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Communication Courses (COMM) College of Arts and Sciences


Subject Area Course # Course Title Semester Credit Hours Expand
COMM 1010 The Rhetorical Tradition Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This is an introductory course that is designed to examine the classical periods of rhetoric, as well as the Enlightenment and modern periods. The course focuses on pivotal concepts in rhetoric and their application to contemporary discourse. This is a foundation course in the field of communication. It introduces students to perennial issues and concerns in rhetoric and looks at communication as a way of knowing about self and society.


Instructor(s): Brett Ingram
Celeste Wells

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Required course for all Communication majors

COMM 1020 Survey of Mass Communication Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course will introduce you to the basics of the field, including industries, industry trends, regulations, and ethics. It will address historical developments that have shaped the mass media, particularly through the rise of newspaper, book, music, radio, television, film, advertising, and public relations industries. It will consider the influences of new media and their impacts on culture and industry. It will explore topics such as blockbusters, globalization, digital photography, social media, sports, "fake news," fans and fan cultures, and media violence. Further, it will ask you to consider your position as a media consumer.


Instructor(s): Donald Fishman
Lindsay Hogan

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Required course for all Communication majors

COMM 1030 Public Speaking Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is an introduction to the theory, composition, delivery, and criticism of speeches. Attention is devoted to the four key elements of the speech situation: message, speaker, audience, and occasion. Emphasis in the course is also given to different modes of speaking and a variety of speech types, such as persuasive, ceremonial, and expository addresses. This is a performance course.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Required course for all Communication majors

COMM 1040 Interpersonal Communication Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

Interpersonal communication is the study of human interaction. This course provides an introductory survey of the main concepts and research findings in the study of interpersonal communication. The course serves as a foundational course for further study in the interpersonal and organization communication area of the field.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Required course for Communication majors in Classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020. Satisfies Critical Issues course required within Communication major for Class of 2021 and beyond.

COMM 1050 Translating Theory to Practice Fall/Spring 1
Course Description

As a Communication student at Boston College you have been, and will continue to be, provided with numerous opportunities to learn about communication at both theoretical and practical levels in multiple areas within our discipline (e.g., media, rhetoric, culture, gender, health, interpersonal, family). The objective of this course is to assist in you in discerning how your education in the field of communication will prepare you to ask and eventually answer questions about your life, vocation, and role in the lives of others. Each week, a Communication department faculty member or guest speaker from the professional world will address a topic relevant to students on the precipice of entering the workforce, including (but not limited to): how to discuss academic research in language that resonates with employers in fields such as public advocacy, broadcasting, advertising, public relations, and consulting; whether/how to pursue graduate study; and how to present your self in job applications and interviews.


Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: This course carries one credit

COMM 1701 American Social Norms and Values: The Case of Disney Spring 3
Course Description

How does our culture determine social norms, values and behaviors, and what influence does media have on these? This course examines how one particular media conglomerate, the Disney corporation, influences society's view of acceptable and preferable social constructs. By analyzing Disney's media and other cultural products students will examine the implications and global impact of their persuasive messages.


Instructor(s): Rita Rosenthal

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Core Renewal: Enduring Questions
For Freshmen Only

COMM 1702 Being Human in a World of Artificial Intelligence: a Secular-Humanist Perspective Spring 3
Course Description

Artificial Intelligence (AI) lends itself to a multidisciplinary investigation of human ingenuity as well as philosophical questions about the meaning of life. Communication, Media and Cultural Studies have explored the question “What does it mean to be human?” drawing on moral philosophy. AI has intensified this investigation of the human quest for secular, rational knowledge using a variety of texts including science fiction, poetry, television and cinema. Concepts like “The Singularity” have furthered the discussion of perspectives contrasting the secular views of AI’s scientific reason, intelligence and knowledge with spirituality and mysticism.


Instructor(s): Marcus Breen

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Core Renewal: Enduring Questions
For Freshmen Only

COMM 1703 The Rhetoric of Social Inequality in America Spring 3
Course Description

This course looks at the role that rhetoric (i.e., communication and social interaction) plays in creating, maintaining and forwarding social inequality in America. The course draws upon critical, scholarly work covering inequality of class, race, gender, and sexuality to analyze artifacts in the media (e.g., commercials, television, film, music). Students will consider the ways that that rhetoric regarding inequality, meritocracy, capitalism, and the American Dream has been embedded in their communicative experience and impacted their notion of individual and group responsibility as it relates to inequality in order to become more thoughtful about how they perceive and engage the world.


