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College of Arts
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Academic Bulletin

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College of Arts and Sciences (College) 
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Communication and Culture

Major in Communication and Culture
Careers and Combined Programs
Minor in Communication and Culture
Departmental Honors Program
Course Descriptions


Department Chair

Professor Gregory A. Waller

Distinguished Professors

Richard Bauman (Folklore and Ethnomusicology), Peter Bondanella (French and Italian)

Chancellor's Professor

James Naremore (Emeritus)


James Andrews (Emeritus), Patricia Hayes Andrews (Emeritus), Robert Ivie, Sumie Jones (East Asian Languages and Cultures), Barbara Klinger, Darlene Sadlier (Spanish and Portuguese), William E. Wiethoff

Associate Professors

Chris Anderson, Carolyn Calloway-Thomas, Jane Goodman, Joan Hawkins, John Louis Lucaites, Yeidy Rivero, Susan Seizer, Jon Simmons, Robert Terrill

Assistant Professors

Karen Bowdre, Ilana Gershon, Mary Gray, Michael Kaplan, Joshua Malitsky, Phaedra Pezzullo, Ted Striphas

Director, C121 Public Speaking

Cynthia Duquette Smith

Director, C122 Interpersonal Communication

Leila Monaghan

Academic Advising

Tara Kaufman, 1790 E. 10th St., Room 100, (812) 855-7217


The Department of Communication and Culture (CMCL) advances the study of communication as a cultural practice, and teaches an array of perspectives that enable students to prepare broadly for a variety of careers. Requirements for the major and minor are flexible in order to promote individualized programs of study in three interrelated aspects of communication: rhetoric, media, and performance and ethnographic studies.

Rhetorical studies orient students to the strategic dimension of human communication associated with deliberation, advocacy, and persuasion in a variety of social, political, and professional settings. Studies of media focus primarily on film and television, with additional emphasis on topics such as radio, recorded music, and interactive digital technologies. Performance and ethnographic studies explore an array of communicative practices, from the conversations and disputes of everyday life to artful performances at cultural events, which are the competencies essential for participation in social life. It also brings intercultural and transnational considerations into focus by examining how diversity and differences of various kinds are negotiated across boundaries. Students in the department make use of these approaches to the study of communication to examine links among social, corporate, and governmental organizations; to study the formation of individual and group identity in contemporary culture; to explore the connections between ideology and politics; and to show how communication influences public cultures across the globe. Students prepare to become productive citizens of a democratic culture while gaining a thorough understanding of the theory, history, production, and critique of public communication.

Major in Communication and Culture


Students must complete the following:

  1. A minimum of 30 credit hours in the department, with no more than 6 of those credit hours at the 100 level.
  2. C190 and C205.
  3. 15 credit hours of upper-division (300- and 400-level) courses in the department, of which at least 6 credit hours must be at the 400 level.

Students must complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Careers and Combined Programs

Programs of study that combine a major in the department with carefully selected minors and electives in other departments can prepare students for careers and advanced studies in business, consumer and social advocacy, government, communication research and education, law, public relations, public service, politics, filmmaking, film criticism, television production, the ministry, and other professions demanding competence in communication. Interested students should consult with the department's director of undergraduate studies or undergraduate advisor.

Minor in Communication and Culture

Students may complete a minor in the department by meeting the following requirements:

  1. A total of 15 credit hours in the department.
  2. C190 or C205.
  3. 9 credit hours of upper-division (300- and 400-level) courses in the department, of which at least 3 credit hours must be at the 400 level.

The Department of Communication and Culture will not accept courses completed through Independent Studies in fulfillment of Major or Minor requirements.

Students must complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Departmental Honors Program

The honors program in the Department of Communication and Culture is designed to encourage outstanding students to undertake research and creative projects, to work closely with departmental faculty in directed readings and research, and to participate in courses reserved for honors students.

Students majoring in Communication and Culture may be invited into the honors program during their junior year. Those considered for the honors program may be nominated by a member of the faculty or they may nominate themselves. To be considered for the honors program, students must:

  1. be of junior standing or have completed at least 15 hours in the Department of Communication and Culture, and
  2. have maintained an overall GPA of least 3.300 and a GPA of at least 3.500 in the major.

