Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Communication Studies

Courses

The departmental curriculum is organized around two cognate areas that represent the two distinct, yet interrelated, areas of focus in the major: Rhetorical Studies and Critical Media Studies.

Each of these two areas is represented by one of the two COM Core Courses (75-204 and 604) as well as a group of courses that represent further interventions into the cognate areas. Rhetorical Studies Courses are located in the 75-200s and 75-300s (with the exception of 75-304, the general COM Special Topics course number). Critical Media Studies Courses are located in the 75-600s and 75-700s. Many students take an Academic Internship as one of their upper-level Communication Studies elective courses. Special Topics courses (75-004 and 75-304) and Independent Studies (75-95x) are also available.

Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings.  See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information.

  • 75-001 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 75-002 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 75-003 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 75-004 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 75-134 CRITICAL/CULTURAL COMMUNICATION STUDIES
    This course introduces theoretical and critical perspectives central to the two cognate areas of the major: Rhetorical Studies and Critical Media Studies. A special focus on qualitative critical/interpretive research methods and theoretical frameworks enhances students understanding of the role that communication plays in the construction and negotiation of culture and identity. COM Foundation course. (Fall, Spring) (H
  • 75-154 PUBLIC SPEAKING
    This course emphasizes speaking in public from a narrative paradigm. The guiding assumption will be that every public speech act implies a story, and that every image (metaphor, picture, nonverbal embodied communication form) concretizes and is explained by a narrative. Students will learn to be more reflexive, strategic, and skillful as public communicators by creating and performing several speeches that foreground the creation of a public self (ethos) created by articulating a relationship between self and audience through the use of narrative and image. COM Foundation course. (Fall, Spring)
  • 75-184 MEDIA AND ETHICS
  • 75-204 RHETORICALTHEORY
    Rhetoric is the communication that shapes our world. It has a rich and distinguished history that constitutes one of the oldest and most-studied arts in the Western tradition. This course explores the development of theories of rhetoric from Classical Greece and Rome and reveals their roots in contemporary rhetorical theories. COM Core Course. Prerequisites: Communication Studies 75-134 and 75-154. (Spring) (H)
  • 75-214 RHETORICAL CRITICISM
    This course critically engages diverse texts from a variety of theoretical orientations, analyzing speeches, pictures and various mass mediated representations in order to produce critiques that employ a range of perspectives including feminist, critical race, psychoanalytic and poststructuralist theories. COM Methods/Writing Intensive Course. Prerequisites: Communication Studies 75-134 and 75-154. (Fall) (H) (WA)
  • 75-234 RHETORICS OF RESISTANCE
    This course examines the ways in which rhetoric is used for social protest. It emphasizes historical and cultural contexts as it looks at how social movements use diverse rhetorical strategies to promote social justice. (H)
  • 75-254 THE RHETORIC OF CIVIL RIGHTS
    This course surveys the rhetorical strategies used by individuals and collectives during the African American civil rights movement (1954-1968) to maintain and change their worlds. The class critically examines visual and verbal rhetorical texts that work to protest discrimination and bring about a different social order, persuasive strategies used to oppose civil rights, and our contemporary practices of remembering civil rights. Key themes include the ways in which systems of racial oppression are challenged through rhetorical strategies. The class also examines ways in which class and gender intersect with racial difference to modulate systems and practices of power and resistance. (H) (SJ)
  • 75-264 THE RHETORIC OF WOMEN'S RIGHTS
    The last 200 years have been a time of incredible change for women in the United States. This course examines the rhetoric that fosters and reflects this kind of social change, ranging from the womens suffrage movement, to the womens movements of the 60s and 70s, to contemporary feminism.Also Feminist Studies 04-534. (H)
  • 75-274 RHETORICS OF HEALTH
    This class examines the intersections of communication and health by exploring topics such as mass media representations of health issues, communication patterns in health contexts, and the construction of identity through discourses of health and illness. (H) (SJ)
  • 75-294 INDIGENOUS RHETORICAL SOVEREIGNTY
    This course analyzes American Indian rhetorical practices of making meaning as moves toward decolonizing discourses involving Native Peoples and toward understanding how talking Ind'n, with its multifaceted ways of speech, shapes understandings of Native identities and rhetorical sovereignty. Texts may include Native and non-Native voices from diverse cultural and rhetorical sites, legal, theatrical, political, cinematic, new media, musical, televisual or other areas. (H)
  • 75-301 SELECTED TOPICS
  • 75-302 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 75-303 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 75-304 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 75-424 PERFORMANCE STUDIES: EVERYDAY LIFE AND