Instructor(s): Celeste Wells

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Core Renewal: Enduring Questions
For Freshmen Only

COMM 1902 Digital Storytelling Spring 1
Course Description

Storytelling is an essential part of every community, organization, and business. However, the channels through which stories are told have evolved. With the advent of the internet, digital media now combines tradition with technology. Narratives can be told in new, multidimensional ways with video, audio, blogs, text, images, and graphics. The purpose of this course is to help you understand why communication professionals and, moreover, civilizations throughout human history create and value stories. You will also learn how to employ a variety of digital technologies to create compelling content. This will be achieved through examining the underlying concepts and technical processes involved in telling stories for delivery on the desktop, the mobile device or tablet.


Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: This course carries one credit.

COMM 2180 Masculinity, Sexuality, and Difference Spring 3
Course Description

This course will examine constructions of masculinity and sexuality in Western society from a critical cultural perspective. We will consider the ways in which cultural narratives about “acceptable” masculine behaviors and attitudes catalyze social conflicts, reinforce established power hierarchies, and organize the modes of being available to people of different gender identities and sexual orientations. We will also evaluate the liberatory potential of emergent discourses and practices that seek to cultivate greater acceptance of diversity, and promote social healing. There will be a concentrated focus on popular cultural forms (especially television, film, music, sports, and social media) that are particularly influential to contemporary men and boys.


Instructor(s): Brett Ingram

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: SOCY3368

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major. Satisfies Critical Issues course required within Communication major for Class of 2021 and beyond.

COMM 2181 Gender, Identity, and Sexuality Fall 3
Course Description

This course aims to provide an introduction and foundation to the field of gender and sexuality studies. The course will explore the relationship between sex, gender, sexuality, and identity, while also looking at the intersections of race, class, ethnicity, culture, and other positionalities. The course will review the history of gender and sexuality studies, the social construction of identities, the power and privilege of certain identities, the impact of media and popular culture on our understanding of identity, as well as the social movements and future of the LGBTQ+ populations and other identities


Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

COMM 2182 Black Popular Culture Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

In this class, we will critically examine the development of black popular culture from blackface minstrelsy in the 1800s to present day. While we will primarily focus on black popular culture in the United States, we will also consider the work of diasporic authors and artists and the international implications of American media. Readings will draw upon theories and concepts in media studies, cultural studies, and rhetoric to center our discussion of black popular cultural texts such as television shows, films, music, poetry, and fashion. Course evaluation will be based on regular quizzes, two short papers, and a creative project.


Instructor(s): Anjali Vats

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: AADS2182

Comments: Satisfies one of three electives courses required within the Communication major

COMM 2184 Sports, Media, Culture Fall 3
Course Description

Sports have long played a vital yet complex role in culture and this course examines that intersection of sports, the mass media, and society. We will appraise and debate the ways in which sports are functional or problematic in their impact on and relationship to players, fans, journalists, co-cultural groups, and nations. Students will read both scholarly and journalistic reflections, view popular and documentary film, and analyze fan experiences, mediated presentations, and critical social issues. In short, we will go beyond the box score to understand the importance – and deconstruct the hype – that accompanies modern sports.


Instructor(s): Michael Serazio

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one elective within the Communication major

COMM 2194 Reading Race at the Millennium Fall 3
Course Description

Hipster racism, hashtag activism, and Columbusing are just some of the new ideas used to talk about race in this post-Millennial moment. This course will explore the new vocabulary of race emerging in this purportedly post-racial moment through study of cases drawn from popular culture, politics, and increasingly important digital spaces. We will focus on reading and writing about race in this moment through case studies such as Wes Anderson's films, Black Twitter, racially appropriative Halloween costumes, Asian food trucks, and the Obama presidency in order to understand how race, racialization, and racism continue to evolve.


Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Anjali Vats

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: AADS2194

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major. Satisfies Critical Issues course required within Communication major for Class of 2021 and beyond.

