Courses in Communication (Division 352)

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

The goal of this course is to develop a substantive understanding of the communication process (as well as to develop the ability to articulate this understanding) within the medium of public speaking in order to become better communicators. The course is organized around cultivating situationally-specific rhetorical and performance-based strategies for individuals seeking to achieve a particular goal. Because we only have so much time to work with, the course will put a great emphasis on analysis as a means of building an informed base from which one may improve more significantly, as well as on the broadening of our "performance vocabulary" to encourage more creative and work in this highly artificial setting. The "analyses" will include such issues as the relationship between speaker and audience the construction of meaning, the cultural functions of public speaking, among others. (Smith)

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

This course is designed to provide an introductory overview of the historical, social, political, economic, and cultural contexts, structures and the processes of the mass media. We will concentrate primarily on communication technologies, practices and perspectives in an American context. The course objective is to analyze the historical and current factors influencing the development of mass media and our relationships to them. The class consists of two lectures per week and one discussion section. Grading is based on two essays, two exams and critical/analytical questions handed in during discussion sections. WL:1 (McLaughlin)

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)

206. Evaluating and Communicating Information. (4). (SS). (QR/1).

This course teaches the fundamental thinking skills necessary for critical evaluation and presentation of arguments, especially those based on quantitative information. Such skills are required for one to be a competent mass communicator of information, a critical consumer of information relayed by the mass media, or an intelligent scholar of media processes and effects. The course introduces generic logical and statistical concepts through analysis and discussion of specific cases drawn from research reported in the mass media (e.g., health and business news, public opinion polls), research on the media (e.g., the impact of media violence), and research for the media (e.g., audience research). Students' logical and quantitative reasoning skills are improved through a variety of "hands-on" exercises and projects (many involving computerized spreadsheet programs). The course is introductory in nature, and no prior statistical or computing expertise is required. Cost:2 WL:1 (Price)

217/WS 200. Women in Popular Films and Television. (3). (Excl).

This course is an introduction to the representation of women in popular film and television. Taking a critical perspective, we will examine the social/historical status of women in relation to their roles as images, producers, and audiences for each medium. Special attention will be given to female sexuality and women's roles in the family and outside workplace, with particular emphasis on questioning the popularly recurring theme of women's responsibility for moral and social order and disorder. These issues will be considered from the various points of view informing feminist film theory. The course will consist of one viewing and one lecture/discussion each week. Grading will be based on students' writing three papers during the term, handing in four questions grounded in critical inquiry each week, and participating in class discussion. WL:1 (McLaughlin)

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, information gathering, interviewing techniques, enterprising story ideas, with emphasis on writing clarity and accuracy. Weekly assignments. Cost:2 WL:1 (Kubit)

301. Mass Communication Theory. (3). (SS).

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:1 (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.

This course is designed to provide students with opportunities 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 presentations scheduled during the term, in order to provide group response to work in progress. WL:1

Sections 001 & 002 Feature Writing for the Mass Media. 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 004. No abilities are more crucial to the journalist (or to the critical reader of journalism and other mass media texts) than those of intellectual inquiry and critical analysis: curiosity and criticism. Similarly, the effective writer has habits of formulating reasonable positions, considering alternative points-of-view, and articulating sound judgments. In this course, students conduct basic research, analyze findings, prepare critical analyses, and present findings and interpretations to the class. Assignments include 4 short papers: interviews/profiles, argumentative essays/editorials, interpretive critiques of films and television programs, screenwriting/analysis of newscasts. In addition, students undertake a lengthy final research project into mass media topics. Emphasis is upon understanding of intentionality of texts and upon analysis of audience response, as it varies according to factors related to age, gender, socioeconomic and educational or environmental conditions, race, background, affiliations, and so on. (Morris)

Section 005 Chronicle of the American Dream. The course examines business reporting and writing for U.S. print and broadcast media. Using current publications, wire news services and guest speakers, it introduces students to the relationship between the press and local and national companies. It examines management ideas about using the press and newsroom ideas about the importance of economic news. Students track the process from corporate press release through finished news story and conduct comparisons of how different publications cover the same story. Students complete lab writing exercises, write and co-edit two substantial business stories suitable for mass media publication, and a term paper analyzing a facet of business news. Lecture, lab (word-processing knowledge required). WL:1 (Friendly)

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 opportunities 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, lighting, editing, and cinematography. 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 analysis of films that illustrate genres and movements: fantasy, neo-realism, the documentary film. There is a midterm examination and final exam. Two scene critiques from contemporary films 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. 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 twentieth century and 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 controversial and lesser covered areas, 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. WL:1

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).

