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Communication Studies

Communication Studies 2013-2014

Course Descriptions

COMN 3130 Organizational Communication (4 qtr. hrs.)
This is an applied course, service learning course, based on a consulting model. While the course will extend and enrich the topical and theoretical knowledge developed in COMN 1550 and COMN 2130, the primary purpose of this course will be to help students explore how they can put such knowledge into practice by collectively working with a local non-profit organization to first diagnose and then propose (and, in some cases implement) solutions to an organizational communication problem faced by that organization.

COMN 3230 Principles of Leadership (4 qtr. hrs.)
Roles, functions, behaviors that influence and direct; emphasis on interpersonal effectiveness; theories and methods.

COMN 3245 Building Group/Team Effectiveness (4 qtr. hrs.)
The objectives of this course are to help students acquire a deeper understanding of groups and teams, how they function, and what contributes to their success or failure. It also aims to help students develop the skills and capacities that will allow them to contribute in concrete and significant ways to successful outcomes and satisfying experiences for themselves and others in groups and teams.

COMN 3270 Health Communication (4 qtr. hrs.)
This course examines the role of health communication in our everyday lives.  We will focus on communication strategies that inform and influence individuals, families and communities in decisions that enhance health.  We will also explore the dynamics and impact of health communication between individuals and the health care system such as doctor-patient communication, dissemination of health related information, and the role of mediated communication in examining health communication.

COMN 3280 Family Communication (4 qtr. hrs.)
The purpose of this course is to enhance understanding about communication patterns within families. In this course, we will examine theory/research on the role of communication in creating and maintaining healthy marriages and families. Specifically, we will study communication and the family life cycle, different family forms, family race/ethnicity, power in families, conflict in families, communication and stress in families, and communication in the aging family. The course format includes lectures, discussions, analysis of case studies, and in class applications.

COMN 3285 Advanced Relational Communication (4 qtr. hrs.)
Advanced Relational Communication is intended to increase understanding of relationships from diverse perspectives. The three main perspectives we will investigate show how relationships affect and are affected by their context, the individuals involved, and the relational system. The goals of this course are for students to increase their skill in (1) explaining how knowledge about context, individuals, and relational systems increases understanding of communication processes in a variety of relationships; (2) evaluating critically the information about relationships that we encounter in our everyday lives; (3) asking and investigating questions about real-life relationships.

COMN 3290 Communication and Aging (4 qtr. hrs.)
In this course, we will focus on the communication processes associated with aging. We will explore the implications of aging and how aging affects the process and outcomes social and relational interactions. We will examine communication and aging through interactional processes (intrapersonal, interpersonal and relational) and through context (organization, family, health, and culture). Emphasis will be placed on the theoretical and applied research in communication and aging.

COMN 3300 Principles of Persuasion (4 qtr. hrs.)
This course involves a social scientific approach to persuasion and social influence. Some of the topics included in this approach are the relationship between attitude and behavior; characteristics of the source, message, and receiver of a persuasive appeal; and models and theories that explain the effects of persuasive communication. By the end of the course, students should be able to think more critically about the persuasive messages they encounter in everyday life, to apply theoretical models of persuasion, and to construct persuasive messages.

COMN 3315 Public Deliberation (4 qtr. hrs.)
During the last two decades public deliberation has emerged as the centerpiece of theoretical and practical accounts of liberal democracy. This course begins by setting out the nature and functions of public deliberation. We will then track how deliberative democrats respect the traditional accounts of inclusion, equality and reason in an attempt to meet the demands of the deep cultural diversity that marks social life in advanced industrial societies. Specifically we will ask if public deliberation as portrayed in these accounts is sufficient to meet these demands or do we need to expand our understanding of political argument to include a diversity of rhetorical practices? And, once we do expand our account of deliberation how does this transform the traditional problematics of both democratic and rhetorical theory?

COMN 3425 Rhetoric and Governance (4 qtr. hrs.)
An introduction to the works of Michel Foucault and his influence on contemporary rhetorical theory.  Permission of instructor is required.

COMN 3435 Rhetoric and Public Life (4 qtr. hrs.)
An introduction to the conceptual and political history of the public sphere.  The course pays particular attention to how the normative assumptions of public communication are affected by the demands of cultural pluralism.  Permission from instructor is required.

COMN 3470 Seminar in Free Speech (4 qtr. hrs.)
This course will survey some of the major conceptual innovations in the justifications of freedom of speech. We will begin with an exploration of the traditional defenses of free speech and then move to a reexamination of those defenses in light of modern communication theory and the challenges of pluralism. In particular we will ask if the justifications of free speech need to be rethought given our understanding of speech as a social force that constitutes identities and values rather than merely expressing private opinions. Moreover, given our understanding of the social force of speech, should we regulate speech that is racist, sexist and seems to erode the foundations of a public culture based on mutual respect and public deliberation over social goods? Can we devise a robust defense of free speech based on its social force that both protects those that may be harmed by antidemocratic discourses and still provides the resources for democratic dissent?

