Communication Studies


Dale A. Herbeck, PhD
Professor and Chair

212A Lake Hall
617.373.8533 (fax)

The Department of Communication Studies is committed to providing students with both the communication skills and the understanding of the communication process required to thrive in a complex and changing society. Majors are required to demonstrate a mastery of the fundamentals of effective communication, to learn the fundamentals of communication theory and practice, and to develop a distinct area of emphasis. Some of the more popular areas include argumentation and advocacy, organizational and health communication, international and intercultural communication, digital communication and social media, and media production. The curriculum is designed to enhance the understanding of human communication in a variety of contexts, to empower students to become informed and engaged citizens, and to provide the knowledge and skills required to live a rich personal and professional life.

Media and Screen Studies


Dale A. Herbeck, PhD
Professor and Chair

212A Lake Hall
617.373.8533 (fax)

Media and screen studies (MSCR) educates students in the analysis and production of media. Taught from a liberal arts perspective, a media and screen studies degree seeks to give students the ability to think critically about the continually changing media industry and the complex world in which it exists and to apply that knowledge to media production. MSCR is a challenging degree that is not limited to what is traditionally offered at a film school or in a visual and performing arts degree. It gives students the tools to become engaged citizens equipped to meet the challenges of living in a global culture defined by technological and social change.

The Bachelor of Arts in Media and Screen Studies offers courses in analysis and practice. Required courses offer students an opportunity to obtain the critical thinking skills necessary to better understand media content, media technology, and media production. Students then decide how many production and analysis courses they want to take. Choosing from a broad range of electives, students can take more than half their major in media and film production courses, can take a majority of courses that critically examine media content and technology, or can combine courses in other ways.

Students may also enroll in one of the preexistent MSCR combined majors. Media and screen studies has combined majors with communication studies, English, journalism, political science, sociology, and theatre. Students may also petition for new combinations, making use of the half-major template in media and screen studies.

Academic Progression Standards

Departmental probation will result from a cumulative grade-point average below 2.000. No more than two grades below a C in media and screen studies courses can be used to fulfill degree requirements. Dismissal from the major may occur as a result of two consecutive semesters on departmental probation.

Communication Studies courses

COMM 1000. Communication Studies at Northeastern. 1 Hour.

Designed to provide a unique opportunity to engage faculty, professional staff, and peer mentors in small group discussions. Introduces students to the College of Arts, Media and Design. Offers students an opportunity to learn about the communication studies major and to explore the different areas of emphasis offered by the department. As part of the course, students are expected to prepare a detailed plan of study and are introduced to the co-op program and meet their academic co-op advisor.

COMM 1101. Introduction to Communication Studies. 4 Hours.

Surveys the field of communication studies. Covers major theories and methodological approaches in communication studies and situates communication within larger social, political, and economic institutions. Exposes students to ways of ethical reasoning across communication contexts, including organizational communication, social media, intercultural communication, mass media, and interpersonal communication.

COMM 1112. Public Speaking. 4 Hours.

Develops skills in public communication. Topics include choosing and researching a topic, organizing and delivering a speech, handling speech anxiety, listening critically, and adapting language to an audience. Offers the opportunity for students to present a series of speeches and receive advice and criticism from an audience.

COMM 1113. Business and Professional Speaking. 4 Hours.

Designed to assist students in developing advanced public speaking and presentational skills for professional and leadership positions. Covers fundamentals such as audience, speech objectives and structure, and effective delivery. Emphasizes the production and successful interaction with electronic and traditional supportive media. Offers students an opportunity to develop their presentational skills in a variety of settings and realistic business tasks.

COMM 1120. Principles of Argumentation. 4 Hours.

Considers how the theories and techniques of argumentation can be used to understand and promote differing points of view, explore ideas and alternatives, and convince others of the need to change or act. Starts with the principles of formal logic and introduces students to truth tables and diagramming techniques. Continues to discuss informal logic and modern argumentation theory, including argumentative reconstruction, argument structures, argument schemes and critical questions, as well as informal fallacies. Concludes with a discussion of the effective use of reasoning in society from a logical, dialectical, and rhetorical point of view.

COMM 1125. Science, Communication, and Society. 4 Hours.

Introduces the major areas of research analyzing the role of communication and the media in shaping debates over science, technology, and the environment. Focuses on what U.S. National Academies calls the “science of science communication” to offer students an opportunity to acquire the knowledge necessary to assess the interplay between science, engineering, and society, including the implications for strategic communication, public engagement, personal decisions, and career choices. Examines the scientific, social, and communication dimensions of debates over climate change, evolution, human genetic engineering, childhood vaccination, food biotechnology, and other case studies. Covers how to find, discuss, evaluate, and use expert sources of information; to formulate research questions and expectations; to think effectively about professional situations and choices; and to write evidence-based, persuasive papers and essays.

COMM 1131. Sex, Relationships, and Communication. 4 Hours.

Focuses on communication within the context of close relationships. Topics covered include the role of communication in interpersonal attraction, relationship development, relationship maintenance, and relationship dissolution. Examines how communication impacts relationship quality and commitment. Offers students an opportunity to apply what they learn in the course to their personal and professional lives.

COMM 1210. Persuasion and Rhetoric. 4 Hours.

Seeks to teach students to be more astute receivers and producers of persuasive messages by learning how to dissect them. Examines both classical and contemporary theories of persuasion, after which students consider “persuasion in action”—how persuasion is used in everyday language, nonverbal communication, sales techniques, politics, and propaganda. Ethical issues in persuasion are addressed throughout the course.

COMM 1225. Communication Theory. 4 Hours.

Explores communicative and cultural practice from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives. Considers a wide range of cultural practices, texts, and artifacts, including popular culture (television shows, movies, and video games); social media and online content; as well as organizational communication (press releases) and interpersonal interactions (conversations between romantic partners). Communication theory is based on two premises: Our cultural assumptions inform and shape our ability to communicate; and communication is the process through which culture is created, modified, and challenged.

COMM 1231. Principles of Organizational Communication. 4 Hours.

Surveys the communication process in complex organizations. Topics include the evolution of organizational communication, communication networks, information management, and communication climate. Analyzes case studies and teaches how to improve the quality of communication in an organization.

COMM 1255. Communication in a Digital Age. 4 Hours.

Covers digital communication’s history, technical basis (“protocol” and the “Web” ), communicative effects, commercial applications, culture, and societal interactions. Digital communication is central to contemporary life and is (consequently) often taken for granted, which this course seeks to remedy. Applies practical skills relative to theories about collaboration and cultural production and engagement with and analyses of online cultures. Offers students an opportunity to become effective online communicators—using practical exercises such as email filtering, online collaboration, and writing in a Web markup format—and to make use of critical thinking to understand and engage with issues such as online privacy, gender and racial bias, and marketplace credibility and fraud.

