emphasis of the course will be on creating opportunities of learning by doing and on encouraging students to reflect on their performance in communication activities both within and outside of the course. Verbal communication is typically an activity which receives little attention in our daily lives and is rarely addressed in most courses. It is our philosophy, however, that oral communication is a critical life skill which requires both effort and thought to fully develop. Cost:2 WL:1

103. Introduction to Mass Communication. Not open to seniors. (4). (SS).

Providing an introduction to mass communication, this course examines the history and current processes involved in the creation of media products as part of American culture. The course analyzes political, economic, social and moral factors confronting television, radio, movies, news, advertising, public relations, book publishing, magazines, music videos and sound recording. Three lectures or viewings per week plus one discussion section. Three short writing projects required with emphasis on critical analysis of media. Two exams. WL:1 (Campbell)

202. Freedom of Expression. (3). (SS).

This course focuses on First Amendment protection of speech and expression. There is study of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and general principles of First Amendment law. Emphasis is given to how discrimination against oppressed groups has been involved in struggles for free expression. Topics covered include civil rights protests, television and film censorship, book banning, libel, advertising restrictions and free speech on university campuses. There are 3 exams of equal weight and students may write extra credit papers. Cost:2 WL:1 (Lowenstein)

250. Information Gathering for Mass Media. (3). (Excl).

This course teaches the strategies used in finding information, evaluating its validity and reporting the results in a number of mass media applications, including journalism, public relations, marketing, and advertising. The approach combines research methods used by media professionals and by librarians. Problem-solving assignments are applied to the information industry. Cost:2 WL:1 (Hall)

290. News Writing. (3). (Excl).

Covers the fundamentals of newspaper reporting and writing, including defining news, locating stories, documentation, interviewing, clarity in writing, news coverage strategies and copy editing. Weekly assignments. Cost:2 WL:1

301(401). Mass Communication Theory. (3). (Excl).

This lecture and discussion course will present a broad overview of the various theories of mass communication processes and effects on individuals and the social system. Mass communication effects on knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of individuals, as well as influences on the functioning and ideology of social systems will be covered. After initial review of basic social scientific concepts and methods necessary for an understanding of the reading material, the course will give to the examination of theory and research efforts, proceeding, in general, from investigations of individual to societal-level processes. Critical reading and evaluation of social scientific theory and research is expected, and is developed. Grading will be based on midterm, a final, and a paper, in addition to occasional section assignments. Cost:2 WL:4 (Oshagan)

302. Writing for the Mass Media. Comm. 290, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits with permission of concentration advisor.
SECTION 001.
The course provides an integrated approach to mastering the basic concepts and techniques for feature writing for the mass media. It is anticipated students will offer their work to area media for publication. Multiple writing assignments will foster improved writing and test students' mastery of course material. It is anticipated students will write three papers of approximately five pages each, revised one or more times. In addition, students will write additional assignments on outlining, character development, and the analysis of other writing. Students will receive written criticism, as well as oral evaluation by the instructor. Students will also be expected to attend one or more readings by visiting writers, as well as participate in class discussion. Cost:1 WL:1 (Hall)

SECTION 002 & 003: CORPORATE COMMUNICATION. This course is designed to improve general writing skills and develop specialized media writing styles including news release, speech, brochure, advertising, business memorandum, and technical writing for annual reports, position papers and marketing/public relations planning. Students are exposed to basic skills required in corporate communication. The current and future underlying management theories of the corporate culture and how corporate policy and goals affect American society and specific market populations will be analyzed and evaluated. Critical thinking regarding corporate responsibility for the 90's and into the 21st century will be encouraged. A final writing project replaces the standard final exam and represents sixty percent of the grade. Method of instruction includes lecture/discussion and writing lab work. Attendance is mandatory. For the Winter Term, 1992, Communication 250 and/or permission of instructor is required. Cost:3 WL:1 (Moseley)

SECTION 004. This course offers a hands-on functional approach to producing advertising copy including radio, TV and print. Students will be responsible for individual assignments and participation in team projects. (Kalisewicz)

SECTION 005. This course is designed to provide students with oppurtunities to explore and critique the potentials and limitations of different forms and styles of mass media expression. We investigate both professional writing of print and screen-writing requirements, aiming for a well developed ability to pursue fiction or non-fiction, taking into account medium, audience, and purpose. Individual and group work will be required, with script presentations scheduled during the term, in order to provide group response to work in progress. (Morris)

