Communication Studies and Theater Art Department Courses
COM 139 R – Appreciating Film, 4 credits. E1. A study of major motion picture directors, their most influential work, and the development of the film director’s art through the cinematic language. The course examines the evolution of directorial style and the techniques of filmmakers from the silent era to contemporary times. Creative approaches to the cinematic medium are explored in depth, and students will gain a basic understanding of film grammar through their participation as members of a critical audience.
COM 201 S – Introduction to Communication Studies, 4 credits. E. A research-oriented survey of communication principles. Students are introduced to models of the communication process, methods of scholarly inquiry typically employed, classical and contemporary theory, and a selection of topics currently being investigated by scholars. Students test their learning through examinations and papers that require them to read current representative research. Prerequisite: IOC 100 – Inquiry: Oral Communication and sophomore level status. Freshmen only by permission of the department
COM 202 – Communication Criticism, 4 credits. A2 (2013-2014). An introductory course on the critical analysis of communication. The course focuses on learning basic methods of criticism, and on applying those methods to a variety of communicative texts. Students examine popular culture and mediated materials (television, music, film) as well as other types of public discourse (speeches, debates). Included are units on narrative approaches, dramatistic criticism, feminist and cultural analysis, media criticism, as well as traditional/classical analytical models of communication. Course requirements include quizzes and frequent written and oral critiques.
COM 203 – Argumentation, 4 credits. E1 or E2. Emphasis is placed on argumentation skills, including argument construction and criticism. Students will both research and present arguments. A significant portion of the course is spent critiquing arguments presented to the class. The course is relevant to Pre-law students or any students who want to improve their critical-thinking skills and will help them develop writing abilities and expertise in applied persuasion. Prerequisite: IOC 100 – Inquiry: Oral Communication
COM 205 – Advanced Public Speaking, 4 credits. E2. An examination of the theories and methods of oral presentation, especially suited to teachers, business persons and professionals. It is designed to enhance the abilities of the student to deal with communication in contemporary settings. Emphasis is placed upon student presentations and evaluations in order to provide practical applications of theoretical material. Prerequisite: IOC 100 – Inquiry: Oral Communication
COM 207 – Oral Interpretation, 4 credits. E1. The course is intended to help students gain confidence and proficiency in oral performance of written material. Students will gain experience in analysis and performance of literature. Evaluation will include examinations, analytical papers, research, and critique of vocal development and gestural communication skills. Prerequisite: IOC 100 – Inquiry: Oral Communication
COM 214 – Nonverbal Communication, 4 credits. E1. An examination of major findings in the relationship of verbal and nonverbal behaviors, coupled with observations enabling the student to recognize these displays when they occur. Lectures address questions of theory development, the prevailing methods of observation and the features of the dominant display systems. Students participate in personal as well as research-related observations.
COM 236, ART 236 – Introduction to the Photographic Process, 4 credits. D. The study of basic photographic procedures, including camera and darkroom techniques. Approaching photography as both an art form and a communication medium, the course will introduce students to the specific techniques used in such fields as architectural photography, photojournalism and photography for advertising. Open to majors in art, communication and theatre art.
COM 250 – Pre-May Seminar, 2 credits.