COMM 1331. Legal Argumentation, Advocacy, and Citizenship. 4 Hours.

Seeks to train students in effective civic engagement by studying legal argumentation, while preparing students for careers in which persuasive skills are critical to success. Offers students an opportunity to study historical documents to understand the processes of argumentation and to develop arguments by performing detailed research about contemporary issues.

COMM 1412. Social Movement Communication. 4 Hours.

Examines the communication strategies (including rhetorical messaging, public advocacy, grassroots organizing, fund-raising, and media outreach) of historical and contemporary social movement and activist organizations. Social movements considered may include immigration protests, AIDS activism, environmental advocacy, disability movements, racial justice, and feminism.

COMM 1450. Sound Production for Digital Media. 4 Hours.

Designed to prepare students to work with audio in modern media settings. Introduces the process of planning, preparing, producing, and evaluating audio production styles and techniques. Through a series of discussions, screenings, homework, and in-class exercises, offers students an opportunity to gain the skills needed to produce successful audio recordings. Exposes students to the elements and terminology of audio production as they record, mix, and produce their own original projects.

COMM 1511. Communication and Storytelling. 4 Hours.

Engages students in the discovery of varied and culturally diverse texts in the literary genres of poetry, prose, and drama. Students focus on analyzing an author’s meaning and communicating that meaning to an audience through interpretive performance.

COMM 1990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

COMM 2100. Elements of Debate. 4 Hours.

Introduces the principles and skills of effective argument. Topics include the process of advocacy, how to develop an argument through reasoning, the psychology of argument, and motivational techniques of argumentation. Combines theory and practice in argument through individual presentations and team debates.

COMM 2105. Social Networks. 4 Hours.

Applies network science theories and methods to understand the connectivity and complexity in the world around us on different scales, ranging from small groups to whole societies. Applies network theories, data collection methods, and visual-analytic analyses to map, measure, understand, and influence a wide range of online and offline social phenomena, including friendships and romantic relationships, professional networks, social media, social influence and marketing, diffusion and viral media, recommender systems, and collective action. Offers students an opportunity to learn to use computational tools to gather and analyze network data, derive data-supported insights, and develop effective network interventions.

COMM 2110. Sports, Media, and Communication. 4 Hours.

Addresses the interdependent links between sports and communication. Sports communication is an emerging area within communication studies and journalism programs. Examines the symbiotic relationship between sports and media, as well as how communication affects team culture, player-coach dynamics, crises in sport, race and gender issues, international relationships, and fandom. Requires students to analyze cases and address both pragmatic and ethical factors related to these cases.

COMM 2113. Interviewing. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to interviewing through the application of communication theory. Presents a variety of methods for interview preparation. Offers students an opportunity to practice real interviewing both as an interviewee and an interviewer. Students apply persuasive principles, effective question-asking strategies, and business communication topics while participating in multiple forms of interviews, including informational, persuasive, and employment contexts. Also covers issues of cultural competence in the workplace so that students can become more informed about how approaches to business and work relationships differ across cultures. Finally, seeks to better prepare students for their co-op experiences or future work opportunities by reviewing professional writing skills and principles for effective video-interviewing practices.

COMM 2131. Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to learn about some of the communicative challenges people face in starting, maintaining, and terminating close relationships. The “dark side” is a metaphor used to describe areas of interpersonal and relational communication that are underexplored or “lying in the shadows”; destructive or dysfunctional; and/or poorly understood or often misinterpreted. The dark side perspective acknowledges that while relationships are often a source of joy and satisfaction, they can also elicit feelings of uncertainty, frustration, and pain. Studies the ways in which communication can influence (and possibly resolve) turmoil in close relationships.

COMM 2135. Sex and Interpersonal Communication. 4 Hours.

Explores communication theories and concepts as they relate to the interpersonal study of sex, sexuality, and romance. Offers students an opportunity to understand and articulate individual values, assumptions, and paradigms regarding sexuality and how these fit into current research and theory (as demonstrated through in-class discussions, activities, and the opinion paper assignment). Considers how competing communication perspectives can be contrasted, compared, and/or synthesized for a stronger literacy related to sex, sexuality, and sexual identities in an effort to procure an understanding of how communication research and theory can be utilized in academic, personal, and professional settings. Also focuses on sexual health.

COMM 2200. Visual Communication. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the ways that visual materials impact our daily lives using readings, examples, and discussion. Visual material floods our daily lives, whether we are actively consuming it or it is thrust upon us. As consumers of these images, and especially as communication scholars, we need to think critically about these visual materials and how they shape our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. Focuses on several methods for critically researching visuals and applies these methods to examine and discuss several kinds of visuals, including photography, film/television, advertisements, arts, and urban spaces. Designed to improve students' critical understanding of the visual, in its various forms, for communication.

COMM 2300. Risk Communication. 4 Hours.

Offers a broad overview of the psychological, social, and communication processes involved in risk perception to better understand how communication influences the way we think about and respond to risk. Cigarette pack warnings, weather advisories, nutrition labels, and town hall meetings are among the many examples of risk communication in daily life. We live in a modern "risk society"—preoccupied with assessing, debating, preventing, and managing potential hazards to our health and safety. Offers students an opportunity to learn how these processes inform the development of effective risk-communication strategies, including institutional risk assessment, stakeholder participation, and formal messaging. Designed to help students both construct and critique risk-communication techniques in the context of contemporary social issues (e.g., texting and driving, pollution, terrorism).

COMM 2301. Communication Research Methods. 4 Hours.

Offers an overview of the concepts, methods, tools, and ethics of communication research. Introduces students to the basic statistical concepts used by communication researchers. Designed to help students become knowledgeable consumers and limited producers of communication research. Offers students an opportunity to learn to read, interpret, and critically evaluate research reports. Exposes students to basic social science concepts and research designs and the fundamentals of conducting and analyzing research using surveys, experiments, and content analyses. Students conduct their own empirical research study as a final project, which entails research design, data collection, data analysis, and a written presentation.

COMM 2303. Global and Intercultural Communication. 4 Hours.

Focuses on theories of and approaches to the study of intercultural communication. Emphasizes the importance of being able to negotiate cultural differences and of understanding intercultural contact in societies and institutions. Stresses the benefits and complexities of cultural diversity in global, local, and organizational contexts.

COMM 2304. Communication and Gender. 4 Hours.

Presents a theoretical and practical examination of the ways in which communication is gendered in a variety of contexts. Integrates into this analysis how different institutions and interpersonal situations affect our understanding of gender roles. COMM 2304 and WMNS 2304 are cross-listed.

COMM 2350. Producing for the Entertainment Industry. 4 Hours.

