Sample Courses

Introduction to Communication

Communication pervades life, but communication scholars hold widely divergent views as to what communication is and how it is to be studied. This course is designed to introduce students to the communication process and the functions of communication in its various contexts. Emphasis will be on communication theory, practice, and research.

Module One: The Human Communication Process and Foundations of Verbal Language

Module Two: Listening, Nonverbal Communication, and Doing with a Purpose

Module Three: Intercultural and Interpersonal Communication

Module Four: Group Communication and Presentation Skills

The Nostalgic Pasts and Imagined Futures of Speculative Fiction and Its Fandoms (Proposed)

While speculative fiction is well-known for imagining futures, how does the genre imagine our pasts? How do these imagined pasts inflect our imagined futures and our present situation? And how do the fandoms that develop for these speculative fiction media react when their visions of these imagined realities conflict with the visions of others? This course addresses these questions and more while providing students with an overview of the evolution of the speculative fiction genre through film and television. In addition to understanding the generic dimensions of speculative fiction, this course uses exemplars of the genre to examine the philosophical, ethical, and cultural dimensions of media and the resulting fandoms. Through turning to specific moments of controversy within speculative fiction fandom, students will gain an understanding of the genre of speculative fiction, fandom studies, and the ubiquitous place nostalgia has within contemporary US media.

Sample Readings:

Darko Suvin, “On the Poetics of the Science Fiction Genre”

Isiah III Lavender, Race in American Science Fiction

Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia

Joshua Atkinson and Bernadette Calafell, “Darth Vader made me do it! Anakin Skywalker’s avoidance of responsibility and the gray areas of hegemonic masculinity in the Star Wars universe”

Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss, and C. Lee Harrington, “Why Study Fans?”

Henry Jenkins, “Star Trek Rerun, Reread, Rewritten: Fan Writing as Textual Poaching”

Rebecca Wanzo, “African American Acafandom and Other Strangers: New Genealogies of Fan Studies”

Shira Chess and Adrienne Shaw “A Conspiracy of Fishes, Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying About #GamerGate and Embrace Hegemonic Masculinity”

Mel Stanfill, “The Reactionary in the Fan and the Fan in the Reactionary”

Benjamin Woo, “The Invisible Bag of Holding: Whiteness and Media Fandom”