305/Ling. 305. Political and Advertising Discourse. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

See Linguistics 305. (Heath)

310. Persuasive Communication. (3). (Excl).

In this lecture course, we will investigate the ways in which people try to influence the attitudes and behavior of others. This course is intended to serve three basic functions. First, it is intended to inform persuasive practice, enabling potential persuaders to maximize their oppurtunities for social control. Second, it is intended to enable us to become more intelligent and discriminating consumers of persuasive communication. Finally, it is intended to add to our understanding of human psychology and the individual's place in society and culture. WL:1 (Allen)

312. Communication and Contemporary Society. (4). (Excl).

Examines the relationship of the mass media to various aspects of contemporary American society. Topics covered in this survey course include: mass communication and the maintenance of cultural norms, social roles, and stereotypes; media as a force for social change; influences on socialization; and the impact of American mass media on governmental, economic, and educational institutions. Popular concerns about particular effects of the media are examined critically in light of research findings. Cost:2 WL:1

320. Film Analysis. (4). (HU).

This course is a survey of the history, theory and aesthetics of the motion picture as illustrated through the works of representative film makers. It considers the types of artistic efforts that go into the making of a motion picture by emphasizing the roles played by sound, music and lighting. The course traces the development of the motion picture from a primitive tool to a sophisticated art form. The latter part of the course is devoted to a selection of various films that illustrate genres and movements: fantasy, neo-realism, the documentary film. There is a midterm examination and final exam. Two scene critiques from a contemporary film are required. There is one major text. The course format is unusual in that the film medium itself (in the form of short clips, slides, etc.) is used to the largest possible extent in presenting the course material. Students who expect to pursue a film-making sequence should take this course as early as possible, preferably during the freshman or sophomore years. Three lecture hours and one discussion section per week. Cost:2 WL:1 (Beaver)

330. Analyzing Print Journalism. (3). (Excl).

This course examines the performance of print journalism in American democratic society today. It looks at the press in its traditional roles as informer, popular educator, advocate, watchdog, investigator, storyteller, imagemaker and creator of social reality. It examines press criticism from inside and outside during the twentieth century and the evolving standards of professional journalism. Students will do short exercises designed to develop their critical abilities and two longer critiques of press coverage: one in a traditional news area and one in a controversial and lesser covered area, such as women's issues, minorities and racism, quality of life, social change and social welfare and education. Students should develop the ability to read and critically analyze news reporting and support their evaluations with evidence and argument. (Marzolf)

400. The Media in American History. (4). (SS).

This lecture course places the development of American mass media in broader social, economic, and political perspectives. While there are no specific prerequisites, a general grounding in American history is recommended. Grades are based on one hourly exam and a series of short papers plus a term paper and a final comprehensive examination. Cost:3 WL:1 (Stevens)

403. Ethics of Journalism. (3). (Excl).
Section 001.
This course will examine standards of performance and codes of conduct for journalists. Students will apply those standards and codes to real and hypothetical cases and situations faced by journalists in the gathering and reporting of the news. Class discussion will be emphasized. Cost:1 WL:1 (Bishop)

Section 002. This course section explores the tension, distance, and intimacy between the working media, the media establishment and the politicians and campaigns covered. Using political advertising and political public relations as the structure for evaluation, we examine the issues, the candidates, the voters, the political parties and ultimately the media representation juxtaposed against the traditional journalism standard of fairness, objectivity, accuracy, and balance. Class discussion will include whether the contemporary media is creating as well as covering the news in the political arena, such as broadcast voter exit polls. (Moseley)

404. Media in the Marketplace. (4). (Excl).

This course examines the structure of the mass media marketplace by focusing on the web of economic relationships, market processes, and external constraints which direct the activities of suppliers, producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers of communication products. It explores why mass communication industries are organized as they are and how their structure affects the behavior of media markets. The newspaper, magazine, book publishing, radio, television, cable, and motion picture industries are studied in terms of: market structure, product differentiation, ownership patterns, financial controls, competitive behavior, demand-side and supply-side constraints, organizational adaptation, technology, and public policy. As an overview of contemporary issues involving the economic performance of mass media industries, this course investigates attributes of the media marketplace that influence the nature of the competitive process. (Buckley)