COMN 3500 Advanced Public Speaking (4 qtr. hrs.)
Theory, preparation, delivery and evaluation of public speeches.

COMN 3680 Gender and Communication (4 qtr. hrs.)
This course focuses on the interactive relationships between gender and communication in contemporary U.S. society. This implies three priorities for the class. First, the course explores the multiple ways communication creates and perpetuates gender roles in families, media, and society in general. Second, the course considers how we enact socially created gender differences in public and private settings and how this affects success, satisfaction, and self-esteem. Third, the course connects theory and research to our personal lives. Throughout the quarter, the course considers not only what IS in terms of gender roles, but also what might be and how we, as change agents, may act to improve our individual and collective lives.

COMN 3700 Topics in Communication (1 to 4 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 3701 Topics in Communication (1 to 4 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 3702 Topics in Communication (1 to 4 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 3703 Topics in Communication (1 to 4 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 3704 Topics in Communication (1 to 4 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 3705 Topics in Communication (1 to 4 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 3770 Mediated Communication and Relationships (4 qtr. hrs.)
This course examines how people develop, define, maintain, and manage interpersonal relationships through their use of mediated communication.  We will examine communication in relationships that occur through the internet, text-messaging, cell phones, chat rooms, gaming, and virtual communities.  This is a seminar type course where students guide and are guided through their own study of mediated relationships.

COMN 3800 Philosophies of Dialogue (4 qtr. hrs.)
This course explores the philosophies of dialogue of Martin Buber, Mikhail Bakhtin and others in the context of contemporary communication scholarship on ethics, culture, and relationship.  Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

COMN 3850 Communication Ethics (4 qtr. hrs.)
This class is not just about how to be ethical communicators but it is also about how to discover ethics--the good life and care for others, answerability and responsibility--deep within the structures of human communication itself. The course is committed to a mixture of theory and practice but practice is at the heart of the matter. Half of our sessions will be devoted to dialogue or conversation about ethics in life. There we will try to work as close as we can with ethics in our own lived experience. In the other half, we will explore theory: the ethical/philosophical/communicative ground of ethics.

COMN 3991 Independent Study (1 to 5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 3992 Directed Study (1 to 10 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 3995 Independent Research (1 to 10 qtr. hrs.)
Topics and quarter hours vary.  Prerequisite: instructor's permission.

COMN 4010 Introduction to Graduate Studies (5 qtr. hrs.)
History of the discipline; noteworthy scholars and publications, current issues in the discipline.

COMN 4020 Communication Studies: Relational (5 qtr. hrs.)
Recent social science literature in interpersonal communication; emphasis on pragmatics, meta-level perspectives, relational concerns affecting intimacies, friendships, families.

COMN 4030 Communication Studies: Organizational (3 to 5 qtr. hrs.)
Ways in which communicative actions create, maintain, transform terms that define and regulate our practical and passionate attachments to each other; specifically how identity, knowledge, value, social organizations are constructed in and through communicative practices.

COMN 4100 Seminar: Speech Communication Theory (5 qtr. hrs.)
Theoretical foundations of communication and language behavior; syntactics, semantics, pragmatics.

COMN 4110 Theories in Interpersonal Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
Selected themes in interpersonal communication, based primarily on theoretical sources, including interaction, relationships, goal achievement, hierarchies, interpersonal change.

COMN 4120 Comparative Theories in Human Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
Selected efforts to construct theories of human communication; lectures, discussions, student presentations of analysis of readings.

COMN 4130 Seminar in Communication in Human Organizations (5 qtr. hrs.)
Current problems and issues in organizational communication.

COMN 4140 Graduate Colloquium (5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4150 Culture, Ethnicity and Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
A cross-cultural approach to investigate communication codes, norms, value dimensions, power, privilege, and relationship issues within national, ethnic, and gender groups.

COMN 4200 Physical Basis of Spoken Language (5 qtr. hrs.)
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of the past, current, and evolving legal, policy, and regulatory issues effecting telecommunications, telecommunications-related industries, and the Internet. Laws and policies effecting multichannel television, wireline and wireless telephone companies, and the Internet will be examined in depth. Focus is placed on the role public policy plays in light of a rapidly changing information environment, critical evaluation and understanding of the rationale behind policy and regulatory activity, and the exploration of the various complex problems arising from the evolving information environment and its products.

COMN 4210 Seminar: Interpersonal Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
Selected theories applicable to interpersonal communication and their implications.

COMN 4220 Critical Intercultural Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
This seminar explores the key figures and foundational essays in the development of Critical Intercultural Communication.  This seminar offers a critical perspective on current theory and research in intercultural communication.  We emphasize questions and practices of "diversity" (especially involving race, class, gender, and sexuality) as they manifest in local and global contexts in the United States.  The principle objective is to develop a politically informed and self-reflexive praxis in the service of reframing the study of intercultural communication.