    See Theatre 73-284. (FAP) (WA)
  • 75-434 COMMUNICATION, CULTURE AND SOCIAL JUSTIC
    This course introduces the foundational, historical and theoretical issues for the critical study of communication as social justice, examining critical race theories, feminist theories, queer theories and postcolonial theories in order to establish a foundation for understanding the ways difference is communicated to achieve social justice. This course integrates questions of identity with those of justice, and thus requires a strong commitment to understanding self and other. Also Feminist Studies 04-484. (H)
  • 75-444 COMMUNICATION & MEMORY
    This course examines the role of communication in producing, representing, reinforcing, and contesting individual and collective memory at a variety of scales: within individuals as well as in between individuals in interpersonal relationships, families, communities, nations, cultures, and across cultures. The main focus is on learning the central critical theory and methodologies used in the analysis and interpretation of acts, practices, texts, objects, and spaces engaged in communicating individual and collective memory. (H) (WA)
  • 75-454 RACE, ETHNICITY, AND COMMUNICATION
    This course introduces critical race theory as it applies to the study of communication. In particular, it explores the intersection of race/ethnicity, communication and media as it relates to issues of social justice and identity in America. These explorations shed light on the historical formation of racial and ethnic identities and their current social and personal relevance. The course integrates questions of identity with those of justice, economics and law, and will require a strong commitment to tolerance and self-reflection. (H)
  • 75-464 ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION
    This course explores various environmental philosophies as they relate to communication contexts in the public sphere, including journalism, sustainability, consumerism, politics, environmental organizations, and ecotourism. We will also examine how environmental theories and policies are play out in local, national, and international arenas. Also Environmental Studies 49-394. (H)
  • 75-514 TOPICS IN PERFORMANCE STUDIES
    Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. See Theatre 73-714 and Feminist Studies 04-714. (FAP) (WA)
  • 75-524 FEMINISM AND PERFORMANCE
    See Theatre 73-724 and Feminist Studies 04-724. (FAP) (WA)
  • 75-554 DOCUMENTING THE SELF, OTHER AND COMMUNIT
    This course examines ways in which individuals and communities in the United States document their experiences, lives and world visions. The documenting techniques studied include literary autobiography, comic strips, graffiti, film documentary, and photography, among others. As varied as these documenting practices are, they play a similar social function and are thus embedded in community-specific and historically defined ideas about the self, other, and about specific representational techniques. The course demands that students develop a critical and ethical eye as well as learn principles of social responsibility and challenges in documenting self and others. (H)
  • 75-564 GENDER AND COMMUNICATION
    This course critically explores the process of becoming gendered in contemporary culture. Drawing from a body of contemporary research and theories, including feminist, critical/cultural, queer, and psychoanalytic approaches, students will endeavor to discover the ways in which people communicate within a gendered culture. Contexts include interpersonal relationships, families, organizations, institutions, and mediated communication. Also Feminist Studies 04-564. (H)
  • 75-604 MEDIA AND CULTURE
    This course examines the diverse functions that media serve in the performance of individual, social, national, and transnational cultures and identities. Students will analyze how the interdependent relations among media production, media texts, and media audiences are embedded in cultural discourses and dynamics of ideology, power, and agency, and will develop an ability to use theories and methodologies prevalent in cultural studies and critical media studies to research, analyze, interpret, and build effective arguments about the interrelationships between media and culture. COM Core Course. Prerequisites: Communication Studies 75-134 and 75-154. (Fall) (H)
  • 75-624 JOURNALISM
    This writing-intensive course considers the character, purposes and subject matter of documentary nonfiction narrative, with a special emphasis on the processes of writing, critiquing and revising student-produced feature articles for newspapers and magazines. (H) (WA)
  • 75-634 MEDIA AND NARRATIVE
    See Philosophy 18-254. (H)
  • 75-644 MUSIC AND IDENTITY
    This course explores the relationship between music, culture and identity, including the role of musical forms in shaping reality and identity formation.Assuming that music is inherently political in its form, content, performance and consumption, the course examineshow identity is constructed through our musical activities, including a focus on music as a) a form, b) a generator of style, c) a focal point for identifying with (fan) communities and d) a way of defining self and other.Particular attention will be paid to the ways social identities are constructed and navigated through musical forms and within musical communities, including a focus on gender, sexuality, nationality, race and class. Also Feminist Studies 04-644. (H)
  • 75-664 AMERICAN INDIANS IN MEDIA