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)

405. The Media and the Arts. Comm. 103 and upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).
Sections 001 & 002.
This course 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 on the writing they produce, and looks beyond to broader ethical, political and economic issues. To help you become more knowledgeable about the subject matter, the course includes background information on the arts. Lively interest, rather than pre-existing "expert" status, is what students will be expected to contribute in class sessions. Students attend arts events about which they write. Five assigned papers, midterm and final paper. (Nisbett)

Section 003. This course 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 on the writing they produce, and looks beyond to broader ethical, political and economic issues. To help you become more knowledgeable about the subject matter, the course includes background information on the arts. Lively interest, rather than preexisting "expert" status, is what students will be expected to contribute in class sessions. WL:1

406. Mass Communication Research. (3). (SS). (QR/1).

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, (b) scientific techniques for gather 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 course is to enable students to evaluate critically research reports and to acquire an adequate background in communication research methodology to pursue their own ideas, from initial conceptualization to the research questions to final conclusions. Instruction is a mix of readings, discussions, lectures and a term project which provides the opportunity to practice the many steps in the research process. Text: Babbie, E., The Practice of Social Research, 7th edition, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1994, plus course pack. Cost:3 WL:1 (Johnston)

409. The Michigan Journalist. Comm. 290 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Editing the News.
Introduces students to theories and practices of news, story and copy editing for daily and weekly newspapers. Includes discussion of editing for magazines and broadcast news programs. Students learn basics of assignment, supervision and editing for news value, sense, style, grammar, spelling, syntax, and factual accuracy. Course looks at how editing functions differ from reporting duties and examines newsroom structures and how they affect decisions about coverage and play of stories. Guest editors from print and broadcast discuss newsroom organization and management and ethical issues that arise in news editing practice. Laboratory sessions deal with technical production requirements such as story length, placement, grammar, spelling, and fact-checking. Students edit stories for content and style, prepare headlines and other display type, design pages and organize news reports for different media. Cost:2 WL:1 (Friendly)

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

Treating all of the familiar programs of popular American television as meaningful cultural documents, 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: historiography, narrative theory, the representation of race and gender, genre theory, intertextuality, and postmodernism. Students should expect to encounter two major writing assignments, as well as two exams (a midterm and a final).

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 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. WL:1 (Hubbard)

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. Lab sessions will begin meeting after the first lecture. 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. WL:1 (Sarris & Young)

427. Preparation of Radio and TV Continuity. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed to give students experience in writing scripts for non-dramatic radio and television programs. The writing assignments include: radio and television commercials, public service announcements, commentaries, features 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. Cost:2 WL:1 (Oswald)

428. Writing Drama for Film and Television. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).
Section 001.
This course is a workshop in writing dramatic narrative scripts for feature-length films or Made-for-TV 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 of the writer's role in filmmaking (both possibilities and limitations), and finally to teach the standard format of the screenplay. This class requires completion of a feature-length (90-120 page) screenplay (1 draft and 1 rewrite); analysis of film and TV scripts; group critiques of student works-in-progress, and various other assignments. Cost:1 (Burr)

Section 002 Screenwriting. For Fall Term, 1995, this section is offered jointly with Film-Video 310. (Burnstein)

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. WL:1

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

See Sociology 463. (Steeh)

470(Film-Video 470)/CAAS 470. Cultural Issues in Cinema. (3). (HU).

See Afroamerican and African Studies 470. (Ukadike)

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. WL:1 (Allen)

521. History of the Motion Picture. Upperclass standing. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($10) required.

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 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. It is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Film screenings, readings and written assignments required. WL:1 (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. WL:1

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 class is concerned with the relationship between American government and the mass media. How is the government covered? How do government officials interact with the press? How do people respond to media coverage of the government? How is public opinion affected by mass media? Do the media have some quasi-mythical "mission" as "the fourth estate" or fourth branch of government? If so, are they fulfilling this mission? These are some of the questions the class will attempt to answer, or at least gain some insight into, as many of these questions are unanswerable given the current scope of social science. WL:1 (Hubbard)

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

A case method study of the First Amendment and other legal principles related to the rights and responsibilities of the mass media with emphasis on news gathering, libel, privacy, and obscenity. Students will read approximately 120 appellate court decisions (contained in a course pack) and must be prepared to discuss and analyze these decisions in class. Because the course materials and the application of the legal principles developed are cumulative, the evaluation of students is based primarily on the midterm and final examinations. Cost:2 WL:1 (Murray)

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