405. The Media and the Arts. Comm. 103 and upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

This course section will combine lecture and discussion to examine how the arts are reported on and reviewed in the mass media. It focuses on the analytical skills demanded of arts' critics and the writing they produce, and looks beyond to the broader ethical, political and economic issues. To help you become more knowledgeable about the subject matter, the course includes background information in the arts. Lively interest, rather than pre-existing "expert" status, is what students will be expected to contribute in class sessions. (Nisbett)

406. Mass Communication Research. (3). (Excl).

An introduction to the logic and techniques of social scientific research in mass communication. The course will address (a) methods of framing media research questions, and (b) scientific techniques for gathering empirical data in an effort to answer these questions, and (c) statistical techniques for analyzing and interpreting the data to form valid conclusions. The aim of this study is to enable students to evaluate critically the validity of research findings and conclusions. In completing the course, students should also acquire an adequate background in communication research methodology to pursue their own ideas, from initial conceptualization to the research question to final conclusions. Text: Babbie, E., The Practice of Social Research, 4th edition, Belmont, CA.: Wadsworth, 1986, plus course pack. Cost:2 WL:1 (Huesman)

410. Introduction to Group Communication. (3). (Excl).

Emphasis is given to the oral communication process in small group problem-solving situations. Subject matter includes: group leadership styles, member functions, barriers and obstacles to understanding in small groups, and techniques for group discussion effectiveness. Methods of class operation include: class discussion; mini lectures; research reports; participation in small group processes; case problems, and class member evaluation of group discussions. Reading materials include selected readings on oral communication and small group research. Cost:1 WL:1 (Storey)

417. Analyzing Television. Comm. 103 and junior standing. (4). (HU).

The daytime soap opera, the evening newscast, the prime-time situation comedy, and the late night talk show all of the familiar programs of popular American television are meaningful cultural documents that speak to the shifting values and the ongoing contradictions of modern life. This course challenges students to explore new ways of thinking about the social, moral, political, artistic, and economic implications of the television experience. Key topics addressed in the course include: narrative theory; authorship and readership; the representation of race and gender; stardom; genre theory; intertextuality. Students should expect to encounter several short writing assignments, as well as at least two exams (a midterm and a final). Cost:3 WL:1 (Reeves)

420/Pol. Sci. 420. Politics and the Mass Media. Pol. Sci. 111, 300, 410, or 411. (4). (Excl).

This course will focus on the role and impact of the mass media in the political process. We will study how the news is made and the impact of mass media on policy-makers and the public, and its effects on political attitudes and behavior. The role and influence of the media in election campaigns in the US, and how this compares with other advanced industrial democracies, is a major focus of the course. Other topics include media diplomacy and foreign affairs coverage, media treatment of protest groups and social movements, and the relative power of media and politicians in shaping the political agenda. (Semetko)

421. Introduction to Radio and Television. Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed to introduce students to the terminology, aesthetics, and methods of radio and television broadcast production and programming. Lectures are supplemented with radio and television laboratory sessions in which students will apply their acquired knowledge of audio and video production, including scripting, directing, and practical operation of studio equipment. Grading will be based on laboratory projects, tests and short written assignments. Students must be present at the first lecture and lab session to maintain enrollment. Laboratory sessions will be held for radio in 1050 Frieze Building and for television at LS&A Television Studios located at 400 Fourth Street. Students should plan their schedules to allow for travel time. This course is the necessary prerequisite to Comm 425, and advanced course to radio and television field production. (Sarris/ Young)

423. Film Practicum for the Writer. English 412 and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This class is a writing practicum where the student will learn the role of the writer in the greater process of the production of media. Each student will participate in the various creative steps involved in bringing a narrative script to the screen. By developing an understanding of the way narrative films are shot and the way the other creative people involved approach one's written material, this course will enrich the student's visual vocabulary, improve dramatic writing skills, and increase their awareness of the collaborative process of film/video. The class will be structured such that every student will write a number of exercises, which someone else will direct, the writer, in turn, will direct another's writing and so on. We will also analyze the written and visual techniques in a number of contemporary films and videos. Every student will write and direct several short exercises in addition to a short, finished tape (5-7 min.). Previous classes or experience with video production and/or screenwriting is advised. Cost:2 WL:1 (M.Hurbis-Cherrier)

