Discourse & Rhetoric (COM423, UIC: syllabus here, readings available here, password: com423)
Discourse & Rhetoric explores the relationships among how we talk about the world, how we interact with one another, and how we understand and live in the world together. Does language, for example, simple reflect the world “out there,” as it “is,” or do the ways we communicate with one another and think about the world (using language as a means of structuring our thoughts) have an effect on the world(s) we inhabit and the communities of which we are members? How does language relate to “reality”? As implied in the term “discourse,” the inescapably social character of language, and of thought itself, will be a central theme of the course, both in the readings and in class interactions. The course will explore a variety of theoretical perspectives on the character, functions and power of language, and communication more generally, from a variety of academic disciplinary orientations, including perspectives of gender, race/ethnicity, community, and nationality.
Argument & Persuasion (COM323, UIC: syllabus here, readings available here, password: com323)
The study of Argument & Persuasion, in the form of Rhetoric, was the foundation of academic studies in the West. This course will provide a historical overview of approaches to the study and practice of argument and persuasion from the time of Plato and the ancient Greek Sophists through studies of propaganda, contemporary marketing practices, and persuasive technologies. We will examine the development of underlying theoretical bases of persuasion in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, including approaches to visual rhetoric and computer-mediated persuasion.
Rhetoric of the Cold War & the War on Terror (COM304, Loyola; syllabus here, readings available here, password: coldwar)
A mere decade after the Cold War ended, the U.S. embarked on the War on Terror, a war that some have warned may last even longer than the 40 years of the Cold War. Neither war is a traditional one. What can we learn about the War on Terror from an exploration of the rhetoric that characterized the Cold War? In what ways have we fallen back on ways of talking that we inherited from that earlier and different struggle? In this course, we will develop an understanding of the key generic features of Cold War rhetoric and of central lines of argument and areas of dispute; that will then be used as a basis for our study of the War on Terror, as we seek to identify continuities and discontinuities and reflect on what those offer us as a guide to understanding and judging contemporary foreign policy rhetoric.
Visual Communication (COM460, UIC; syllabus here, readings available here, password: viscom460)
Visual Communication addresses the connections between visual perception, cognition, and communication in contemporary Western society. The course is designed to provide students with 1) an overview of the importance of visual perception to cognition and conceptualization, 2) an introduction to semiotic theory, 3) a general examination of media ecology, 4) an understanding of the relationship between visual media and issues of identity, community, and culture, and 5) a critical perspective on visual communication in Western culture. While being introduced to vital theoretical concepts, students should come to a more critical understanding of the role of visual media and technology in contemporary society and the interplay of culture(s).
Writing for Electronic Media (COM316, UIC)
Media, Culture, & Communication (COM271, Loyola; syllabus here, readings available here, password: culture)
This course examines contemporary U.S. American media and culture from a critical-theoretical standpoint while examining popular social practices with particular attention to their influence on individual and collective identities. Outcome: Students will learn critical cultural theories and reflect upon the influences of contemporary cultural texts and practices with an eye for their economic, social, and political influence on individual and collective identities.
Business & Professional Communication (ORGC201, DePaul)
Fundamentals of Media Communication (COM140, UIC)
Introduction to Communication Studies (COM101, UIC)