Investigates the role of the producer in the production of content for traditional and new media venues. Explores a variety of distribution systems, including online channels, mobile video, terrestrial/satellite radio, documentary film, and independent films, among other platforms. Examines the producer’s role in story conceptualization, budget planning, preproduction, and marketing. Through a series of discussions, screenings, homework writing assignments, and in-class writing workshops, offers students an opportunity to gain the skills to produce commercially viable content.

COMM 2500. Analyzing Conversations in Everyday Life. 4 Hours.

Considers aspects of talk, such as turn taking, sequence organization, and repair for handling breakdowns, in speaking or understanding. Studies the full range of things people do, such as making requests, blaming others, apologizing, complaining, etc. Having conversations with others is among the things that humans do most. Since talk is a locus of sociality and a site for examining language in use, offers students an opportunity to learn how to make discoveries about the orderliness of social life. By the end of the course, successful students recognize what people are doing with their talk, how to identify communication breakdowns, and learn methods for increasing communication efficiency in everyday and organizational encounters.

COMM 2501. Communication Law. 4 Hours.

Introduces the fundamental principles of communication law and ethics. Explores the complex interplay between law (the First Amendment) and ethics (personal and professional responsibilities). Topics covered include blasphemy, commercial speech, copyright, defamation, fighting words, free press/fair trial, hate speech, heresy, incitement, obscenity, political speech, pornography, prior restraint, public forums, special settings (such as schools, prisons, and the military), symbolic speech, threats, and time-place-manner restrictions. Emphasizes ethical issues involving privacy, accuracy, property, and accessibility. The transcendent question in communication law and ethics is whether it is right to exercise the rights granted communication professionals under the First Amendment.

COMM 2525. Communication and Privacy. 4 Hours.

Explores the ongoing evolution of legal protections for personal data; maps how new digital technologies offer both the prospect of enhanced privacy protections and radical new forms of surveillance that infringe on privacy; traces how much of our contemporary economy thrives on the witting and unwitting exchange of personal data; and sketches changing popular attitudes toward privacy. Privacy has never been a given: It is constantly remade by a shifting legal, technical, socioeconomic, and cultural landscape. Uses pressing contemporary controversies, rich historical examples, and broader theoretical texts to examine the collision of privacy and other important values, including free speech, transparency and accountability, efficiency, and security. Challenges students to consider privacy as a legal, technical, socioeconomic, and cultural artifact.

COMM 2534. Group Communication. 4 Hours.

Covers small group decision-making processes, problem solving, and the interpersonal dynamics of groups. Offers students an opportunity to study and increase their level of proficiency in group interaction and to develop skills in working with and in a variety of small groups. Topics include communication dynamics, systems thinking, dialogue, conflict management, leadership, power, and teams within different institutions, including government, higher education, and corporate America.

COMM 2535. Family Communication. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the fundamental role that communication plays in family life. Family relationships are some of the most important and influential relationships in which people are involved. Examines the changing and complex definition of family, and explores family interaction from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Emphasizes families of color, families with LGBTQ members, and solo parent families. Covers family systems and communication patterns; family rituals; power, conflict, and stress in families; relationship maintenance in families; and the role of family communication in health.

COMM 2550. Television Field Production. 4 Hours.

Offers advanced training in video production techniques, emphasizing remote location shooting. Includes location scouting, production budgets, writing techniques, equipment location, postproduction editing, and content analysis. Covers the fundamentals of single-camera field production and the nonlinear editing process. Offers students an opportunity to work in teams to produce and direct television using remote video equipment.

COMM 2551. Free Speech in Cyberspace. 4 Hours.

Examines the intersection of law, policy, and new (or relatively new) information and communication technologies. New technologies offer the possibility of new forms of creativity, political engagement, and social life; they also, however, offer very real opportunities to cause serious reputational harm, promote damaging malicious speech, create new controls on creativity, and violate privacy. Uses readings and in-class activities to consider how values and principles that have historically been deemed important apply to the world of new information and communication technologies. Examines how law and policy shape the development and use of new technologies and, at the same time, investigates how new technologies challenge, undermine, and reconfigure existing law and policy.

COMM 2555. Games for Change. 4 Hours.

Offers students sound introduction to the psychological and behavioral theories of entertainment media with the goal of implementing these theories to the future design and evaluation of games for change. Focuses more on the psychological, behavioral, and social aspects of video games than on pure technical aspects. Organized around a collection of selected readings and real-world games and discussions. The final project is based on reflective thinking, critical evaluation, and creative application. COMM 2555 and GAME 2555 are cross-listed.

COMM 2625. Communication, Technology, and Society. 4 Hours.

Surveys core concepts, histories, and controversies in the design, use, and critical study of communication technologies that both shape and are shaped by social relationships and social institutions (such as work, education, religion, and the family). Offers students an opportunity to learn about different definitions of communication, technology, and society; examine the values and assumptions of social actors who build communication technologies across various cultures and countries; and gain insights into how communication technologies are interpreted, resisted, and remade through ever-shifting institutional and interpersonal social dynamics. Through canonical works and contemporary case studies, students examine communication, technology, and society in the context of relationships, design, identity, mobility, value, labor, ethics, community, and belonging.

COMM 2650. The Business of Entertainment. 4 Hours.

Examines business issues associated with the entertainment industry. One dozen award-winning media industry guest speakers deliver lectures on the vital topics reshaping the entertainment landscape. Through lectures and case studies, introduces students to financing contracts, intellectual property issues, licensing, product placement, marketing and publicity, ratings, the impact of piracy, understanding and leveraging new technologies, and distribution. Offers students an opportunity to master these concepts by organizing into teams and developing an original entertainment industry business product or services. Requires each team to develop a formal business plan that includes a market analysis, a budget, and a marketing plan.

COMM 2655. Television Studio Production. 4 Hours.

Introduces the process of planning, preparing, producing, and evaluating studio productions. Exposes students to the elements and terminology of studio production using multiple cameras, live switching, audio mixing, and studio lighting. Through a series of discussions, screenings, homework, and in-class exercises, offers students an opportunity to obtain skills in the basics of directing creative and technical talent and the skills needed to produce successful television studio productions.

COMM 2700. Sports Promotion in the 21st Century. 4 Hours.

Develops frameworks and conceptual tools for understanding the world of sports marketing and promotion in an increasingly global and interconnected world. Drawing on examples from domestic and international sports promotional campaigns and academic literature, explores the promotion of sports at the professional, collegiate, and special event level. Focuses on the role marketing plays in attracting fans and sponsors and communicating effectively with the public. Emphasizes quantitative and qualitative approaches to research as part of a comprehensive approach to the development of an on-campus sports promotional campaign. Covers brand marketing and positioning, sports marketing research, event sponsorship and promotion, social media, public relations and community outreach, and controversial issues in sports.