COMM 2209 Asian American Media Fall 3
Course Description

This course examines the dynamic roles of Asians and Asian Americans in media and pop culture, past and present. By exploring their representations and involvement in areas such as Hollywood, television, independent documentaries, stand-up comedy, music, and online media, we can better understand the complex experiences and critical issues related to Asian diasporas. This course will include short writing assignments and exams,


Instructor(s): Anthony Tran

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of the three required elective courses required within the Communication major.

COMM 2210 Broadcast and Digital Communication Summer 3
Course Description

This course introduces the student to a broad sampling of broadcast and digital writing styles utilized across many industry platforms. Areas of focus include news, sports, documentaries, commercials and public service announcements, educational television, and writing for specialized audiences. The theories, ethics and practices of this genre of communication will be introduced as well as interview methods and techniques. Case studies and practical assignments complement classroom discussions. Instructor is an industry veteran with expertise in how to apply classroom theory to practice.


Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Christine Caswell

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major

COMM 2213 Fundamentals of Audio I Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is designed to introduce the student to the multifaceted world of sound, in theory and practice. Topics covered include the history of recording techniques, design and use of microphones, and careful listening techniques. The course will present an overview of current audio production software typically used in modern recording studios. Students will work in the audio labs to create professional quality pieces, and will take home a portfolio of work at the end of the semester.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Lab fee required. Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major

COMM 2218 From the Maori to Middle Earth: Communicating Colonization through Contemporary Work in New Zealand Summer 3
Course Description


Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Celeste Wells

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

COMM 2221 Digital Media Field Production Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

With the ubiquitous nature of video streaming on desktops, mobile phones and tablets, the influence of video storytelling has never been greater or more pervasive—and the demand for skilled digital storytellers to fill those increasingly ubiquitous screens is stronger than ever. This course offers professional guidance and hands-on experience to develop the skills, techniques and disciplines necessary for the creation of digital media produced in the field. Students will write and produce their own video programs, becoming familiar with all aspects of production and post production, including producing, performing, directing, single-camera shooting, sound recording, and location lighting, as well as editing, digital effects, and graphics. In the process, students will develop a discerning eye for what makes an effective, professional, aesthetically pleasing video production, while they build a portfolio that can used during job or graduate program interviews.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: COMM2221 was formerly numbered COMM2223. Students who have taken COMM2223 TV Field Production should not take COMM2221. Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major

COMM 2222 Studio Television Production Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to the theories, tools, and techniques of television production. The focus of this class is on developing the production skills necessary for creating effective television communication. To pursue this goal, students will combine the information from the course's texts with practical experience in the form of exercises and the creation of their own television programs. While producing and directing their programs, students, working in crews, will learn to operate studio television equipment and develop an understanding of how messages are communicated using "live" or "life-on-tape" production methods.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Lab fee required. Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major

COMM 2225 Introduction to Feminisms Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This introductory course offers both an overview and a foundation for understanding the various movements that make up what has come to be called the feminist movement in the U.S. Because systems of privilege and disadvantage shape women's and men's identities and social positions in multiple and unique ways, Introduction to Feminisms analyzes gender from an interdisciplinary approach and applies numerous academic disciplinary methods to the study of gender, including history, literature, psychology, and sociology, and explores women's and men's experiences within various cultural contexts, including socioeconomic class, race and ethnicity, religion and spirituality, nations of citizenship, origin, and generation.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: ENGL2125

Comments: Fulfills Women Writer's requirement for ENGL/LSOE majors.
Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major

COMM 2232 Topics in Intercultural Communication Summer 3
Course Description

This course will explore the challenges individuals and institutions often face when they attempt to communicate across cultural barriers, with particular emphasis on obstacles posed by ideological constructions of difference such as race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and sexuality. We will cultivate a critical perspective on relevant conflicts and controversies using the theoretical resources offered by the field of media and cultural studies. Our aim is to foster both greater understanding of potential impediments to humane cross-cultural communication, and more sophisticated strategies of intervention.


Instructor(s): Brett Ingram

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

COMM 2236 Media and Cultural Studies Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course will analyze the many ways power is consolidated, negotiated, or resisted through popular media, especially advertising, television, film, and social media. We will examine how correspondences between mass communication and economic structures impact cultural, political, and ideological processes in society, including (but not limited to) the construction of gender roles, sexual norms, racial and ethnic identities, class affiliations, and attitudes towards violence. This course will be theoretically rooted in the critical tradition of media studies, with particular emphasis on 20th century continental and American cultural and social theory.