COM 300 – May Seminar, 4 credits. MS. Prerequisite: COM 250 – Pre-May Seminar
COM 312 – Interpersonal Communication, 4 credits. E. An exploration of the nature and importance of interpersonal communication. Readings, class discussions and lectures about communication theory help students’ understanding of interactions in friendships, families and work relationships. Although not a skills-oriented course, this class is designed to increase students’ understanding of the effects of their own communication styles. Prerequisite: COM 201 – Introduction to Communication Studies or consent of instructor
COM 313 – Persuasive Communication, 4 credits. E. An examination of the theories and research about persuasion that emerge from rhetoric, communication theory and media studies in contexts including interpersonal communication, group communication and mass communication. Ethical issues that arise whenever persuasion occurs are considered from the perspective of both the persuader and the persuadee. Readings, exercises, class discussions, and papers enable students to understand and apply theoretical concepts. Prerequisite: COM 201 – Introduction to Communication Studies
COM 314 – Group Communication, 4 credits. E. Emphasis is on examining research about group dynamics and communication, as well as group communication theory and its application to groups and teams in various contexts. Topics include: team building, leadership, problem solving and decision-making, cohesiveness, conflict, power, norms, roles and cultural effects and diversity. The course includes assigned reading, journaling, experiential exercises, group projects and exams. Prerequisite: COM 201 – Introduction to Communication Studies or consent of instructor
COM 315 – Interviewing, 4 credits. E1 or E2. Lectures, class exercises, discussions, tests and projects will be used to evaluate student understanding of and practice in interviewing theories and skills. Some of the interview settings to be considered are journalism, employment, survey, counseling and performance appraisal. The emphasis of each will concern the nature of the interview as an information-gathering skill. Prerequisites: IOC 100 – Inquiry: Oral Communication and COM 201 – Introduction to Communication Studies
COM 316 G, Z – Intercultural Communication, 4 credits. E. This course examines the interaction of cultural and communicative processes. Readings, lectures and discussion will focus on the differences in communication rules and practices that emerge when participants are from different cultures. Topics studied include interpersonal interaction, perception, information control, free speech rights, immigration and refugee issues, organizational communication, and nonverbal messages. Exercises, tests, and papers form the basis for evaluation.
COM 317 – Rhetorical Theory and Criticism, 4 credits. A1. (2012-2013). Course focuses upon an understanding of rhetorical theory and the application of various methods of criticism to oral discourse. Emphasis upon a historical development of theory and criticism including readings of classical and contemporary theorists. This course includes assigned readings, papers and discussion. Prerequisite: COM 201 – Introduction to Communication Studies or consent of instructor
COM 325 – New Media, 4 credits. E2. An introduction to the theories and practices of contemporary electronic media. Focusing principally on Internet-based modes of communication and interaction, including social networking, user generated and uploaded content, and evolving innovations in software and hardware, the course also provides an overview of the radio, television, and film industries. Lecture, discussion, and hands-on interaction will guide students to a critical perspective designed to hone media literacy.
COM 326 G – Global Cinema, 4 credits. A2. (2013-2014). An introduction to major, principally non-English language feature films, along with key film terminology and related theoretical readings. Focusing on narrative movies representing Asia, Africa, Europe, India, the Middle East, and South America, the course provides an overview of Issues including aesthetics, national identity, distribution, and sociopolitical implications of international film. In-class screenings of films along with interactive discussion allows students to shape critical perspectives on moviemaking around the world.
COM 332 – Media Production I: Video, 4 credits. E1. Provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in the technical elements of television equipment use and production technique. The course takes a start-to-finish approach to planning and preparing video productions. Individual and group projects feature contemporary understandings of how video is used in television production, film production, and other multimedia contexts. Additionally, the course provides an introduction to computer-based, digital, nonlinear postproduction.
COM 333 – Media Production II: Audio, 2 credits. E2. Building on a variety of skills acquired in COM 332 – Media Production I: Video, this class focuses its attention on a variety of projects using sound design as the primary element. Students will produce major projects employing digital audio and video media, and may extend their work to include projects incorporating radio, multimedia, television, and film applications. Students will also gain experience working with their own original scripts, live interviews, sound effects, music, and other facets of audio. Additionally, students learn how to record and use their own voices in class and individual projects.
COM 334 – Broadcast Performance, 2 credits. E2. This course will focus on the theories and techniques of radio and television performing. Project assignments and classroom critique sessions apply the theories to practical situations. Input from guest professionals and evaluation sessions of professional performers will provide additional insight for the student.
COM 368, ART 368 – Digital Photography, 4 credits. E1. Digital Photography is the study of basic digital photographic procedures, including digital camera and processing techniques. Approaching digital photography as an art form and as a communicative medium, the course will introduce students to the specific techniques used in such fields as fine art photography, photojournalism and photography for advertising. By permission of instructor
COM 380 – Special Topics, 4 credits. D. Courses covering various topics of interest in this particular discipline are offered regularly. Contact department or program chair for more information.