COMM 2725. Popular Communication. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to engage with a specific genre, using historical and critical methods, to better understand this reciprocal relationship between a people and their moment. Successful completion of this course enables one to recall, compare, and give examples of key concepts and theories in popular communication; understand how the popular shapes and is shaped by its people; understand the historical context of a popular genre; critically analyze a genre with respect to social, economic, and political values and events; and demonstrate proficiency in communicating one's analyses. Genres of popular communication—be they self-help books, speculative fiction, or fashion blogs—reflect the aspirations and fears of a people at their moment in history. Simultaneously, popular communication shapes people’s sense of identity, purpose, and worth.

COMM 2750. Beyond Television. 4 Hours.

Designed to teach students how to conceive, pitch, write an outline, and complete a script for a cutting-edge half-hour comedy pilot or drama that might appear on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other emerging, nonlinear networks. Emphasizes the differences and similarities between writing content for streaming vs. broadcasting. Culminates in a final project, in which small groups of students complete an episodic show that will be judged by a panel of professional television writers. Course objectives are achieved through reading professional scripts, critically viewing television content, and participating in group writing assignments and “table reads.”

COMM 2800. Sport and Spectacle. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to the lens of performance studies, the world of sports, and the intersection of the two in the field of communication studies. Addresses performance as a cultural and communicative process that enables us to constitute our identities and our lives. Explores how our lives and identities are performed in space and time, while applying those same concepts to athletes and athletic competition. Offers students an opportunity to understand key concepts in performance studies such as ritual, play, performativity, performing, and performance processes.

COMM 2900. Sports, Politics, and Communication. 4 Hours.

Critiques historical and current examples of the intersection of sport and politics and applies relevant communication theory in written reviews of these events, how those events were covered by the media, and their societal impact domestically and globally. Topics include the influence of sport on political protest; gender, racial, and labor issues; and current marketing practices. Offers students an opportunity to develop frameworks and conceptual tools for understanding the intersection of sport and politics through the lens of communication studies.

COMM 2912. Special Topics in Communication Studies. 4 Hours.

Offers a special topics course in communication studies. Course content may vary from term to term. May be repeated once.

COMM 2990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

COMM 2991. Research in Communication Studies. 1-4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct introductory-level research or creative endeavors under faculty supervision.

COMM 3200. Mobile Communication. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to the landscape of mobile communication technologies. Takes a broad view of what “mobile,” “communication,” and “technology” mean in the past, present, and future, encompassing a range of digital and nondigital objects as well as technological and communicative practices. Covers core concepts and theories in mobile communication, focusing on the impact that mobile hardware and software have on society, culture, and politics.

COMM 3201. Health Communication. 4 Hours.

Explores various topics as they relate to health communication including interpersonal aspects, cultural issues, and political complexities of health. Subject matter includes patient-provider communication, organizational systems, advertising in the health industry, and the role of media in the formation of expectations about health and the use of media to promote social change.

COMM 3230. Interpersonal Communication. 4 Hours.

Offers an overview of the theory and practice of interpersonal communication with the goal of developing the knowledge and skills to create dialogue in conversation, work through conflict, adapt to change, and establish/maintain relationships. Topics include definitions of the communication process, identity, self-disclosure, verbal and nonverbal language, listening, management of interpersonal conflict, and relational and dialogic communication.

COMM 3304. Communication and Inclusion. 4 Hours.

Explores the relationships between communication, social identity, and social inclusion. Focuses on how communication shapes perceptions and positions of social identity categories and how individuals and groups resist and transform identity and promote inclusion through communication. Examines communication and inclusion in the contexts of gender, race, sexual identity, social class, ability, and age. Course topics cover a range of theoretical and practical issues, including diversity in organizational settings and the social construction of identity. COMM 3304 and WMNS 3304 are cross-listed.

COMM 3306. International Communication Abroad. 4 Hours.

Applies communication theory and practice to a wide range of documents, artifacts, museums, and landmarks. Available to students participating in a Dialogue of Civilizations sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies. Content is adapted by the faculty depending on the location of the class. For example, students may study the classical foundations of communication and contemporary political discourse in Athens or British history and documentary film production in London. Often includes meetings with foreign professors, government officials, community organizers, and local artists that have shaped their own country in unique and innovative ways. May be repeated without limit.

COMM 3307. Production Practicum Abroad. 4 Hours.

Combines the process of filmmaking with exploring Britain’s multicultural society, offering students an opportunity to obtain firsthand experience to develop a deeper, more complex understanding of the culture, particularly as it is evident in London. Covers all aspects of field production from the preproduction process of intensive research and development of story ideas to the technical aspects of filming, lighting, sound recording, digital editing, and graphics. Students work with remote video equipment that includes HD cameras, audio, and remote editing equipment. Taught in London.

COMM 3308. Rhetoric and Propaganda. 4 Hours.

Explores key sites and aspects of Nazi propaganda and the rhetorical techniques they employed. Metaphorically and literally, the class takes the trip from Vienna (Hitler’s formative years) via Munich (the site of much of Hitler’s early struggle for power), to Berlin (the former Nazi capital). Offers students an opportunity to study and analyze artifacts (speeches, posters, films, objects) from the late Habsburg and entire Nazi period and critically assess them through the lenses of Burkean rhetoric and postwar propaganda theory.

COMM 3309. Rhetoric of Fascism. 4 Hours.

Studies one of the key techniques of the fascist movements of the 20th century, rhetoric, in all of its facets: from propaganda leaflets, organized rallies, and prepared speeches, to objects of visual and multimodal rhetoric. Students visit some of the key sites of fascist rhetoric—and the rhetoric against fascism. These include Nuremberg (the site of the Nazi Party rallies and Leni Riefenstahl’s infamous “Triumph of the Will”), Berlin (Hitler’s Germania and Riefenstahl’s “Olympia"), and Wannsee (the site of the Wannsee conference). Confronts students with some of the catastrophic results of fascist rhetoric and politics (the Krakow Ghetto and Auschwitz concentration camp).

COMM 3310. Rhetoric and Justice. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to visit the key sites of human rights and ethical reasoning and to learn how minorities continue to fight for justice and recognition (Heidelberg), how human rights violations of states against individuals are fought in court and through diplomacy (Strasbourg), and how the Geneva Conventions are continuously challenged through actions in war and rhetoric at home (Geneva). Studies in detail the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. Seeks to take the UDHR articles as a starting point to help students to creatively develop their own critical stance to aspects of the human rights declaration that might be problematic or missing.

COMM 3311. Arguing Human Rights. 4 Hours.

Addresses central questions of human rights communication.The establishment and recognition of basic, universal human rights lead to a number of fascinating and important communicative problems. Students visit the two key locations connected to human rights communication: The Hague (home of the International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) and Brussels (the unofficial European capital). Offers students an opportunity to study landmark cases and trials, critically test their reasoning, present talks on the fundamental principles of the rule of law, and deliver accusations and defenses in some of the landmark cases of the international criminal tribunals.

