COMM 159 - First-year Seminar in Media Issues
Fall 2020, Section 001 - An Introduction to Hackers, Pranksters and Whistleblowers
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Communication and Media (COMM)
Department: LSA Communication and Media
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Theme, FYSem
Credit Exclusions:
Credits do not count toward the Communication Studies major requirements.
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Enforced Prerequisites:
First-year students only.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course offers a three-part framework for thoughtfully understanding and situating issues and challenges surrounding global “hacktivism”—the subversive use of computers and networks to protect and promote freedom and democracy. Part 1 introduces students to recent events and issues surrounding hacking and whistleblowing that have disrupted international affairs. Part 2 introduces students to a framework for understanding the relationships between information- communication technologies and political power. Part 3 introduces students to emergent issues and ways of thinking through the processes of innovation and governance of political technologies. In addition to course readings, students will have an opportunity to engage with course concepts through the mediums of movies, novels and games.

Class Format:

Learning Mode: As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning. All lectures will be Synchronous. Enrolled students are expected to be available remotely during scheduled class times.


COMM 159 - First-year Seminar in Media Issues
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
6Enrollment Management
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Note: First year students. Hackers Prankstrs Whistleblwrs (section 001) synchronous remote-only student registration section.
002 (SEM)
3Enrollment Management
TuTh 8:30AM - 10:00AM
Note: Section 002, Making News in Africa: Instruction is a mixture of in-person and remote-synchronous. Enrolled students are expected to be available remotely during scheduled class times. Remote-only students are welcome and should register for section 012.
012 (SEM)
3Enrollment Management
TuTh 8:30AM - 10:00AM
Note: Making News in Africa (section 012) remote-only synchronous student registration section.

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for COMM 159.001

View/Buy Textbooks


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 159 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)