427. Preparation of Radio and TV Continuity. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).
Sections 001, 002 and 003.
This course is designed to give students experience in writing scripts for non-dramatic radio and television. The writing assignments include: radio and television commercials, public service announcements, broadcast editorials, commentaries, and documentaries. Emphasis is on use of language and visuals to communicate ideas and to influence viewer perception, as well as adapting writing to script formats and precise lengths of time. Instruction is through lecture, written comments on scripts, individual conferences, in-class critique and discussion of student writing, and evaluation and analysis of professional broadcast scripting through the use of video and audio tapes. Attendance and participation in class discussions are mandatory. You must be present at the first class meeting to maintain your enrollment. This course may be taken to fulfill the ECB junior-senior writing requirement. Cost:2 WL:1 (Oswald)

428. Writing Drama for Film and Television. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course is a workshop in writing dramatic narrative scripts for feature length films or made for T.V. movies. The objectives of this class are to teach skills for the development of dramatic concepts (structure, character, dialogue, etc.), to provide a better critical understanding of the devices used by screenwriters and filmmakers, to encourage an appreciation for the writer's role in filmmaking (both possibilities and limitations), and finally to teach the standard format of the screenplay. This class requires the completion of a feature length screenplay, analysis of several scripts, group critiques of work, and various other writing assignments. Cost:1 WL:1 (Sections 001 & 004:Mick Hurbis-Cherrier; Sections 002 & 003:Katherine Hurbis-Cherrier)

450. Undergraduate Internship. Junior standing, concentration in Communication and permission of instructor. (2) (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be elected for a total of six credits.

Communication 450 is the department's internship program, designed to give junior or senior Communication concentrators credit for appropriate practical work experience. Time requirement for a 2-credit internship is approximately 15 hours per week for a 14-week term. Student evaluation is based on satisfactory completion of the internship and written recommendation of the internship sponsor. Internship credit is not retroactive and must be pre-arranged. Internship credit can not be used to fill communication electives in the concentration plan. Cost:none WL: Registration is by P.I. only. For further information and approval, students should contact the internship coordinator in the Department of Communication. (Sarris)

462/Soc. 462. Cultural Theories of Communication. Comm. 103, Soc. 100, or Anthro. 101. (3). (Excl).

We look at the ways in which "culture" has been an object of sociological inquiry. We first consider competing definitions of the term culture in the social sciences, and competing approaches to its study. We then consider several major themes in, and competing definitions of, the study of American culture. We conclude with a discussion of subcultures within American culture, evaluating whether resistance to the dominant culture is possible in modern societies. (Press)

463/Soc. 463. Mass Communication and Public Opinion. (3). (SS).

See Sociology 463. (Steeh)

500. Seminar. Open to senior concentrators. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 Issues in Environmental Communication.
The course will introduce students to how different disciplines approach about specific environmental problems and communicate their findings to a general public. Faculty from public health, urban planning, economics, law, anthropology, environmental engineering and natural resources will examine two major Michigan, environmental problems, and students will make field trips to the two sites. Students, working as teams, will combine the disciplinary overviews in written papers or video documentaries as an applied exercise in environmental communication. In addition, they will read selected examples of environmental communication, drawn from the Meeman Archive and other sources. Enrollment, 15, P.I. (Open to graduate or undergraduate students and fellows with significant training in journalism or other mass media communication and training in environmental disciplines such as natural resources, public health, environmental engineering, ecological economics.) (Friendly)

Section 003 Literary Journalism. Reading survey course with discussion seminar which covers literary non-fiction from New Journalists to current practitioners. This course is open to juniors, seniors and graduate students. Please see instructor for override. (Kubit)

Section 004: Media and Popular Culture. The content of the mass media largely defines popular culture. This seminar will examine the formula content in the print, electronic, literary and film media. (Stevens)

Section 005 Gender and the Mass Media. In this course we will look at the intersection between the study of gender and the study of the mass media. First, we look at feminist theory generally, providing an introduction which lays the groundwork for the course work; we then look specifically at gender theory concerning particular mass media, with an emphasis on popular film and entertainment television. Topics include the representation of gender in the classic Hollywood film and in prime-time television; conceptions of the "female audience" (discussions will include both psychoanalytic spectator theory in film, and gender, class, and race in the television audience); women's genres and their relationship to feminism (including melodrama, situation comedy and "feminist" television): audience subcultures ("trekkie" subculture in particular will be discussed, along with Star Trek viewings sci-fi fans welcome!) Coursework will include two take-home midterm exams and a take-home final. Classes will include both lectures and discussions, and participation based on assigned readings and in-class viewing is important. The class is open to all junior and senior communication and women's studies majors, despite its 500-number (it's really oriented toward advanced undergraduates.) Graduate students are also welcome to attend; course requirements will be adjusted for you accordingly (you will have the option of working on a research paper in your field, if desired.)