The director of undergraduate studies will notify those students who have been accepted into the program. Honors students are encouraged to take honors courses offered through the department as well as the Honors Division of the university.

To graduate with honors in Communication and Culture, students who are accepted into the honors program must take:

  1. C399 Reading for Honors (3 credits; 6 credits max.), and
  2. C499 Senior Honors Thesis (3-6 credits).

In pursuing readings in C399 and in completing the honors thesis in C499, students will work individually with a member of the faculty.

Students must fulfill all of the requirements for a major in the department. No more than 3 credit hours in C399 and in C499 (6 credit hours total) can be counted toward the 30 credit hour major requirement. Students completing the thesis may be invited to present their project in the context of a conference, colloquium, or symposium.

Course Descriptions

C121 Public Speaking (3 cr.) Theory and practice of public speaking: training in thought processes necessary to organize speech content; analysis of components of effective delivery and language. Credit not given for both S121 and C121. I Sem., II Sem., SS.

C122 Interpersonal Communication (3 cr.) S & H Introduction to the study of communication, culture, identity and power. Each student does original primary research. Topics range from groups in North Africa to high school and college students in San Francisco and Philadelphia, and issues such as gendered language, slang, verbal play, and institutional language.

C130 Public Speaking, Honors (3 cr.) For outstanding students, in place of C121.

C190 Introduction to Media (3 cr.) A & H Form, technique, and language of the media; analysis of specific film, television, and video productions; introduction to major critical approaches to media studies. Credit given for only one of CMCL C190 or CMLT C190.

C201 Race and the Media (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Explores the ways in which United States' ideologies in particular historical periods have influenced the production, representations, and audiences' interpretations of media artifacts. Topic might focus on specific or various ethnic groups (e.g. African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, "Whites") and mainstream and/or alternative media. Screenings may be required.

C202 Media in the Global Context (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Surveys media industries, products, and publics outside the United States context (e.g., Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America). Analyzes regional media in relation to local/ global historical, economic, and social processes. Screenings may be required.

C203 Gender, Sexuality, and the Media (3 cr.) S & H Examines portrayals of women across various media outlets and diverse cultural regions. The course also considers women as producers and consumers of media products. Topics might focus on a specific medium (e.g., television, film, or the Internet), genre (e.g., soap operas, reality TV, anime), or region (the U.S, Africa, Asia). Screenings may be required.

C204 Topics in Media, Culture, and Society (3 cr.) S & H Relationship between communication media and a range of social institutions, practices, and beliefs. Course may focus on a particular medium and/or period (e.g., television and family film and the Cold War, censorship and the media). Topic varies. May be repeated once for credit with a different topic.

C205 Introduction to Communication and Culture (3 cr.) A & H Critically examines communication as a cultural practice as it affects the beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors of individuals, groups, and publics.

C223 Business and Professional Communication (3 cr.) S & H R: C121. Examines organizational communication, with emphasis on skills acquisition. Developed skills include interviewing, group discussion, parliamentary procedure, and public speaking.

C225 Discussion and Decision Making (3 cr.) S & H Leadership, participation, and decision making in group settings, including committee, conference, public discussion, and social dimensions of group process. I Sem., II Sem.

C228 Argumentation and Public Advocacy (3 cr.) A & H R: C121 or C130. Reasoning, evidence, and argument in public discourse. Study of forms of argument. Practice in argumentative speaking.

C229 Ways of Speaking (3 cr.) S & H Exploration in comparative perspective of the social use of language, with a focus on the interrelationships among verbal form, social function, and cultural meaning in ways of speaking.

C238 Communication in Black America (3 cr.) A & H, CSA Communicative experiences of black Americans, including black dialect, language and ethnicity, interracial communication, recurring themes, spokespersons in black dialogue, and sociohistorical aspects of black language and communication.

C290 Hollywood I (3 cr.) S & H Historical survey of the American motion picture industry from 1895 to 1948. Emphasizes narrative cinema and the classical studio system. Credit given for only one of C290 or CMLT C290.

C292 Hollywood II (3 cr.) S & H Historical survey of the American motion picture industry from 1948 to the present. Emphasizes narrative cinema and its increasing relation to television and home entertainment. Credit given for only one of C292 or CMLT C290.