Instructor(s): Brett Ingram

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major

COMM 2251 Gender and Media Fall 3
Course Description

This course will explore the ways gender factors into media production, representation, and audiences. In particular, it will focus on gender across multiple media contexts, including sport, advertising, magazines, news coverage, fiction, film, documentary, television programming, online communities, social media, and popular music. It also will consider gender within both mainstream and independent media production. Further, it will explore how gender is used to study, construct, and address media audiences. Overall, this class will address how gender becomes a tool of social and cultural power and how its use both empowers and disempowers various cultural groups.


Instructor(s): Andrew Owens

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major. Satisfies Critical Issues course required within the Communication major for Class of 2021 and beyond.

COMM 2272 New Media and Society Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course surveys and explores new media and interactive communication technologies from a historical and critical perspective. Course content includes theories that explain contemporary social and economic formations influencing the emergence of the Internet and digital applications, including: convergence of user communities, film and television and mediated communication, post-human approaches, computer games, virtual reality, robotics, social media, militarization, business concerns and public policy debates. The course offers students the opportunity to analyze and reflect on research about the impact of media, especially the implications of digital innovations for society.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major

COMM 2278 Social Media Fall/Summer 3
Course Description

This course explores the history, development and use of social media. It connects to the liberal arts and the digital humanities through the lens of social justice. It will build a foundation of knowledge about social media with project-based research. The course identifies the established disciplinary fields of the humanities such as philosophy, literature, culture, religion, art, music, history, politics and language in comprehending the world, using these fields as a foundation with which to critically explore various modes of expression, ideas and values in social media about social justice. Students will have the opportunity to identify contemporary issues in social media in projects that reflect critical thinking goals.


Instructor(s): Marcus Breen

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major. Satisfies Critical Issues Course requirement for Class of 2021 and beyond.

COMM 2285 Cultural Diversity in Media Fall 3
Course Description

In an age where the world's political borders are changing rapidly, cultural artifacts found in mass communication become increasingly important. This course examines the relationship of culture and the mass media in creating a new concept of America, based on race, ethnicity and gender. From this exploration, students will be able to critique the impact of television, radio, film, cartoons, newspapers, magazines, books and the music industry on cultural perception.


Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major. Satisfies Critical Issues Course requirement for Class of 2021 and beyond.

COMM 2291 Persuasion Fall 3
Course Description

The course combines the theory and practice of persuasion. Students will examine current theories and research concerning influence, coercion, and manipulation. They will then apply these theories to current events and design a persuasive campaign.


Instructor(s): Rita Rosenthal

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major. Satisfies Critical Issues course required within Communication major for Class of 2021 and beyond.

COMM 2293 Advanced Public Speaking Spring 3
Course Description

This course is an extension of the basic public speaking course. Emphasis will be placed on writing and delivering speeches in a variety of presentational settings. Students will research, organize, develop, and deliver presentations with emphasis upon the strategic delivery of messages that will be adapted to out of class situations. The role of being a critical audience member is a final goal of the class.


Instructor(s): Rita Rosenthal

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

COMM 2294 Broadcast and Digital Communication Summer 3
Course Description

This course introduces the student to a broad sampling of broadcast and digital writing styles utilized across many industry platforms. Areas of focus will include news, sports, documentaries, commercials and public service announcements, educational television, and writing for specialized audiences. The theories, ethics and practices of this genre of communication will be introduced as well as interview methods and techniques. Case studies and practical assignments complement classroom discussion. Instructor is an industry veteran with expertise in how to apply classroom theory to practice.


Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Christine Caswell

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major

COMM 3330 Communication Methods: Social Science Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to social scientific methods in Communication research. Among the topics emphasized are: (1) development of questions and hypotheses, (2) quantitative and/or qualitative data collection methods (e.g., experiments, interviews, and surveys), and (3) data analysis and interpretation (e.g., interpretive and statistical analysis). The objective of the course is to provide students with the resources to interpret, evaluate, and conduct research in Communication from a social science perspective.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: One of COMM3330 or COMM3340 is required for the Communication major.

