The Platform Society

Inspired by Van Dijck, Poell, and de Waal’s book, this senior-level seminar helps students understand and critically engage with digital platforms’ transformation of nearly every aspect of our lives. In this class, students explore a range of topics within digital studies to analyze how platforms work, how they are (and should be) governed, how they can make us vulnerable, and how they shape and are shaped by public and private values.

Qualitative Research Methods

This 2000-level class is a core requirement for the Communication and Media major and provides an introduction to the qualitative analysis of media.

Students explore the basics of critical/cultural media studies, use an analytic approach to formulate a research project, learn and practice a variety of textual and audience-based qualitative methods, collect and analyze data, and use existing theory and research to make sense of their findings. Ultimately, by the end of the semester, students will have produced their own original research incorporating methods of textual and audience analysis.

Feminist Media Studies

For decades, media have been an important force in shaping conceptions of gender, race, sexuality, and social movements. In this upper-level special topics course, students will engage in interdisciplinary and intersectional analyses of media texts, focusing on the ways in which they speak to, represent, and critique notions of gender and feminism.

Drawing from a wide range of academic literature including feminist theory, queer theory, critical race theory, feminist film theory, television criticism, digital studies, and cultural studies, we trace the development of mediated representations of gender during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Introduction to Communication and Media

This class provides an introduction to the evolution and impact of the mass media and digital media on American culture. Since the late 19th century, the media have been the major storytellers of our time. We will focus on the stories they have told us over the years and explore important stories about the media, past and present. We review the ideological, technological, industrial, and regulatory developments that have produced our existing media ecosystem and consider how media content has, over the years, inspired considerable controversy over whose stories should be told and whose should not. 

h/t Nicole Hentrich and Annemarie Navar-Gill.

Public Relations and Persuasion

This is an introductory course exploring the field of public relations and the practices of persuasive and strategic communication. During the semester we will address basic definitions and principles of public relations, the field’s historical and theoretical underpinnings, the process of working in public relations, identifying and working with key publics, and executing public relations writing. We will also investigate the various career opportunities available in public relations.


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