C304 Communication and Social Conflict (3 cr.) A & H Examination of sources and functions of symbolic influence in contemporary society. Emphasis upon developing rhetorical skills for critiquing social conflict.

C305 Rhetorical Criticism (3 cr.) S & H R: C121 or consent of instructor. The development of standards for evaluating and methods of analyzing rhetorical texts. Significant historical and contemporary texts are studied to exemplify critical principles.

C306 Writing Media Criticism (3 cr.) A & H P: C190 or consent of instructor. Study of the main schools and methods of media criticism; emphasis on developing the analytical and critical skills necessary for writing film, television, and/or other types of media criticism.

C312 Introduction to Television Criticism (3 cr.) A & H Study of the form, structure, and meanings of television programs. Historical development of genres and conventions examined in relation to issues of American culture. Credit not given for both T310 and R206.

C313 Performance as Communicative Practice (3 cr.) A & H Introduction to performance as a communicative practice, focusing on performance as a special artistic mode of communication and performance and as a special class of display events in which the values and symbols of a culture are enacted before an audience.

C314 Communication, Culture, and Social Formations (3 cr.) S & H Examination of cultural identities and related social formations as constituted by symbolic forms in structures around the world. Topic varies. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

C315 Advertising and Consumer Culture (3 cr.) S & H P: C190 or consent of instructor. Critical examination of advertising's role in modern societies. Focuses on marketing and consumption as central activities in shaping personal identity and social relations.

C321 Rhetoric, Law, and Culture (3 cr.) A & H This course examines the range of ways in which rhetoric, law, and culture intersect in the production and maintenance of social and political community.

C323 Speech Composition (3 cr.) A & H R: C121 and one of the following: C223, C225, or C228. Advanced speech writing, focusing upon the content of speeches. The theory and practice of informative, persuasive, and ceremonial speaking. Topics include the principles of organization, exposition, and argumentation, and language and style.

C324 Persuasion (3 cr.) A & H R: C121 or C130; and one of the following: C223, C225, or C228. Motivational appeals in influencing behavior; psychological factors in speaker-audience relationship; contemporary examples of persuasion. Practice in persuasive speaking.

C326 Authorship in the Media (3 cr.) A & H P: C190 or consent of instructor. Topic varies: in-depth analysis of directors, producers, or creative individuals in the media, viewed as "authors." May be repeated once for credit with a different topic. A maximum of 6 credit hours may be earned for any combination of C326 and CMLT C491.

C334 Current Topics in Communication and Culture (3 cr.) Analysis of selected problems in communication and culture. Topics vary each semester. May be repeated once for credit if topic varies.

C335 Production as Criticism (3 cr.) A & H Provides conceptual and hands-on experience for researching, writing, and producing different genres of video programs using VRA camcorders and editing systems. This course emphasizes conceptual processes from the original script to the completed video. Lab fee required.

C336 Using Popular Culture (3 cr.) S & H Critical exploration of the form, content, and uses of popular culture in everyday life.

C337 New Media (3 cr.) This course aims to help students develop a framework for understanding this dynamic area of social life in the late twentieth century. It compares the "computer revolution" to prior eras of technological change, such as the advent of telephony, radio, and television. It also inquires into the distinctive qualities of computer-mediated communication, focusing on interactions among technological, industrial, regulatory, social, and cultural forces. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credits.

C339 Freedom of Speech (3 cr.) A & H A brief survey of the historical development of the concept of freedom of speech, and a close examination of contemporary free speech issues, such as those relating to national security, public order, civil rights movement, antiwar protest, obscenity, academic freedom, and symbolic speech. Credit not given for both S339 and C399.

C340 The Rhetoric of Social Movements (3 cr.) A & H Introduces rhetorical theories and practices which inform and are informed by the study of social movements. Topics vary and focus on a specific social movement or a range of social movements. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

C342 Rhetoric and Race (3 cr.) Explores the relationship between rhetoric and race, including the possibilities and implications entailed by an understanding of race as a rhetorical artifact, and rhetoric as a necessarily raced phenomenon.

C346 Ethnicity, Class, and the Model U.S. Citizen (3 cr.) Considers how people's identities influence the ideals and practice of citizenship. We will focus in particular on identities based on ethnicity and class. Students examine how ethnicity and class shape discourses of citizenship found in the media and in political and legal spheres.