COMN 4221 Culture, Power and Representation (5 qtr. hrs.)
Central to the production of cultural knowledge about the 'other' is the labor of power implicated in all practices of discursive representation.  In this course, we will examine the various theories of representation, the racial and gendered production of difference, the relation between discourse and subjectivity, and more generally, the poetics and politics of representation.  These topics will be explored within a rich variety of contexts and institutional sites, e.g., in colonial and anthropological discourse, in popular media narratives and consumer culture, in the global deployment of Western theoretical/knowledge productions, among others.

COMN 4222 Theories of Identity and Subjectivity (5 qtr. hrs.)
The seminar explores the communicative constitution of cultural, political, and institutional identities. Discussion will range from the historical development of the theoretical discourse on identity and subjectivity to more contemporary theories covering the emergence and transformation of identities in public discursive spaces. Particular attention will be given to theoretical frameworks and methods of inquiry animating research having to do with what is known as the "new cultural politics of difference." The course ends with a look at the contexts and arenas in which "identity" and "subjectivity" have emerged as critical sites of contestation in the 21st century.

COMN 4223 Culture and Communication: Contexts and Issues (5 qtr. hrs.)
This is a capstone course in the foundations sequence for the Culture and Communication Area of Concentration in Human Communication Studies.  This course will integrate content from the other three area foundations courses and specifically address implications for the study and practice of intercultural communication in such contexts of study as globalization, transnationalism, diaspora, colonization, immigration, adaptation, localization, corporate, institutional, and situated discourse.  In addition current theoretical, research, and application issues and problematics such as multivocality, voice and representation, intersections and contradictions of contradictory identifications, representations, micro and macro forces, and paradigmatic separation and integration will be discussed. Prerequisites: COMN 4220, COMN 4221 and COMN 4222.

COMN 4230 Intercultural Training (5 qtr. hrs.)
Research and theoretical approaches that examine international/intercultural training and instructional practices about topics such as adaptation, adjustment, competence, conflict and cultural diversity.

COMN 4231 Discourse and Race (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course looks at race as a discursive formation using the literature in Critical Race Theory that has emerged over the past decade.  In analyzing this body of work covering a wide range of themes and diverse theoretical perspectives, we hope to uncover the historic, material, as well as symbolic determinations of the discourse on race that have conspired to sustain a highly racialized system in place.

COMN 4240 Seminar: Group Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
Small group literature; interpersonal and group communication.

COMN 4250 Seminar: Family Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course is designed to investigate and explore the communication processes associated with families.  Areas of exploration include definitions of family communication and interactional patterns, the impact of life stage on family communication processes, marriage and divorce, parent-child communication, sibling interactions, the child-free family, and the later-life family.

COMN 4251 Advanced Seminar in Family Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
This advanced seminar is designed to build on the first seminar in family communication.  The course will examine how historic research in the study of families has influenced the field of family communication.  Emphasis will be placed on how understanding these classics can influence theory and research in the human communication area of family communication.

COMN 4280 Theories-Group Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
Examination, from different theoretical perspectives, of group communication as an area of study; research and application in speech communication discipline.

COMN 4300 Seminar in Persuasion (5 qtr. hrs.)
Theory, research, special problems in persuasion and attitude change.

COMN 4310 Communication and Collaboration (5 qtr. hrs.)
A survey of contemporary theories and applications.

COMN 4315 Public Deliberation (5 qtr. hrs.)
An introduction to the theories and problematics of public deliberation.  The course pays particular attention to the demands of inclusion, equality, and public reason as requirements of public deliberation.

COMN 4400 Seminar: Rhetoric Conversation Analysis (5 qtr. hrs.)
Contemporary contributions to development of rhetorical theory ranging from perspectives on rhetoric offered by various rhetorical theorists to methods of rhetorical criticism.

COMN 4420 Rhetorical Theory (5 qtr. hrs.)
Contemporary rhetorical theories.

COMN 4425 Rhetoric and Governance (5 qtr. hrs.)
An introduction to the works of Michel Foucault and his influence on contemporary rhetorical theory.

COMN 4435 Rhetoric and Public Life (5 qtr. hrs.)
An introduction to the conceptual and political history of the public sphere.  The course pays particular attention to how the normative assumptions of public communication are affected by the demands of cultural pluralism.

COMN 4510 Seminar: Speech Communication Theory (5 qtr. hrs.)
Integration of conceptual theory with behavioral practice in formal public speaking situations through lectures, discussions, performances.