COM 382 – Analyzing Film, 4 credits. A2 (2012-2013). A challenging upper-level course that applies a variety of film theories to a series of American and international feature films from classic and contemporary periods. With an emphasis on the communicative nature of cinema, students will actively engage in the practices of film analysis and criticism, as well as study issues of film aesthetics. Integrating theoretical, historical, social and literary perspectives, this course helps students gain an understanding of the unique properties of cinema.
COM 390 – Cooperative Education, 1 to 8 credits. E.
COM 403 – Public Relations, 4 credits. E. An examination of the history, practice, and foundations of public relations. Emphasis is placed on understanding public relations as a management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and its publics. In addition to lecture and discussions, students prepare communication campaign strategies and materials. Prerequisites: COM 201 – Introduction to Communication Studies and COM 313 – Persuasive Communication
COM 413 – Advertising, 4 credits. E2. An examination of advertising theory, content and practice. The analysis of advertising messages is undertaken both from the perspective of the creator of advertising and from the perspective of the consumer of the messages. Readings, exercises, class discussions, lectures, projects and testing form the basis for evaluation. Prerequisites: COM 201 – Introduction to Communication Studies and COM 313 – Persuasive Communication
COM 414 U – Organizational Communication, 4 credits. E. This course in organizational behavior deals with a variety of organizational dynamics, the coordinating functions of communication, as well as the pragmatics through which individuals interact with groups and others in the organizational context. It examines concepts including: organizational assimilation, organizational culture, motivation, power, decision-making, leadership, learning styles, conflict management, nonverbal communication, organizational ethics, change management and diversity. Emphasis is upon a theoretical understanding of organizational behavior and communication within organizations. The course includes assigned readings, experiential exercises, case studies, exams and papers. Prerequisite: COM 201 – Introduction to Communication Studies. Junior standing is recommended.
COM 417 – Applied Research Methods in Communication, 4 credits. E1. A course in scientific inquiry methods in communication, including the study of methods of research design, data collection and analysis. Topics include the ethical application of research methods in various contexts, and the development of applied research methods available to effectively collect and analyze communication data. Prerequisite: COM 201 – Introduction to Communication Studies
COM 422, ENG 422 – Mass Communications Law and Ethics, 4 credits. A2 (2012-2013). A study of legal and ethical issues vital to print and broadcast journalists and other communication professionals. Topics include prior restraint, defamation, privacy, copyright and broadcast regulation, as well as the role of journalism in society, relevant ethical theories, and the ethical decision-making process. Emphasis is on legal and ethical cases.
COM 431 – Broadcast Newswriting and Reporting, 4 credits. D. This course focuses on the specialized style of journalistic writing used in the broadcast media. Class presentations and writing assignments are designed to provide enhancement of students’ skills in writing for oral presentations. Specific content areas covered include: principles of broadcast journalistic form, story construction, language usage, news judgment and application of ethical standards in the broadcast news situation. Limited enrollment. Prerequisites: COM 325 – New Media or permission of instructor
COM 432 – Electronic News Gathering, 4 credits. D. This course is designed to orient students to the structure and procedures of gathering news materials with the use of electronics. Emphasis will be placed on story construction, visual and aural communication patterns, ethical decision-making, and the relationship of electronic news gathering to the broadcast news program. Limited enrollment. Prerequisite: COM 332 – Media Production I: Video or consent of instructor
COM 480 – Independent Study, 1 to 4 credits. D. This course provides an opportunity for individual students to conduct in-depth research of a particular topic under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Contact the department or program chair for more information.
COM 493 Z – Documentary and Historical Film, 4 credits. E1. This course will survey a variety of U.S. and international documentary films as well as fictional films based on historical events. Global issues in all of the films will be emphasized. Students will learn the language of the documentary film by writing frequent film critiques, and writing essay exams. Questions about the unique ways In which film approaches the depiction of actual events will be a central area of exploration in the course. Students will do an experiential project working in groups on a culminating assignment which will be to create a script for a local documentary. Frequent papers, mixed format exams, and project presentations are required.