C360 Motion Picture Production (4 cr.) A hands-on introduction to the technical and aesthetic basics of making 16mm silent films. Students learn how to design, direct, light, shoot, and edit several short films working individually and in groups. Lab fee required.

C361 Intermediate Motion Picture Production (4 cr.) P: C360. Introduction to the making of 16mm sound films, including the recording and editing of synch sound. The various stages of production are explored in lectures, lab exercises, and discussions. Each student designs, directs, and edits a short synch sound film, and participates as a crew member in the other students' productions. Lab fee required.

C380 Nonverbal Communication (3 cr.) S & H Provides a conceptual and theoretical foundation for understanding how nonverbal communication influences perceptions of others and the ways in which nonverbal communication reflects emotions, status, sex roles, etc. The course explores how nonverbal communication facilitates retention, comprehension, and persuasiveness of verbal information, including the ability to detect deceptive communication.

C382 Internship in Communication and Culture (1-3 cr.) P: Junior or senior standing; at least 12 semester credit hours completed in the department; advanced arrangement with academic advisor. Faculty-supervised work in a communications field related to student's academic interests. Student must write a critical analysis paper and be evaluated by a workplace supervisor. May be repeated, but a maximum of 3 credit hours will apply toward the 30 credit hours required for the major. S/F grading.

C392 Media Genres (3 cr.) A & H P: C190 or consent of instructor. Topic varies. Analysis of typical genres, such as westerns, situation comedies, documentaries, etc. Problems of generic description or definition: themes, conventions, iconography peculiar to given genres. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credits.

C393-C394 History of European and American Films I-II (3-3 cr.) A & H, CSB P: C190 or consent of instructor. C393 is a survey of the development of cinema during the period 1895-1926 (the silent film era); C394 is a survey of European and American cinema since 1927. Particular attention paid to representative work of leading filmmakers, emergence of film movements and development of national trends, growth of film industry, and impact of television. Topics vary. Each course may be taken for a total of 6 credit hours with different topics.

C398 National Cinemas (3 cr.) A & H Historical survey of major national cinemas. Subject varies. Topics include Brazilian cinema, British cinema, Chinese cinema, French National cinema, German film culture, Indian cinema, and Italian cinema. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credits.

C399 Reading for Honors (3 cr., 6 cr. max.) P: Junior standing and approval of departmental undergraduate studies committee. Readings directed by member of faculty.

C401 Senior Seminar in Communication and Culture (3 cr.) P: Senior standing and consent of instructor. Study of problems and issues in rhetoric and communication. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

C406 The Study of Public Advocacy (3 cr.) Study of great rhetorical works in English. Focus on understanding the nature and role of public discourse in addressing significant human concerns.

C407 Rhetoric and History (3 cr.) P: Senior standing or consent of instructor. Survey of ancient through contemporary thought on the art of rhetoric; identification of leading trends in the history of rhetoric and the assessment of those trends in light of surrounding context.

C410 Media Theory (3 cr.) P: C190 or consent of instructor. Survey of writings, concepts, and movements in media theory.

C411 Media Industries and Cultural Production (3 cr.) S & H Examines the social, economic, and cultural forces that influence the creation of programs and genres in the media industries. Topic varies, but may explore the role of networks, advertisers, studios, and independent producers. May not be repeated for credit.

C412 Race, Gender, and Representation (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Construction of race and gender identities across a range of media. Emphasis on the power of sound/image representations to shape and contest ideas about race and gender. Topic varies. May be repeated once for credit with a different topic.

C413 Global Villages (3 cr.) S & H Electronic media's role in altering perceptions of time, space, locality, and identity. Explores changing economic, political, and cultural relations in the global media environment. Topic varies and may include global media events, transborder information flows, cultural differences in media forms and practices. May be repeated once for credit with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

C414 Topics in Performance and Culture (3 cr.) A & H Examination of the relationship between performance and culture in specific domains of social life and aspects of social experience. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

C415 Topics in Communication and Culture in Comparative Perspective (3 cr.) S & H Cross-cultural exploration of communication systems, ranging from face-to-face interaction to mediated forms of communication, with an emphasis on their cultural foundations and social organization. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

C417 Power and Violence: Political Systems in Ethnographic Perspective (3 cr.) S & H Different political systems are founded and maintained by varying combinations of overt violence and more subtle workings of ideas and ideologies. Through cross-cultural case studies, the course examines how coercion, persuasion, consensus, and dissent operate in and through the politics and performances of everyday life.