COMM 3335 Communication Methods: Honors Spring 3
Course Description

This course is an honors introduction to research methods used in communication research. Students will learn how to ethically conduct research; develop a working knowledge of the IRB and associated requirements; learn the process of creating a compelling research question/hypothesis; acquire the skills necessary to gather and analyze data; and write initial scholarship regarding their potential thesis project. Overall, this course will create a strong foundation for students who will conduct their own research. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the material as well as their ability to apply the material through exams, a research project, an oral presentation, and daily participation.


Instructor(s): Brett Ingram

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Open to students in departmental honors

COMM 3340 Communication Methods: Critical/Cultural Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is designed to introduce students to historical, critical, and cultural methods in Communication research. Among the topics emphasized are: (1) development of theses and arguments, (2) critical/cultural data collection methods (e.g., archival research and locating texts), and (3) data analysis and interpretation (e.g., critical discourse analysis and textual analysis). The objective of the course is to provide students with the resources to interpret, evaluate, and conduct research in Communication from a critical/cultural perspective.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: One of COMM3330 or COMM3340 is required for the Communication major.

COMM 3372 Media Theory Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

The mass media wields tremendous power – this course investigates that power across a wide variety of social, cultural, and political dimensions. We will read an assortment of theoretical approaches to mass communication, looking at both the structural constraints in the production process and the interpretive agency of audiences. Our targets for analysis will be similarly wide-ranging, drawn from advertising, journalism, entertainment, and social media.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies the required theory course in the Communication major. Students that have taken Mass Communication Theory may not take Media Theory.

COMM 3377 Visual Communication Theory Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course explores the role of perception within visual learning; the nature of images; how public images function in political and cultural discourse; the psychology of the camera eye; differences among television, film and print images; and controversial media issues.


Instructor(s): Ann Barry

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies the required theory course in the Communication major

COMM 4425 Broadcast Century Issues Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

The impact of radio and television has been felt around the world. It has altered the way we think and behave. This course is an assessment of the major issues and events that have helped form broadcast media. Topics will be examined within the context of their relationship to society and culture.


Instructor(s): Michael Keith

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

COMM 4429 Globalization and the Media Fall 3
Course Description

This class examines the cultural impact of globalization on the traditional centers and peripheries of media production. The course will cover topics such as the shifting definitions of cultural imperialism; the role of the United Nations in regulating cultural products; the latest transnational media mergers; the strategies of global television programmers such as CNN, MTV, or Discovery; the increasing commercialization of media systems around the world; and the role of media in relation to war and terrorism. This writing-intensive seminar is open to juniors and seniors.


Instructor(s): Matt Sienkiewicz
Marcus Breen

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: INTL4429

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

COMM 4430 Political Communication Fall 3
Course Description

This course examines the role of communication in the political process in the United States in the twentieth century to today. Topics include the following: political messages, media coverage of political campaigns, debates, elections, issues and institutions, and the impact of various media on governance and the democratic process.


Instructor(s): Theresa Lynch

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major

COMM 4431 Religious Expression in the Digital Age Fall/Summer 3
Course Description

This writing intensive seminar examines religious expression within the current digital moment of social acceleration, infinite interconnections and expanding cultural spaces. Recent surveys show that while Americans are less affiliated with institutional religions, they still seek spiritual meaning and connections. This course explores how the digital age offers new opportunities for religious expression as well as challenges to traditional religious authorities. Students will discuss emerging theories on digital media and the intersections of media and religion. In order to critically examine the representation of religion in digital media spaces, students will engage with contemporary case studies, such meditation apps, Neopagan online rituals, Muslim fashion gurus on Instagram, spirituality podcasts, Evangelical Christian "mommy" blogs, Jewish dating sites and the Pope's Twitter feed. This course is a writing intensive seminar with a required twenty five page research paper.


Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Kristin Peterson

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors

COMM 4442 Intercultural Communication Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course studies communication as it relates to society and as it occurs inter-culturally and internationally. In those contexts, questions and issues will be pursued which reveal processes, effects, methods, and critical norms for evaluating interpersonal, group, and mass communication.