    This course takes a decolonial approach to studying representations of American Indians in media such as film and television. Teaching critical analytical skills for interpreting the cultural, social and ideological functions of media representations, the course involves deconstructing both the images and discourses related to Indian identities in media. Students also are introduced to indigenous aesthetics through media text created by Native Peoples. (H) (SJ)
  • 75-674 FILM STUDIES
    This course introduces students to critical, analytical and theoretical approaches to the study of film. To explore the complex role that cinema has played in American mass society since the early 20th century, special emphasis is placed on the study of institutional practices at all levels of the production, distribution and exhibition of films as well as the ways of seeing and the ways of doing that guide both filmmakers and audiences who use film as a communication medium. (H)
  • 75-684 ROAD MOVIES
    This course explores the road movie as a contemporary film genre but also a site of cultural work where representations, histories, futures, identities, bodies and ideas converge and collide. The course unfolds chronologically, situating case study films within their historically specific cultural discourses while over time also developing a detailed analysis of the development of the road movie as a genre and cultural form. (H)
  • 75-744 SONIC COMMUNICATION
    Following historian Richard Raths call to listen for soundways (the paths, trajectories, transformations, mediations, practices, and techniquesin short, the waysthat people employ to interpret and express their attitudes and beliefs about sound), our course maps out scholarly routes for developing and critiquing connections between sounds and subjectivities within cultural, musical, ideological, sociopolitical, and technological contexts. Topics may vary, such as focus onsonic racial formations and racialized soundscapes. COM Methods/Writing Intensive Course. Prerequisites: Communication Studies 75-134, 75-154, and 75-604. (H) (WA)
  • 75-784 VISUAL COMMUNICATION
    This course explores approaches to the production and analysis of visual media texts that have emerged in the fields of visual communication, media studies, visual culture and cultural studies. Critical attention is directed to the major products of mass media industriesespecially advertisements, film, fiction/nonfiction television programs and websitesbut also to popular forms of photography, desktop publishing, multimedia, technical illustrations and educational materials. Writing and production techniques are incorporated through individual and group projects and culminate in the collaborative production of student website projects. COM Methods/Writing Intensive Course. Prerequisites: Communication Studies 75-134, 75-154, and 75-604. (Spring) (H) (WA)
  • 75-901 TUTORIAL
  • 75-902 TUTORIAL
  • 75-903 TUTORIAL
  • 75-904 TUTORIAL
  • 75-941 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F. May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Internship credit will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-942 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F. May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Internship credit will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-943 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F. May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Internship credit will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-944 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F. May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Internship credit will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-945 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F. May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Internship credit will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-946 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F. May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Internship credit will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-947 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F. May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Internship credit will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-948 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F. May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Internship credit will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-951 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Independent Study will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-952 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Independent Study will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-953 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Independent Study will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-954 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with change in content, but no more than eight credits of Independent Study will count toward the major or the minor.
  • 75-964 CAPSTONE RESEARCH SEMINAR
    This course requires students to integrate and extend work done throughout the Communication Studies major by producing a significant research project that is situated both within Communication Studies as a discipline and within the two cognate areas of the major: Rhetorical Studies, and Critical Media Studies. Topics and instructors vary. Prerequisites: Communication Studies 75-134, 75-154, 75-204, 75-604 and one from 75-214, 75-744, 75-784. (Fall, Spring) (WA)
  • 75-984 HONORS
    By invitation only. Satisfies the capstone experience for the major.