COMN 4530 Critical Theories of Communication II: Nietzsche's Influence on Contemporary Rhetoric (5 qtr. hrs.)
In conversation with Classical Rhetorical Theory and Critical Theories I, this course is designed to explore a major philosopher's influence on rhetoric and communication studies. Friedrich Nietzsche offers and inspires a second trajectory of thinking that allies with, but ultimately diverges from, the Marxist critical project. Broadly, Nietschean thought echoes the Marxist concern for structural oppression, alienation, and limited consciousness; but it attempts to undermine structural power as much as possible without the tools of structural power (namely, language, values/truth/knowledge, and the subject). We explore this line of critique much more closely, considering how it has materialized in communication scholarship. This course offers a point of departure for explorations of particular theorists.

COMN 4700 Topics in Communication (1 to 5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4701 Topics in Communication (1 to 5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4702 Topics in Communication (1 to 5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4703 Topics in Communication (1 to 5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4704 Topics in Communication (1 to 5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4705 Topics in Communication (1 to 5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4710 Seminar: Nonverbal Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
Theoretical and practical exploration of interpersonal role relationships; emphasis on time, space, kinetic, vocal, tactile cues; methodological concerns.

COMN 4760 Linguistic Aspects of Communication Theory (5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4800 Philosophies of Dialogue (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course explores the philosophies of dialogue of Martin Buber, Mikhail Bakhtin and others in the context of contemporary communication scholarship on ethics, culture, and relationship.

COMN 4850 Communication Ethics (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course explores the work of Todorov, Bakhtin, Levinas, and Hyde as foundational to communication ethics.

COMN 4890 Philosophy of Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
How speech communication is presupposed and/or demonstrated to be related to social reality, language, intersubjectivity by various methodologies used in conducting communication research; special emphasis on exploring presuppositions of recent methodological developments in contrast to more traditional approaches.

COMN 4900 Quantitative Methods I (5 qtr. hrs.)
Lectures, readings, written assignments that facilitate growth and development of the research scholar.

COMN 4901 Quantitative Methods II (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course is a continuation of the HCOM 4900 which explored the process of human inquiry, social science paradigms, the development of sound research questions, and strategies and techniques surrounding sampling, measurement and design.  This course will expand on the exploration of research design and statistical methods that can be utilized in answering research questions and hypotheses. In addition, we will be collecting data that will be used to help us understand and analyze various statistical strategies.

COMN 4910 Theory Building in Communication (5 qtr. hrs.)
Steps involved in constructing theory; application of theory building process to communication phenomena.

COMN 4915 Discourse Analysis (5 qtr. hrs.)
An introduction to common theoretical assumptions and methods shared by scholars who study discourse as social interaction, with emphasis on analyzing key features of discourse that are central to their work.

COMN 4920 Communication Research Practicum (5 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4930 Speech and Communication Research - Qualitative Methods (5 qtr. hrs.)
Grounded theory, phenomenology and other non-numerical approaches to research in human interaction.

COMN 4931 Qualitative Methods II (5 qtr. hrs.)
This course teaches students qualitative data management skills, introduces them to an array of qualitative methods for analyzing naturalistic data, and guides them through the application of these skills to qualitative research projects.  Prerequisite: COMN 4930

COMN 4932 Critical Methods for Studying Culture (5 qtr. hrs.)
This seminar provides an overview of a variety of critical methodologies (inclusive of the theory of method) for the study of culture.  Potential course foci include textual analysis, critical ethnography, personal narrative, oral history, performance writing, and autoethnography.

COMN 4933 Writing Culture (5 qtr. hrs.)
This seminar serves as a capstone course in the Culture and Communication seminar sequence.  Students explore diverse genres used to write about culture. The course aims to help every student find a writing voice by reading excellent writing in diverse genres.  By writing and rewriting all term, this course guides students through the process of writing an article centered around culture and communication, following the practices of the field.

COMN 4991 Independent Study (1 to 10 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4992 Directed Study (1 to 10 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 4995 Independent Research (1 to 10 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 5921 Seminar: Communication Research I (5 qtr. hrs.)
Design, method, procedure strategies in research. Prerequisite: approved proposal.

COMN 5922 Seminar: Communication Research II (5 qtr. hrs.)
Design, method, procedure strategies in research. Prerequisite: approved proposal.

COMN 5923 Seminar: Communication Research III (5 qtr. hrs.)
Design, method, procedure strategies in research. Prerequisite: approved proposal.

COMN 5991 Independent Study (1 to 10 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 5992 Directed Study (1 to 10 qtr. hrs.)

COMN 5995 Independent Research (1 to 15 qtr. hrs.) 

For More Information

A complete description of the program's official offerings and requirements is available from the department on the Department of Communications website.

The University of Denver is an Equal Opportunity institution. We admit students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University. The University of Denver does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of our educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other university-administered programs. University policy likewise prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status or veteran status. Inquiries concerning allegations of discrimination based on any of the above factors may be referred to the University of Denver, Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity.