Courses in Communication (Division 352)

103. Introduction to Mass Communication. Not open to seniors. (4). (SS).
Section 101 Media of Mass Communication.
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

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

This course explores the origins and development of the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of the press and speech provides the student with the knowledge to examine current and future issues impinging on these vital rights. While it examines court decisions and administrative guidelines, it is not primarily about "press law." It is for all who have a serious interest in balancing professional and social rights. It is not intended to advise future journalists how to beat a libel case. (Stevens)

206. Evaluating and Communicating Information. (4). (SS).

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 and 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)

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

This lecture and discussion will present a broad preview of the various theories of mass communication processes and effects on individuals and the social system. Mass communication effects on common 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 examine 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. (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 script presentations scheduled during the term, in order to provide group response to work in progress. (Morris)

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. (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)

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.

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 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 for the writer's role in filmaking (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 (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. WL: Registration is by P.I. only. For further information and approval, students should contact the internship coordinator in the Department of Communication.

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

See CAAS 470. (Ukadike)


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