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 developing the ability to articulate this understanding) in order to lay the foundation to becoming better communicators in both public-speaking and interpersonal contexts. 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 the broadening of our "performance vocabulary" to encourage more creative work in this highly artificial setting. 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)
206. Evaluating and Communicating Information. (4). (Excl).
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/Womens' Studies 200. Women in Popular Films and Television (3). (Excl).
This course is an introduction to the way women have been portrayed historically in popular film and television. Taking a critical perspective, we will examine the main historical eras characterizing the portrayal of women in each medium. Special attention will be given to the following themes: female sexuality; women's role in the family; women's roles in the workplace. Theories concerning women as viewers of these popular media will also be discussion section. Students will be asked to reflect upon their own experience in viewing popular film and television in paper assignments and examination questions. The course will consist of one viewing per week, one lecture, and one discussion section. Grading will be based on several essay examinations and a short paper. (Press)
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
Section 001. This course is designed to improve general writing skills and develop concepts and techniques of writing longer feature articles for the print media. Students will produce at least ten written assignments and will revise them after critiques. Some assignments require attendance outside of class times. Cost:1 WL:1 (Stevens)
Section 002. 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 003 & 004 – 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, 1994, Communication 250 and/or permission of instructor is required. Cost:3 WL:1 (Moseley)
Section 005. 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)
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).
This course begins by introducing several psychological models of mind. With these models as the theoretical basis, the relationship of the mass media to various aspects of contemporary American society is examined. 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. (Thornhill)
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. Attendance is mandatory. (Moseley)
405. The Media and the Arts. Comm. 103 and upperclass standing.
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. (Nisbett)
Section 003. This course is an exploration of the relationship between the arts and the mass media. Students will study the way various forms - theatre, dance, music, architecture, and the fine arts – are reported and critiqued in newpapers, magazines, and on TV as well as the ways the arts and the media effect each other. Because students will need an understanding of the emphasized art forms in order to appreciate what is written about them, the nature of four assigned art events, plays, concerts, exhibits, etc., that students will attend outside of class. In conjunction with these events, many related, in-class activities are planned: guest lectures by reviewers and artists, films, and demonstration. Readings will include selections from scholarly works on criticism, basic works on the arts, and local and national newpapers. Students will be required to prepare five two-page exercises and take midterm and final exams. (Cohen)
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
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)
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)
425. Introduction to Radio and Television Directing. Comm. 421. (3). (Excl).
This course is designed to give students continued experience in planning, writing, producing, and directing radio and television productions, and to provide further insight into the concepts and methods of electronic media production. Projects will cover both in-studio and on-location production. Instruction will consist of lectures, laboratory exercises, guest speakers, and in-class analysis and critique of student and professional broadcast programming. Grading will be based on production exercises and projects, short papers and exams. Students must have completed Communication 421 and must be present at the first lecture and lab session to maintain enrollment. All television labs are held at the LS&A Television Studios at 400 Fourth Street. Students should allow for travel time. (Sarris)
427. Preparation of Radio and TV Continuity. Junior standing.
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 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. You must be present at the first class meeting to maintain your enrollment. 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:M.Hurbis-Cherrier; Sections 002 & 003:K.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)
500. Seminar. Open to senior concentrators. (3). (Excl). May be
repeated for credit.
Section 001. This is a seminar course in which students will study local and national media with an eye toward assessing bias its presentations with regard to such areas as gender, race, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Additional subjects will draw from class discussion among participants. Each student will prepare a research paper, make an oral presentation and participate in weekly discussions. (Hall)
Section 002 – 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. (Kubit)
Section 003 – 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, focusing primarily on film and television. Topics in the course will include the representation of gender in mass media content, considered primarily in film and television from an historical perspective; and the role of women as viewers of each medium. Course work will include several take-home exams and a take-home final examination, which may require students to reflect on their own experience as consumers of media representations. Classes will include viewing, lecture, and discussion, and participation will be required. Some background in women's studies and/or communication is desirable but not entirely necessary. (Press)
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.
528. Advanced Television Writing. Comm. 428 or permission of instructor.
Section 001. This course involves the study of narrative strategies in the preparation of dramatic scripts for the electronic and celluloid media: radio, television and film, respectively. Students are expected to have a knowledge of mass media history and theory, but more significantly a solid grounding in classic fiction and drama. Class members prepare a finished script (length optional) for evaluation in a writer's workshop format as time allows. Attendance, preparatory assignments and the final script serve as the basis of the course grade. This class emphasizes the art of provocative story-telling through mass media channels rather than the writing of speculation scripts designed specifically for existing programs. (Beaver)
Section 002. This class explores alternative strategies for structuring feature length narrative films which go beyond traditional three act story construction. We will also consider challenges to conventional Hollywood content (i.e. characters, topics, themes) both in our film examples and your scripts. We will watch and analyze numerous films, so additional screening dates will be added. This course is an advanced workshop in screenwriting and therefore requires students to have already taken Communication 428 (no exceptions). Each student will be required to complete a concept, a treatment, and a feature length screenplay among other writing projects. Students are also required to work closely with the other writers in the class in critiquing each others scripts. The workload is considerable and will require a great deal of self-motivation. Cost:2 WL:1 (M. Hurbis-Cherrier)
550. Reporting the Sciences Comm. 302, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Recycling toxic waste, air pollution. Everywhere you look these days, environmental issues are in the news. What does it take to cover these kinds of stories? This class will attempt to answer that question, introducing students to the skills necessary to write environmental articles for both general and specialized publications. The course will be team taught by two working environmental journalists: Emilia Askari of The Detroit Free Press, and Julie Edelson, who writes for The New York Times and other environmental trade journals. The class will help students understand complex technical information, decide what makes an interesting story and sell their finished product. The course will feature guest experts. Those who addressed this highly rated class last year included a controversial Ann Arbor polluter, Gelman Sciences; a union leader who thinks he got cancer from working with toxic chemicals; a Washington lobbyist; a high paid public affairs official with Dow Chemical; and numerous journalists. Field trips to places like the Environmental Protection Agency's lab will also be central to the course. Though no prerequisites are required, the student should have some background in writing, not necessarily journalism. Students in this small class should be prepared to receive extensive feedback on their articles and rewrite working drafts. (Edelson, Askari)
551. Investigative Reporting. Comm. 302 or 600; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
The course is designed to help students participate, conceive and investigate a project and carry it through to completion. Course work will cover all the basics, from how to unearth details about corporations and individuals to the use of databases and computer tapes, ethical dilemmas, and how best to structure a series of stories. (Wark)
553. Media Economics. (3). (Excl).
Detailed examination of the economics of the media, including technology, market strategy and industry trends, buying and selling, management and product development. Cost:2 WL:1 (Nielsen)
557. Media Law. (3). (Excl).
Section 001. 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:2 (Murray)
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