C420 Topics in Media History (3 cr.) S & H P: C190 or consent of instructor. Media historiography, topics in national media history, national and international movements and trends. Topic varies. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

C422 Performance, Culture, and Power in the Middle East and North Africa (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Middle Eastern cultures are well known for their rich and diverse performance practices. Taking an ethnographic perspective, this course views performances as communicative events through which social relations are organized. It explores how performances both participate in local arrangements of power and constitute responses to colonialism, nationalism, and globalization.

C425 Culture, Identity, and the Rhetoric of Place (3 cr.) A & H Invites advanced undergraduate students to consider the rhetorical dimensions of places with a particular focus on theories of culture and identity (e.g. race, gender, and nationality). Students will critically examine how places are the product of strategic communication choices that have been made to influence how human beings think and behave.

C427 Cross-Cultural Communication (3 cr.) A survey study of national, cultural, and cross-cultural persuasion in theory and practice.

C430 Native American Communication and Performance (3 cr.) CSA Survey of communicative patterns in Native American cultures and their realization in performance, including oral performance (e.g., narrative, oratory), ceremonial (e.g., feastdays, powwow), and media (e.g., radio, film). We will also explore the use of performance forms as symbolic resources in literature, photography, and film.

C432 Visual Rhetoric (3 cr.) Focuses on distinctive rhetorical features of visual discourse to examine the political, cultural, persuasive, and ideological functions of media images in United States' public culture. Explores examples from advertising, journalism, and entertainment across media, including print, television, and film. Interrogates the consequences of conducting public communication through commodified imagery for contemporary social life.

C435 Documentary Filmmaking: Theory and Practice (4 cr.) P: C190 and C335, C360, or equivalent. Study of the major historical movements in documentary film. Combines theoretical and historical readings on questions of documentary realism with practical exercises in the production of digital-video documentaries. Lab fee required.

C444 Political Communication (3 cr.) Critical examination of historical and contemporary political communication. Focus on key public texts that shape American political culture, including speeches, protest discourse, and mediated political campaigns. Emphasis on interpretive and critical strategies through which texts can be productively engaged.

C445 Media, Culture, and Politics (3 cr.) Examines the role of media in the political process. Topic varies and may include censorship and free speech, social movements, politics of representation. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

C446 Cultures of Democracy (3 cr.) Examines the role of culture in how democracies are practiced. Ethnographic focus varies and includes cross-cultural comparisons of political speech, voting and democratic representation in different cultures. We will pay particular attention to the dilemmas surrounding exporting democracy, especially to the Middle East, Africa, South Africa, the Pacific and the Balkans.

C450 Gender and Communication (3 cr.) Examines the extent to which biological sex and gender role orientation and stereotypes influence the process of communication. Focuses on gender differences in decoding and encoding verbal and nonverbal behavior, development of sex roles, cultural assumption, and stereotypes regarding gender differences in communication. Analyzes how the media present, influence, and reinforce gender stereotypes.

C460 Advanced Motion Picture Production (4 cr.) P: C360 and C361, or C335; permission of instructor. Students produce one personal project (narrative, documentary, or experimental) from script to screen, using either 16 mm. or digital video. Each class meeting devoted to discussing the students' projects and exploring the aesthetic and technical issues involved. Each student assists in the production of at least one other project by a fellow student. Lab fee required.

C490 Capstone Seminar in Communication and Culture (3 cr.) P: C190 and C205. Students synthesize previous course work in Communication and Culture, culminating in a substantive project that directs their learning to some particular problem of mediation, publics or cultures. Final project may include research essays, short films, Web sites, or public presentations or performances. Specific topics vary. With the permission of the undergraduate advisor, may be repeated with a different topic for a total of 6 credit hours.

C497 Independent Study in Communication and Culture (1-6 cr.) P: Junior standing and approval of instructor. Independent readings or other projects in communication and culture. Projects must be approved by faculty member before enrolling. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

C499 Senior Honors Thesis (3-6 cr.) P: Senior standing. Original research project, culminating in honors thesis to be written under direction of faculty member.

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