501. Departmental Tutorial. Open to senior concentrators. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Intended for individualized research and writing instruction in subject areas not covered by scheduled courses. Must be arranged with the faculty member.

518. Cross-Cultural Communication. Senior standing or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Examines some of the major issues concerning the nature of international communication: the flow of information across national boundaries, the unequal distribution and access to information world-wide, the varying points of viewing concerning the New World Information Order, the worldwide consequences of the Information Age (post-industrial society), the new paradigms that are being developed to explain and predict the development of media in underdeveloped societies and propaganda analysis. A major concern of this course is to understand how communication and the media, especially, operate in an international context and to evaluate some of the arguments and notions concerning their future global operations, with particular reference to the developing world. (Allen)

521. History of the Motion Picture. Upperclass standing. (3). (HU).

This course section examines the development of the motion picture from the silent to the contemporary periods. The focus will be primarily on the survey of significant international film styles and movements approached from a number of perspectives including: industrial structures, film form and style, modes of production, social cultural and aesthetic contexts. In considering the cinematic practices of "familiar" territories (e.g., the classical Hollywood narrative, German Expressionism, Soviet Documentary, Italian Neorealism, French New Wave etc.), we will move beyond baseball's "world series" to explore the innovative cinematic practices of "unfamiliar" territories (e.g., Latin American revolutionary documentary, Cinema Novo, and the alternative film styles of Africa and Asia etc.). The purpose is to broaden the student's knowledge of main currents in film history for future application to communication studies. It is open to graduate students and advanced undergradutes. Film screenings, readings and written assignments required. (Ukadike)

525. Radio and Television News and Special Events. (3). (Excl).

Designed to immerse students in the basic radio and TV news writing techniques, this course additionally offers critical analysis of historical and current trends in broadcast news.

528. Advanced Television Writing. Comm. 428 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed expressly for students who are seriously considering a writing career in television's storytelling industry. Assignments include: adapting a story to the small screen; collaborating with other students on scripting an episode of an existing series; writing a pilot for an original series or writing the first draft of an original movie made for television. Although some lecture material will be presented during the first part of the term, most class meetings will be devoted to discussion sessions and story conferences. Cost:3 WL:1 (Reeves)

552. Society and Mass Media. (3). (Excl).

The purpose of this course is to investigate and develop the macrosocial perspectives on communication processes. The social system is the context which both shapes and is affected by the mass media, and a more complete understanding of communication effects needs to be aware of explanation at extra-individual levels. The first part of the course will be an overview of the fundamentals, the problems, and the tools of social science, as well as the domain of the macrosocial. This will be invaluable later in the course when we have to grapple with the evaluation of macrosocial theories. We will then examine areas of mass communication research that may further our understanding of how media and society interact. The course will end with an effort to summarize a more coherent systemic view. WL:1 (Oshagan)

554. Media and Government. (3). (Excl).

This seminar focuses on government-media relations at the national level. Journalist and source interaction and the nature of the relationship between reporters and officials, news presentations of Congress and the Executive, White House news management, and the role of the media in foreign affairs, and the impact of the media on public opinion are major topics for discussion. Case studies of government/media relations in times of war, or domestic and international crises, such as Watergate, the Falklands and the Gulf wars, form a major part of the course. (Semetko)

557. Media Law. (3). (Excl).

In this course section, students will confront established First Amendment principles and apply them to current issues. Topics include libel, pornography, hate speech, sexual harassment and consumer protection laws. Students must prepare presentations and write one research paper. Presentations and class participation make up 50% of the grade. (Lowenstein)

590. Senior Honors Seminar. Open to senior concentrators by departmental invitation. (2). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

Develops student's senior Honors thesis topic and research method and assigns faculty thesis adviser. Written thesis prospectus and seminar discussions.


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.