COMM 3320. Political Communication. 4 Hours.

Reviews the construction and influence of rhetoric in political campaigns, particularly contemporary presidential campaigns. Also studies the impact of mass communication on the outcome of elections. Offers students an opportunity to analyze artifacts from recent political campaigns such as stump speeches, campaign debates, campaign advertising, and formal campaign speeches such as nomination acceptance addresses, concession and victory speeches, and inaugural addresses.

COMM 3330. Argumentation Theory. 4 Hours.

Studies the conditions of successful and valid human reasoning as manifested in its products (arguments) and procedures (debates and critical discussions). The first half of the course explores the ethical and structural fundamentals of argumentation, including its main theorems regarding argument schemes and critical questions, argument structures and reconstruction, and fallacies and felicity conditions of valid reasoning. The second half engages contemporary trends in argumentation studies, including the formalization of arguments and its diagramming for artificial intelligence, the contextualization in different societal domains (politics, health, private and public discourse), and the translation of argument theory into pedagogical practice.

COMM 3409. Advocacy Writing. 4 Hours.

Offers an Advanced Writing in the Disciplines (AWD) course. Dedicated to teaching students to write scholarly arguments in the discipline of public advocacy and rhetoric and to translate that work for a general audience. Features both an academic approach to writing in the field of rhetoric and a practical approach to writing persuasively for general audiences.

COMM 3414. Great Speakers and Speeches. 4 Hours.

Reviews significant moments of oratory, assessing them in the historical context in which they occurred. Offers students an opportunity not only to understand the way that history prompts public discourse and how that discourse shapes history but to learn critical approaches to better understand the rhetoric of this period. Emphasizes the analysis of rhetorical texts but adds to it the contemporary dimensions of sound and images.

COMM 3415. Communication Criticism. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to deepen their abilities to think critically about texts in a variety of forms such as orations, advertisements, music, and art. Studies methods that may range from close textual analysis to deconstruction to theories of performance. Students are required to write a lengthy research paper that carefully analyzes a rhetorical object.

COMM 3445. Public Relations Principles. 4 Hours.

Presents the principles, history, and methods of public relations; processes of influencing public opinion; responsibilities of the public relations practitioner; and analyses of public relations programs. Through case studies and class discussions, offers students an opportunity to confront real-life ethical dilemmas and learn to apply ethical frameworks to evaluate and resolve them. COMM 3445 and JRNL 3425 are cross-listed.

COMM 3450. Voice-Over Artist. 4 Hours.

Introduces voice-over acting techniques for TV commercials, radio, multimedia, and various styles of presentation for both audio and video projects. Offers students an opportunity to uncover and develop their vocal range as narrator, announcer, character, and spokesperson with effectiveness and emotional authenticity. Covers both the “business” and the technical aspects of being a voice talent. Includes the use of microphones, headphones, and recording equipment while in our audio lab. Studies the essentials of vocal techniques, studio etiquette, and working with direction during a studio session.

COMM 3451. Advertising Practices. 4 Hours.

Examines the development, procedures, economic functions, and responsibilities of advertising. Explores planning, research, production, and other elements that go into successful advertising. Covers the preparation of advertising for print and broadcast media, including campaign planning, space and time buying, and scheduling.

COMM 3500. Environmental Issues, Communication, and the Media. 4 Hours.

Analyzes major debates over the environment, climate change, and related technologies such as nuclear energy, wind power, natural gas “fracking,” and food biotechnology. Studies the relevant scientific, political, and ethical dimensions of each case; the generalizable theories, frameworks, and methods that scholars use to analyze them; and the implications for effective public communication, policymaker engagement, and personal decision making. Offers students an opportunity to gain an integrated understanding of their different roles as professionals, advocates, and consumers and to improve their ability to find and use expert sources of information; assess competing media claims and narratives; write persuasive essays, analyses, and commentaries; and author evidence-based research papers.

COMM 3501. Free Speech: Law and Practice. 4 Hours.

Provides students with an opportunity to better understand freedom and limits to freedom, particularly in the realm of speech and expression. Materials covered range from the philosophy of freedom to historical legal cases about free speech and the press to political correctness and the repression of dissent.

COMM 3530. Communication and Sexualities. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the ways in which sexualities intersect with issues relating to interpersonal communication, mediated communication, popular culture, identity, and social movements. Discusses outing, media representations, queer identity development, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Covers theoretical perspectives from communication and other social science disciplines, gender and sexuality studies, and cultural studies. Students work with a variety of materials, contemporary and historical, theoretical and empirical, fiction and nonfiction. Offers students an opportunity to design, conduct, and write their own original empirical research paper relating to sexualities and communication using class content as a theoretical framework.

COMM 3532. Theories of Conflict and Negotiation. 4 Hours.

Explores both theories of conflict and potential strategies for more effectively managing conflict in a variety of contexts, that is, interpersonal relationships, organizational settings, and broader societal contexts. Offers students the opportunity to participate in the process of conflict assessment and to explore various negotiation strategies as well as discuss the role of forgiveness in conflict situations.

COMM 3610. Communication, Politics, and Social Change. 4 Hours.

Examines the place of race, gender, and sexual identity in American politics and public discourse. Emphasizes the role of communication in public attitudes toward identity, the role that identity plays in electoral politics, and how public policy and social change are made. Explores how public debate on issues related to identity influences how Americans think about the rights and place of minorities in society. Public discourse is defined broadly here—it encompasses different types of communication, from news stories and presidential speeches to sermons by clergy, television sitcoms, and film. COMM 3610 and WMNS 3610 are cross-listed.

COMM 3625. Public Relations Practice. 4 Hours.

Demonstrates practices and techniques employed in the field including organization of events and functions. Studies campaign planning, research, and media relationships. COMM 3625 and JRNL 3625 are cross-listed.

COMM 3655. Digital Editing for TV. 4 Hours.

Addresses the changes in editing practices through digitization and offers students advanced training in nonlinear editing utilizing Avid Media Composer. Introduces the terms and concepts of nonlinear editing as well as the technical/creative aspects of postproduction. Students are expected to have a working knowledge of digital video equipment and Macintosh computer skills.

COMM 3750. Special Effects and Postproduction for Television. 4 Hours.

Explores a variety of approaches to making special effects for film, video, and the World Wide Web. Offers students an opportunity to utilize cutting-edge technology and to apply state-of-the-art techniques to design and produce innovative special effects. Explores historical, technical, and theoretical aspects of special effects. Topics covered include compositing, matte painting, multiplane animation, explosions, smoke, three-dimensional lighting, particle emitters, chroma keying, motion graphics, video tracking, and more.

COMM 3912. Special Topics in Communication Studies. 4 Hours.

Offers a special topics course in communication studies. Course content may vary from term to term. May be repeated once.

COMM 3990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

COMM 4102. Health Communication Campaigns. 4 Hours.

