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Cool Communication Choices for Spring 2012


International Communication, Com 335
(Wednesdays, 6:30-9:00)

In an era in which movies, television programs, music, and other forms of communication can travel across the world instantly, it is important to learn about and understand international communication. International communication is the study of how societies, governments, cultures, and people around the world are influenced by, and in turn influence, messages from other countries. In this class we will study media content, audiences, and programming policies in different countries and regions. Students are encouraged to watch, listen, and read international media products. This is an ideal class for students in Communication, International Affairs, Political Science, Sociology, and Language and Cultural Studies.

Role of Media in Society, Com 380
(MW, 1:30-2:45)

Com 380 examines the relationship between media and social organizations, from small groups to nations. Some scholars argue that the mass media have a tremendous impact on society. Others point out that mass media develop only in ways that a society allows (for example the media in Iran or Cuba). Between these two views are a variety of explanations of the relationship between media and society. Some argue that money is the key to understanding what the mass media produce and distribute. Others say that a community’s cultural values and beliefs determine what is produced. Com 380 gives students an opportunity to critically examine these different perspectives.

 Gangsters & American Film (Com 312)
Gangsters in American Film (Com 312) is the study of the gangster phenomenon as it has been represented in Hollywood movies in the 20th century. The course examines gangster films from the 1920s until the present. At times gangster films have caused citizens’ groups to organize in protest while at others they have been tolerated as harmless entertainment. Whether perceived as a threat or an innocuous pastime, the gangster genre in American film has staying power – it is still with us today (witness the success of American Gangster, 2007) with Denzel Washington). Understanding the staying power of this genre can help us understand some aspects of the society that gave it birth and continues to sustain it in its various forms and manifestations.

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