Instructor(s): Marilyn Matelski
Michael Serazio

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: AADS4442

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

COMM 4448 Television Criticism Spring 3
Course Description

This course provides students with methods for critically evaluating the cultural and social impact of television. First, students learn some fundamentals of television production and the structure of the media industry. Based on this knowledge, students examine and practice the critical analysis of contemporary television programs. The goal of the course is to make students more informed critics of our television-saturated age.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

COMM 4449 Crisis Communication Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is designed to examine events and situations that potentially threaten the viability of an organization. Attention is devoted to developing an effective crisis communication plan, speaking to multiple stakeholders, decision-making under pressure, and resolving-rather than litigating-organizational problems. Among the studies examined are the Tylenol product tampering incident, the Exxon Valdez accident, the Union Carbide gas leak, the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, the Three Mile Island accident, and the Pepsi syringe hoax.


Instructor(s): Donald Fishman

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

COMM 4451 Gender Roles and Communication Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is both a writing-intensive seminar and a Women's and Gender Studies minor course. Focus is on the social construction of gender through communication. The early section of the course compares historical and theoretical approaches to representations of gender in communication texts. Then, building on these comparisons, students read about, examine, and analyze texts, focusing particularly on television programming and advertising.


Instructor(s): Lisa Cuklanz

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive course requirements within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

COMM 4452 News Media/Democracy Fall 3
Course Description

The press plays an essential role in America and the world. This course aims to equip students to become critical news consumers with both a skilled understanding of how journalism works and political literacy about the big issues of our time. Through classic scholarly reflections as well as contemporary punditry examples, we will tackle the news media critically across three dimensions: learning about its indispensable function in mediating politics and democracy throughout history and today; studying and practicing the craft of opining writing and social advocacy; and evaluating and critiquing the performance of the press across these fronts.


Instructor(s): Michael Serazio

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: JOUR2252

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major

COMM 4454 Global Mediated Public Spheres Spring 3
Course Description

This course considers the relationship between communication technology and rational debate from the creation of the printing press to advent of Twitter. Beginning with the ideas of Jurgen Habermas and his critics, the course takes a theoretical and historical look at the concept of the public sphere, considering the roles played by advancing forms of media. The course ultimately considers the extent to which new technologies such as social media and mobile devices may serve to both help and hinder the expression and evaluation of well-considered ideas at a global level.


Instructor(s): Matt Sienkiewicz

Prerequisites: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major.

Cross listed with: INTL4454

Comments:

COMM 4458 Radio in Culture and Society Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course will seek to examine and analyze the role of broadcast radio in non-mainstream segments (minority, counterculture, extremist, and alternative-lifestyle clusters) as well as in special areas of the general population. In the last quarter century, so-called outerculture or fringe groups have asserted their rights to fair and equal access to the airwaves as a means for mollifying the negative perceptions and stereotypes that have prevented them from fully benefiting from citizenship in the world’s largest democracy. Students will gather research data for an extensive paper designed to probe and evaluate the effects and implications of American Radio Broadcasting.


Instructor(s): Michael Keith

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major

COMM 4462 Popular Music and Identity Fall 3
Course Description

The goal of this course is to increase the understanding of basic concepts and principles of popular music as a form of communication, and specifically, popular music as a symbolic form of behavior that relates to individual and group identity. This course will examine historical and contemporary popular music along with theory and research in the area of popular music studies in communication in order to understand popular music as a meaning-making cultural practice.


Instructor(s): Celeste Wells

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

COMM 4465 Health Communication Fall 3
Course Description

We will address ways in which research in health communication relates to patients' health and well-being or to the health and well-being of society at large, how research in health communication advances our understanding of the process of human communication, and how contemporary societal developments such as managed care impacts research and health care delivery. The class addresses the social construction of health and illness and theoretical perspectives used within the field of health communication in four areas: interpersonal communication, community health, organizational issues, and health messages in the media.


Instructor(s): Ashley Duggan

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major.

COMM 4469 Communicating the Jewish Experience Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is designed to examine seminal symbols, images, and issues in the rhetorical construction of the Jewish experience in the United States. The course focuses on three key topics: (1) The Americanization of the Holocaust (2) The Americanization of Zionism and (3) American Exceptionalism and the immigrant experience. This course fulfills the requirements for a writing-intensive seminar in the Department of Communication of Boston College.


Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Donald Fishman

Prerequisites: With permission of the Instructor.