Offers an in-depth look at how persuasive health campaigns are designed and executed. Discusses how campaigns are designed to intentionally influence awareness, knowledge gain, and attitude/behavior change. Offers students an opportunity to obtain skills to design and evaluate campaigns through the completion of their own campaign projects and to learn about visual and verbal arguments and the unique ethical and other considerations of health campaigns.

COMM 4530. Communication and Quality of Life. 4 Hours.

Seeks to further develop an understanding of the function of communication in life and how that relates to quality of life. Examines the communicative experiences of organizations and relationships using both theoretical approaches and practical experience. Students participate in activities designed to develop knowledge and skills necessary to successfully analyze and address ethical and interpersonal communication issues. Offers students an opportunity to be able to reflect on and assess one’s own competence in communication and how one’s communication affects one’s quality of life and to respectfully consider the ethical complexities of quality-of-life issues in both organizational and interpersonal settings.

COMM 4533. Consultation Skills. 4 Hours.

Introduces the theoretical frameworks necessary to engage in a broad range of consulting activities (management consulting or organizational training and development). By studying nonprofit organizations in the Boston area, offers students an opportunity to learn how to gather and analyze data, to use mathematical methods to perform critical analysis, and to evaluate and critique choices made in the presentation of data. Requires students to make a formal report to the organization and to write a paper reflecting on the organization and its mission in the context of broader social, political, and economic issues. Emphasizes ethical considerations involving security, privacy, and fairness.

COMM 4535. Nonverbal Social Interaction. 4 Hours.

Offers analytic insight on methods people use to communicate different types of social action through body language. Much of our communication is nonverbal, as it is through our body language that we initiate new relationships (both personal and professional) and communicate anger, frustration, happiness, and grief. Offers students an opportunity to develop an understanding of the tools needed to examine the role nonverbal behaviors (body orientation, gaze direction, gesture, laughter, etc.) have in conveying meaning and constructing and negotiating interpersonal relationships. This course incorporates materials from communication, psychology, anthropology, and sociology.

COMM 4602. Contemporary Rhetorical Theory. 4 Hours.

Exposes students to contemporary perspectives on rhetorical theory and its use in society. 'Contemporary' refers to the models and theorists from the second halves of the 20th and the 21st centuries. 'Rhetoric' refers to strategic communication employed to reach the persuasive goal of an agent. 'Theory' is used in the holistic sense as the interested observation and careful scrutiny of an object. As a capstone course, the course also provides a transition for students from the role of receptive learners to independent researchers who can identify, answer, and defend research questions at the intersection of rhetorical theory and its neighbors (theories of argumentation, humor, style, politeness, courtship, and the like).

COMM 4603. Advocacy Workshop. 4 Hours.

Designed to engage students in a project that directly benefits local nonprofit organizations. Using the service-learning model, offers students an opportunity to gain the skills needed to effectively advocate for a cause and then actively participate in public service. Students are expected to write public advocacy policies that are tailored to the organization’s needs, to meet with state legislators to advocate for the disadvantaged, and to create media plans and pitch news articles to publicize their efforts.

COMM 4605. Youth and Communication Technology. 4 Hours.

Examines how meanings of “youth” and “communication technology” shift in relation to one another and to broader changes in society, culture, politics, and the economy over time. Analyzes how communication technologies (and the content they deliver) positively and negatively affect the social, emotional, and cognitive development of young people and how these changes are influenced by the particular family, school, community, and institutional contexts in which children grow up. Examines how young people differ individually across the life span as well as collectively by class, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality, and disability. Requires a final paper at the end of the term in which students articulate and defend positions about youth and communication technology.

COMM 4608. Strategic Communication Capstone. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity to complete a semester-long, intensive research and writing capstone project related to the field of strategic communication. Research topics can span business, politics, advocacy, entertainment, public health, the environment, and other societal sectors. Building on previous course work, students have an opportunity to gain a deeper scholarly and professional understanding of strategic communication; cultivate professional and academic contacts; and demonstrate mastery of relevant theoretical concepts, professional principles, research methods, and writing approaches. Encourages students to share and translate their findings for relevant academic and professional communities.

COMM 4625. Online Communities. 4 Hours.

Considers online community dynamics, including formation, governance, conflict, and exit. Offers students an opportunity to understand and engage with online community and how this relates to topics such as human behavior, identity, and communication online. Reviews contemporary issues and concerns. Engages the question and practice of what it means to develop and maintain a successful online community.

COMM 4631. Crisis Communication and Image Management. 4 Hours.

Examines theories, models, and strategies related to crisis communication and establishes ethical principles regarding what, how, and when essential elements must be employed for effective and ethical crisis communication. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to distinguish between an incident and crisis; to analyze communication practices and methods applied during a crisis; to apply social scientific theory to explain how and why a crisis occurred; and to draw upon theory to develop effective crisis communication plans. Assesses responses to crises using ethical principles such as transparency, two-way symmetrical communication, and timing. Designed to prepare communication professionals who appreciate the need for responsible advocacy when responding to crises.

COMM 4755. Production Capstone. 4 Hours.

Offers advanced training in video production techniques, allowing students an opportunity to develop a deeper theoretical understanding of cohesive marketing strategies. Through case study assessments and hands-on exercises, explores the process of marketing video techniques from designing, building, and executing marketing ideas to evaluating effectiveness and exploring online corporate identities. Offers students an opportunity to hone their skills in all aspects of the production process by incorporating the knowledge they have acquired from previous production courses—from the preproduction process of intensive research and development of story ideas and scriptwriting; producing; to the technical aspects of filming, lighting, green screen, sound recording, digital editing, and graphics.

COMM 4901. Seminar in Communications. 4 Hours.

Integrates students’ experiences in cooperative education with classroom concepts and theories. Topics include integrative learning, the field of communication, pathways and careers in communication, and the professional communicator. Offers students the opportunity to demonstrate competency in communication skills such as oral reporting, conducting research in communication, and writing.

COMM 4912. Special Topics in Communication Studies. 4 Hours.

Offers a special topics course in communication studies. Course content may vary from term to term. May be repeated up to four times.

COMM 4940. Special Topics in Media Production. 4 Hours.

Addresses the emerging developments in the production of television, film, and video. Course content may vary from term to term. May be repeated up to four times.

COMM 4970. Junior/Senior Honors Project 1. 4 Hours.

Focuses on in-depth project in which a student conducts research or produces a product related to the student’s major field. Combined with Junior/Senior Project 2 or college-defined equivalent for 8 credit honors project. May be repeated without limit.

COMM 4990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

COMM 4992. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

COMM 4993. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

COMM 4994. Internship in Communication. 4 Hours.

Offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the communications industry. Further internship details are available in the department office. May be repeated without limit.

MSCR 1000. Media and Screen Studies at Northeastern. 1 Hour.