Theatre Art Courses
THR 101 – Introduction to Theatre Arts, 4 credits.E1.This course is designed to aid the student in an investigation into the various aspects of theatrical performance and process. This course will explore the five main aspects of the theatrical event: director, actor, playwright, designers (costume, scenic, lighting) and audience. Throughout the course students will discover the relationship between text/literature and the artistic nature of theatre to make and enhance meaning.
THR 124 R, U – Contemporary Drama: Literature and Criticism, 4 credits. E2. An introductory course in the literature of drama in which modern and contemporary plays are analyzed and discussed. This course will introduce students to a variety of issues in which contemporary playwrights and critics are immersed, including race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. Students work to understand plays’ potential meanings for modern audiences, and learn how to analyze plays as actors, directors and designers do.
THR 127 – Elements of Acting, 4 credits. E. A beginning course in acting intended as a practical basis for future study in acting, directing and related areas. Coursework on such topics as voice and movement, script analysis and realistic characterization lead to a heightened awareness of creativity and more proficient performing.
THR 212 – Lighting Design and Execution, 4 credits. A2 (2012-2013). Students will learn the necessary skills required to design and set up the lighting for a theatrical event. They will learn to design and draft a light plot, work with lighting instruments and color media, cue a show, and how their designs interact with other members of the design and directorial team. Students will be expected to complete practical projects in lighting design as well as written assignments. The class will end with a realized, small scale, lighting design presented to the rest of their peers.
THR 222 – Theatre Design Crafts, 4 credits. E1. This course develops the crafts and skills necessary for all design and production personnel. The course begins with a discussion of aesthetics, architecture and the design process. Students analyze scripts and develop a unique production concept using appropriate design theory. Students present 2-D and 3-D production designs to the class. Projects include a poster design, a costume design presentation, a creative ground plan for a thrust stage, two working model pieces, and a scene-by-scene light plot. Prerequisite: THR 122 – Theatre Production Organization and Procedures or THR 101 – Introduction to Theatre Arts
THR 224 – Theatres and Cultures: Origins to Elizabethan, 4 credits. A2 (2012-2013). This course focuses on changes in early Western theatre practices in ancient Greece and Rome, and Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Students will work to integrate historical information into cultural and literary contexts through a variety of primary source materials, including play texts, architectural remains, pictures and commentary.
THR 225 – Summer Theatre, 4 credits. D. A laboratory theatre course in which students become involved in the creative problem-solving process. Past productions have dealt with movement and pantomime, repertory, dinner and children’s theatre. Enrollment for the summer course is also open to graduating high school seniors, college students, teachers and interested adults by permission of the instructor.
THR 227 – Intermediate Acting: Scene Study, 4 credits. E2. Students will continue the exploration of self from beginning acting, exploring the relationship of the actor to the role by examining intention, relationship and environment while working on scenes together. Students will be expected to complete both analytical and performance objectives. Scene study projects will also include in-class rehearsals and a public performance-level showcase. The course will center on the examination of characters in conflict in contemporary drama. Prerequisite: THR 127 – Elements of Acting or consent of the instructor
THR 229 – Elements of Directing, 4 credits. E1. A beginning course in directing for students of theatre art, including those with avocational interests as well as those studying design, acting and directing. The course deals primarily with script analysis and rehearsal methods. Students will complete a series of projects culminating in the presentation of a short scene. Prerequisites: THR 122 – Theatre Production Organization and Procedures or THR 101 – Introduction to Theatre Arts, and THR 127 – Elements of Acting or consent of instructor
THR 250 – Pre-May Seminar in Theatre, 2 credits. A2.