Cross listed with:

Comments:

COMM 4471 Children and the Media Fall 3
Course Description

From film to television to mobile apps, this course examines children's media as an economic, cultural, and political entity and explores the relationships among young people and the contemporary media environment. Students will analyze various scholarly approaches and major debates in the study of children and media while also learning the larger historical contexts of those debates. This course offers a critical/cultural approach that examines the ways in which media industries, institutions, technologies and texts intersect to produce particular media practices and considers how such practices relate to the production of cultural norms or social power.


Instructor(s): Lindsay Hogan

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

COMM 4472 Race, Law, and Media Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This writing intensive course focuses on the relationship between race, law, and media. We will read seminal texts in critical race theory and cultural studies in order to theorize how concepts such as race, criminality, deviance, property, and originality are articulated in legal contexts, often in ways which make whiteness appear to be natural and right. Then, by way of case studies such as the Scottsboro Boys, the Central Park Five, Korematsu versus United States, Prosecutor versus Charles Taylor, and State versus Zimmerman, we will explore how the media represents race and law.


Instructor(s): Anjali Vats

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: AADS4472

Comments: Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major. Restricted to Juniors and Seniors.

COMM 4475 Introduction to Honors Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is an honors-level introduction to communication research and scholarship. This course will move beyond the initial concepts explored in research methods and required survey courses in order to prepare students to conduct their thesis research. Students will demonstrate their ability to apply the material through exams, oral presentations, daily participation and the completion of a 25 page thesis prospectus.


Instructor(s): Celeste Wells

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: Open to students in departmental honors. Satisfies one of two writing intensive courses required within the Communication major

COMM 4485 Advanced Intercultural: studyabroad.com Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This is a web-based, advanced intercultural communication course intended for those studying abroad. Students should be enrolled in a BC-sponsored international program. The purpose of this course is to measure the immeasurable, in three ways: 1) to extend students' intercultural scholarship through field research; 2) to prepare them for possible senior theses in some aspect of intercultural/international communication; and 3) to help them to create a world view corresponding to the rising demands of globalization.


Schedule: Periodically

Instructor(s): Lisa Cuklanz

Prerequisites: With permission of the Instructor. Enrollment in a BC-sponsored international program; permission of instructor.

Cross listed with:

Comments:

COMM 4901 Readings and Research—Communication Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course is intended to provide an opportunity for students to explore topics not currently covered in the curriculum. Students will work on a specific research project under the supervision of a faculty member. The defining characteristics of the course are that (1) it must involve extensive readings and (2) it must include a formal term paper of twenty or more pages.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: With permission of the Instructor. Permission of the instructor and completion of the five introductory required COMM courses.

Cross listed with:

Comments: This course may be repeated.

COMM 4921 Advanced Independent Research Fall/Spring 6
Course Description

This course is for seniors only.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: With permission of the Department. Permission of the department.

Cross listed with:

Comments:

COMM 4961 Honors Thesis Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

A research course under the guidance of a faculty member for those writing an Honors Thesis.


Instructor(s): The Department

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

COMM 4962 Senior Research Seminar Fall 3
Course Description

This is an honors-level seminar that focuses on the processes of research and design conceptualization and explication in order to provide students with the capability to design and enact original communication-based research. Students will demonstrate competence with the material through oral presentations, active participation in class, and the completion of a fully-developed and executed research project.


Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

COMM 5500 Debate Practicum Fall/Spring 1
Course Description

Advanced discussion of argumentation theory and debate practice with an emphasis on contemporary intercollegiate debate.


Instructor(s): John Katsulas

Prerequisites: With permission of the Instructor. Participation on the intercollegiate debate team and permission of the instructor.

Cross listed with:

Comments: This course carries one credit. Only one such credit will be counted toward the 120 required for graduation.

COMM 5589 Senior Internship Seminar Fall/Spring 3
Course Description

This course gives senior communication majors an opportunity to pursue a 15-20 hour per week internship in a specific field of Communication. Practical experience will be supplemented by discussions of relevant theoretical constructs. Periodic discussion group seminars will enhance a student's immersion in the industry. Adherence to professional protocol is expected. A field research paper is required as well as supervisor evaluations. This course counts as a 3-credit Communication elective.


Instructor(s): Christine Caswell

Prerequisites: With permission of the Instructor. Senior standing, six completed BC communication courses (including core requirements), and permission of the instructor.

Cross listed with:

Comments: This course may not be repeated. Satisfies one of three elective courses required within the Communication major