Intended for freshmen media and screen studies majors and combined majors. Introduces students to the liberal arts in general. Offers students an opportunity to become familiar with media and screen studies as a major discipline; to develop the academic skills necessary to succeed (analytical ability and critical thinking); to become grounded in the culture and values of the university community (including advising); and to develop interpersonal skills—in short, to become familiar with all the skills needed to become a successful university student.

MSCR 1100. Film 101. 4 Hours.

Focuses on the ways in which cinematic language and representations have developed since the late-nineteenth century, how representations of human difference vary in distinct cultural contexts, and how particular filmmakers and historical/national movements have challenged certain representations and ideologies. This range of representations and discourses includes blackface performance and other racist tropes, ethnographic studies of indigenous people as “exotic” curiosities, films noir that demonize independent women, postwar Italian neorealism’s revolutionary focus on the plight of the poor, films by and about marginalized ethnicities in the U.S. and the global south, banned films that highlight the condition of women in post-revolution Iran, and contemporary Hollywood’s treatment of homosexuality and masculinity.

MSCR 1150. TV 101. 4 Hours.

Provides an overview of television studies for nonmajors. Covers different ways to think about how to watch TV and the effect of changing technology and industry practices on television.

MSCR 1220. Media, Culture, and Society. 4 Hours.

Introduces the study of media, including print, radio, film, television, and digital/computer products. Explores the ideological, industrial, political, and social contexts that impact everyday engagements with media. To accomplish this, students examine how media products are developed, how technological changes impact the production and consumption of media, how political processes are influenced by media, how people interpret and interact with media content, and how media influence cultural practices and daily life.

MSCR 1230. Introduction to Film Production. 4 Hours.

Offers an introduction to production that blends theory and practice of film/video production through an examination of exemplary works, aesthetic strategies, production techniques, and the dynamic relationship between media makers, subjects, viewers, and technology. Offers students an opportunity to gain fundamental moving-image fluency using widely accessible media production tools including camcorders, mobile phones, and digital single-lens-reflex cameras.

MSCR 1320. Media and Social Change. 4 Hours.

Explores media’s role in movements for social, economic, and cultural change. Specifically examines how people use media technologies to organize themselves and communicate their message to wider audiences in order to achieve social change. As a way to develop and improve ethical reasoning, students are asked to think about the accountability of media institutions and actions of groups and individuals who use media technologies and tactics in the name of social change.

MSCR 1420. Media History. 4 Hours.

Examines the historical relationships between media, culture, and society with a focus on the role of media technologies as tools of communication. Emphasizes the broad social and cultural conditions that shape media and the ways in which people experience culture and understand meaning. Introduces the concept of mediation to analyze how different forms of communication have emerged in different historical moments. Critically examines past interactions between media and culture, and also examines the emergence of historically specific conceptions of audience, identity, content, industry, information, perception, and so forth.

MSCR 1990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

MSCR 2160. Narrative Filmmaking. 4 Hours.

Introduces narrative filmmaking without synch sound. Offers students an opportunity to create several short projects without dialogue. The successful student leaves the course with a portfolio of work, a basic knowledge of video cameras, and one editing software program (either Avid or Final Cut Pro). Focuses on storytelling through visuals.

MSCR 2220. Understanding Media. 4 Hours.

Designed to give students a foundation in the theories and methods of analysis in cultural and media studies. Positioned between the introductory MSCR classes and the higher-level theory classes. Offers students an opportunity to learn the how and why of media and cultural studies, focusing on the foundational assumptions, theories, and methods of the discipline.

MSCR 2300. Television: Text and Context. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to critical television studies. Topics include visual language (use of image, music, graphics, editing, and sound); narrative structure; and genre. Specific critical approaches include semiotics, narrative and genre analysis, feminist analysis, and ideological analysis of representation.

MSCR 2302. Advertising and Promotional Culture. 4 Hours.

Investigates advertising and promotional culture by closely studying its history, industry, and means of communication. Examines print, television and internet advertisements, and campaigns.

MSCR 2325. Global Media. 4 Hours.

Covers global dynamics of media and media systems. Specifically seeks to introduce students to the nuances of globalization and cultural performance through media structures. Introduces a wide variety of topics that fall in the intersection between globalization and media and the ways in which they operate socially and culturally. The course focuses broadly on understanding—in both theoretical and practical ways—how and why global media function as they do and how they contribute to knowledge formation and social justice within various cultural contexts.

MSCR 2330. Film Genres. 4 Hours.

Examines a number of foundational texts on genre analysis. Addresses how and why films are classified according to particular iconographies, tropes, and narrative structures and the ways in which audiences coalesce around and appropriate particular genres for building communities. Studies some of the most iconic of genres—the Western (the mythologized and preindustrial past), film noir (the present time of industrial and postindustrial capitalism and urbanization), and science fiction (the imagined future)—from their origins; through their classical period; and, ultimately, to generic revision, self-reflexivity, hybridity, and parody.

MSCR 2335. Race and Social Justice in American Film. 4 Hours.

Offers an in-depth analysis of and reflection upon films and how they influence our perceptions of race in the United States. Examines how race and its representation shapes the development, production, distribution, and marketing of American documentaries and dramas. Uses screenings, readings, lectures, discussions, and writing to explore the power of films to reflect and reinforce long-standing ideologies of race and analyze how traditionally underrepresented groups have historically shaped counter-narratives.

MSCR 2336. American Film and Culture. 4 Hours.

Surveys the rise of American film from the late nineteenth century to the present. Examines key films, directors, major themes, and film forms and techniques. Includes lectures, screenings, and discussions. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

MSCR 2400. Hip-Hop in and as Media. 4 Hours.

Explores hip-hop’s capacity to communicate particular images, ideals, and values that represent various social factions at different historical moments. Hip-hop has evolved significantly since its inception over 40 years ago in the South Bronx. Most often understood as a musical genre, hip-hop’s cultural complexity encompasses musical expression, art forms including dance and graffiti/graphic design, new terminology, innovative entrepreneurialism, and myriad other elements that continue to influence popular culture more widely. Analyzes issues of authenticity and genre; modes of representation in rap lyricism; representation via hip-hop literature, press, films, and videos; technologies, media production, and contexts of reception; issues of differences and dissonance across generations; the communication of spatiality through hip-hop; and hip-hop as a transnational/global conduit of meaning and affiliation.

MSCR 2505. Digital Feminisms. 4 Hours.

Explores the unique ways that feminist activism and theory are impacted by the increasing digital nature of our world. From hashtags to Tumblr, feminists are using digital tools and platforms to aid in the pursuit of social justice. Offers students an opportunity to develop a timeline that traces feminists’ engagement with the Internet, new media, and technological innovations from the late seventies to the present. Examines the strengths and challenges that the digital world creates for feminist engagement. MSCR 2505 and WMNS 2505 are cross-listed.