THR 280 – Individualized Study, 1 credit. E. This unique opportunity provides an alternative learning option for theatre students to study materials and skills as 200-level “apprenticeships.” Various topic choices can utilize the available expertise levels of our designers and directors, and are designed to offer experiential study opportunities. Sample topics may include stagecraft, costume construction, playwriting, and stage management. Up to 4 credits (four topics) can be applied to the theatre major or minor. Prerequisite: THR 122 – Theatre Production Organization and Procedures and permission of the instructor
THR 300 – May Seminar in Theatre, 4 credits. MS. Prerequisite: THR 250 – Pre-May Seminar
THR 322 – Applied Design and Creativity, 4 credits. A2 (2013-2014). This course focuses on methodologies used in transforming scripts to designs for musicals and classical theatre productions. The student is then expected to develop a portfolio-ready project in costumes, scenery and lighting that incorporate creative problem-solving with crafts and skills developed in THR 222. Project development and evaluation features a combination of in-class instruction and mentoring by the professional staff. Final projects focus on the guidelines recommended in design portfolio review for advanced study or mainstage productions. Prerequisites: THR 122 – Theatre Production Organization and Procedures and THR 222 – Theatre Design Crafts
THR 323 – Women and Theatre, 4 credits. A1 (2013-2014). This course focuses on women’s work, lives and ways of creating theatre. Students will study the conditions and practices in which women create theatre, as well as particular women artists. As a part of the coursework, students will engage in discussion and write journals to further develop their artistic identities. This course is part of the women’s studies program.
THR 327 – Advanced Acting, 4 credits. A2 (2012-2013). An advanced course for mature students of acting, whether preparing for careers in theatre or wanting to develop life skills such as creativity and effectiveness in communication. The course focuses on period style, including Shakespeare, or music theatre. Prerequisites: THR 127 – Elements of Acting or permission of instructor
THR 328 – Theatre Arts Management, 4 credits. A1 (2012-2013). A study of the principles of theatre arts management with special emphasis on philosophy, principles and plans of operation in commercial, educational or social theatre programs. Included among the course topics are European and American traditions in the arts, practical problems, and the integration of business and artistic models of operation necessary to a modern arts organization. Managers from local arts organizations are invited to present their personal case studies. Prerequisites: THR 122 – Theatre Production Organization and Procedures or THR 101 – Introduction to Theatre Arts, and consent of the instructor
THR 329 – Advanced Directing, 4 credits. E2. A course in directing for advanced students of theatre art. Student projects focus on textual interpretation, audition and rehearsal methods, as well as practice in principles of staging. The final course project for each director is the public performance of a complete one act play. Prerequisites: THR 122 or THR 101, THR 127, THR 222, THR 229 and significant cocurricular responsibility
THR 334 – European History of Western Theatre, 4 credits. A2 (2012-2013). This course tracks changes in theatre from its origins in ancient Greece and Rome, through the upheavals of the Medieval, Renaissance, Neoclassical and
Romantic periods. Students will integrate historical, cultural and literary sources to achieve an understanding of how and why theatre practices have changed. Students develop skills in reading texts for historical understanding, analyzing contemporaneous criticism, and investigating architecture and artifacts.
THR 335 G – Non-Western Theatres and Cultures, 4 credits. A1. This course investigates traditional and post-colonial theatre practices in non-Western cultures. Students will study a variety of traditional theatres and dramatic dance, including those of Japan, China, India and Africa. Students will research colonial experiences and read contemporary post-colonial plays. Students will investigate a variety of source materials texts, architectural remains, images and commentary in order to understand the interaction of historical, commercial, political and artistic forces that have shaped traditional and contemporary non-Western theatre.
THR 380 – Special Topics, 4 credits. D. Courses covering various topics of interest in this particular discipline are offered regularly. Contact department or program chair for more information.
THR 390 – Cooperative Education, 1 to 8 credits. E.
THR 421 Z – Senior Seminar, 1 credit. E. Students meet weekly to work on director/designer/actor communications strategies. Students create professional portfolios, work on problem-solving, and develop support, objectivity, and artistic judgment with their academic and artistic peers. Prerequisites: THR 122 or THR 101, THR 124, THR 127, two 200-level courses and senior status
THR 422 – Senior Thesis Project, 1 to 2 credits. D. Senior theatre majors complete their studies through a significant capstone project. Thesis projects may be tied to a main stage production, a student-directed production, or involve non-production work. Thesis options include acting, directing, design, management, playwriting or dramaturgy. Prerequisites: THR 122 or THR 101, THR 124, THR 127, two 200-level courses and senior status
THR 480 – Independent Study, 1 to 4 credits. D. This course provides an opportunity for individual students to conduct an in-depth research of a particular topic under the direct supervision of a faculty member. Contact department or program chair for more information.