MSCR 2600. Cloud, Closet, (Drop)Box. 4 Hours.

Explores the multiple and complicated ways in which our lives and ways of thinking are impacted by what things we decide to keep and how we organize access to them, i.e., storage. Using readings, podcasts, short films, and TV shows, the course uses the idea of storage to explore the Cloud and other contemporary media “containers” and what the future of storage holds as we try to find space and time to store and retrieve our data, memories, clothes, food, and more. Exploring these containers raises important questions and concerns about the social consequences of buying things (accumulation and consumption) and a general cultural anxiety about information overload, as well as issues related to gender, class, the economy, the environment, organization, and knowledge.

MSCR 2895. Film Analysis. 4 Hours.

Introduces the languages, aesthetics, and cultures of film. Topics include film genre, film history, and film theory; basic elements (e.g., shot construction and sound editing); narrative cinema, nonnarrative or experimental work, and documentaries; and the marketing and distribution of film.

MSCR 2990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

MSCR 2991. Research in Media and Screen Studies. 1-4 Hours.

Offers an opportunity to conduct introductory-level research or creative endeavors under faculty supervision.

MSCR 3210. Special Topics in Media and Screen Studies. 4 Hours.

Addresses issues in communication and media as well as developments in the production of television and video. Course content may vary from year to year. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor. May be repeated up to four times.

MSCR 3389. Screenwriting. 4 Hours.

Approaches the unique narrative form of the dramatic short film, with the goal of having students produce a short film screenplay (under twenty minutes in length) which could eventually be shot. Takes students through the storytelling process, from conception to visualization, dramatization, characterization, and dialogue, ending in a project which should reflect the student’s own personal voice and unique vision. Offers students an opportunity to work on many writing exercises involving free association, visualizations, and character explorations, and to evaluate and critique each other’s work in a workshop setting.

MSCR 3392. Gender and Film. 4 Hours.

Examines the representation of gender in film. Uses concepts and research from film and media studies to investigate the influences and consequences of gender representations in film. WMNS 3392 and MSCR 3392 are cross-listed.

MSCR 3420. Digital Media Culture. 4 Hours.

Investigates social and cultural dynamics emerging parallel to the spread of digital technologies, from the 1960s to the present. Analyzes the impact of technologies (such as computers, mobile phones, and video games) on media products and practices (such as remix culture, social media, and surveillance). Offers students an opportunity to develop the skills that are necessary to critically examine and write about digital media content and the technologies necessary for their consumption.

MSCR 3422. Media Audiences. 4 Hours.

Explores how mass media audiences interpret and actively use media messages and products as listeners, readers, and consumers. Examines the different stages of ethnographic research, audience meanings and interpretations, pleasure and fanship, the role of media in everyday life, and the use of ethnographic research methods in communication studies. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

MSCR 3426. Popular Music as Media Form. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the social forces, technological forms, and cultural influences that have contributed to the development of U.S. popular music, from the era of early recording and Tin Pan Alley composition to the present. Studies popular music as a facet of commercial media, as an art form, as an indicator and amplifier of social and political priorities, and as a medium through which cultural identities are expressed and articulated. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

MSCR 3435. Media Industries. 4 Hours.

Offers an overview of media industries studies. Uses a critically informed approach to media industries that offers students an opportunity to learn to identify and analyze the variety of companies that collaborate to produce, distribute, and market media texts. Explores different approaches to studying the life cycle of media, considering such factors as ownership, regulation, marketing, branding, and the impact of new technologies. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

MSCR 3437. Media and Identity. 4 Hours.

Examines representations of identity (race, gender, sexuality, and class) in the media, investigates their influences, and considers their repercussions. The class especially focuses on understanding identity as a construction, rather than as inherently “natural.” Broadly, we discuss the relationship between identity and media representations; more specifically, we look at cultural texts, sites, and practices where the existing racial categories mix, merge, and/or rub up against each other in ways that problematize the naturalness of essentialized identities. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

MSCR 3446. Documentary Production. 4 Hours.

Focuses on single-camera video production in service of crafting documentary stories. Offers students an opportunity to learn nonfiction storytelling by examining documentary history and theory as well as participating in screenings, workshops, and hands-on projects designed to prepare them to take an idea and develop it into a final five-to-seven-minute final documentary short. Requires supplemental technical assignments for students with no previous production experience.

MSCR 3600. Film Theory. 4 Hours.

Explores the movement from modernist concern with the art object to postmodern concerns with subjectivity and spectatorship, race, and gender. Requires a paper using formalist analysis and later revision using cultural analysis, psychoanalysis, philosophy of perception, race studies. Also offers students an opportunity to learn research methods in cinema studies and perform a metacritical review of their own work and to present their findings from film journals, databases, Web sites, blogs. Presents the relation of perception to reality; levels of representational realness; reception theory; digitalization in its relation to movement and meaning. Seeks to enable students to recognize structures and problems for analysis in a film and to apply appropriate theoretical models to analyze these structures.

MSCR 3700. Queer Media. 4 Hours.

Examines queer representation within media, ranging from film and television to social networks and video games. Offers students an opportunity to read, present, and write about theories of difference from a diverse range of perspectives within the interdisciplinary fields of queer theory and media studies.

MSCR 3920. Topics in Film Studies. 4 Hours.

Focuses on a specific issue and topic in film studies. Course content varies from semester to semester.

MSCR 3990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

MSCR 4208. TV History. 4 Hours.

Explores U.S. network television in the “precable” era, which ranges from 1949 to the 1980s. Studies television programming through its historical, cultural, and industrial contexts. The media studies component of the class considers topics such as aesthetics, narrative, genre, and representation.

MSCR 4602. Media and Democracy. 4 Hours.

Introduces the role of the media in democratic societies. Explores a number of important questions, including what is democracy? What types of information do citizens of a democracy need in order to participate in the governance of their lives? In our increasingly digital world, where do political discussions happen? Are the media responsible for keeping the public informed? Who constitutes the “public”? Are we citizens? Consumers? Producers? Who decides? In order to address these questions, students have the opportunity to become conversant in a variety of modern and contemporary theoretical and critical perspectives on the relationship between the media, democracy, and what has come to be known as the public sphere. Students who do not meet course prerequisites may seek permission of instructor.

MSCR 4623. Theories of Media and Culture. 4 Hours.

Overviews key conceptual approaches that have developed for the study of the media. Investigates theories that address the role of media in culture and focuses on how cultural studies can inform our reading of both media and culture.

MSCR 4990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

MSCR 4992. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

MSCR 4993. Independent Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers independent work under the direction of members of the department on a chosen topic. Course content depends on instructor. May be repeated without limit.

MSCR 4994. Internship. 4 Hours.

Offers students an opportunity for internship work. May be repeated without limit.