Academic Catalog

2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Communication, Technology and Culture Major

App View

Degree Type Offered: B.S. Major

Consists of a minimum of 48 credit hours:

Required Courses

21 credit hours consisting of the following courses:

COMM-230 Communication Technologies: History, Culture, and Society

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall and Spring

An introduction to the history and influence of communication technology in society. The class will explore the various social, political, cultural, and economic impacts of new communication technology. Major topics include: the origins of writing, printing, photography, film, the telegraph and telephone, radio, television, and the internet.

COMM-240 Contemporary Media Industries

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

Examines how electronic media industries have changed the way we produce and consume media products. The course will examine how the digital age has impacted notions of interactivity, virtual space, media production, networks and credibility. Particular attention will be paid to the social, economic and political implications of these changes.

COMM/PWR-255W Introduction to News Writing

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Teaches students the basic skills of researching, investigating and writing in a variety of formats. Emphasis on identification of the writing structures used by contemporary media writers and utilization of these structures in original pieces researched and written by the students. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350 and ENG-110 FILA general education: writing intensive (Cross-listed as PWR-255W)

COMM-327 Interpersonal Communication

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

Examines issues related to communication within personal and professional relationships. Students will develop theoretical and practical understandings of verbal and nonverbal communication, the role of technology in interpersonal communication and how interpersonal communication functions to develop, negotiate, maintain and terminate relationships.

COMM-347 Strategic Public Relations

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

This course will cover strategic planning and specialized public relations issues. Issues include risks, crisis management, social marketing campaigns, and corporate and non-profit communication. Students will learn and apply advanced public relations theories and skills to case studies and real-life situations. Prerequisites: COMM/PWR-255W and one of the following courses ART-322, ART-323, ART-344, ART-347

-or-

COMM/PWR-305 Multimedia Reporting and Writing

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Builds on the skills-oriented approach of COMM/PWR-255W by putting theory behind the practice of writing. Through individual and group writing projects, students work toward understanding the increasingly complex definition of news, its blurring line with entertainment, and the dynamic interplay between technologies and audiences. Prerequisite: COMM/PWR-255W or permission of instructor Offered alternate years: 2018-2019 (Cross-listed as PWR-305)

COMM-350 Research Methods in Communication

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

Introduces quantitative and qualitative research methods used in the study of communication. Students learn to critically evaluate published research studies and how to conduct original research. The course will provide specific instruction and practice in survey writing and interviewing. Prerequisite: 6 credits in COMM (not including COMM-100) Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

COMM-400 Applied Communication Theory

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall and Spring

This capstone course explores practical applications of communication theory. Emphasis will be placed on the process of writing and public speaking in multiple professional and personal rhetorical situations. Prerequisites: COMM-350 and 9 additional credits in COMM (not including COMM-100)

Academic Citizenship Courses

Choose one of the following (3 credits):

COMM-315 Persuasion

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

An introduction to major theories and key concepts of persuasion. Using both social science and rhetorical criticism students will learn how individuals/social movements/institutions create, adapt, and respond to persuasive messages. Students will evaluate the effectiveness of persuasive appeals based on the rhetorical situation. Throughout the course students will consider the ethical implications of persuasive strategies and contexts.

COMM-325 Communication in the Organization

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Study and application of communication theories and principles in an organizational context. An explanation of organizational communication theories and principles will allow students to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of how communication affects the dynamics of the work environment. Emphasis will be placed on applying communication concepts to students' personal experience or participating in the organizational environment. Offered alternate years

COMM-410E Communication Law and Ethics in a Digital Age

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

Analytical survey of ethical and legal issues pertaining to communication professionals, focusing on the new digital media landscape. Issues explored include First Amendments rights, public affairs journalism, copyright, defamation, obscenity, censorship, licensing, corporate and governmental communications, and the Digital Millennium Act. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350 and ENG-110 FILA general education: ethical reasoning

COMM-420 Political Campaigning in Virtual Environments

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Introduces the range of communication practices that characterize contemporary political campaigns. Students will process existing understandings of political communication theory in order to design and implement a semester-long campaign project.

Advanced Public Speaking/Performance Courses

Choose one of the following (3 credits):

COMM-345 Argumentation and Debate

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

This course provides students with a foundational knowledge of classical principles of oral rhetoric and modern theories of the conventions of argumentation. Students will engage in critical examination of issues and the use of argumentation of support and defend a position. Upon completion of this course students will be able to construct and evaluate factual, value and policy claims. Prerequisite: COMM-100 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020

THEA-320 Improvisation

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

This course will focus on invention and structured improvisation as tools to explore "being in the moment" both on and off stage. Focusing on the body and voice through theatre games, creative dramatics, role-play, storytelling, clowning, autobiographical performance and movement, improvisation skills will be approached from two perspectives: concentration and action. Through responding to each other's playfulness, ingenuity and creativity, students will be encouraged to break through set thinking and movement patterns that may have limited them in the past. This class is not just for the theatre student! While the work is grounded in theatre, it can be applied to any discipline.

THEA-325 Acting

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Acting provides the student with an organized and practical approach to acting. A systematic approach to acting through a thorough examination and application of Konstantin Stanislavski's system of acting with in depth attention to the technique of the actor and their use of body and voice. Textual analysis, scene work, monologues, auditioning, performance pieces, and various training exercises will be used. No theatre experience is necessary. Corequisite: FILA-150 or FILA-350 Offered alternate years FILA general education: fine arts & music(effective 2016-17)

THEA-355 Environmental Theatre

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

Environmental theatre began in the 1960s in response to the social and political climate of the time. Performers and performance groups pushed the boundaries of what was traditionally thought of as theatre, and as a result, restructured and reinvigorated the fundamental understanding of what performance was and its function within society. Environmental theatre continues to be a powerful vehicle for social commentary. The objective of this course is three-fold: to introduce the student to the cultural, social, and political richness of environmental theatre, including site-specific performance; to provide a historical understanding of the period by highlighting how the original practitioners and their works were directly influenced by cultural events of the time; and, to involve the student in the process of creating and performing their own individual and group site-specific environmental performance piece. Corequisite: FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: fine arts and music

Visual Design Courses

Choose one of the following (3 credits):

ART-120 Introduction to Visual Design

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall and Spring

A studio project-based introduction to the elements and principles of 2-D and 3-D design in visual art and communication contexts. Emphasis is on visual problem solving, mastery of visual design principles, technical proficiency, and critical analysis of how visual images communicate. This course provides a foundation for students planning to take advanced courses in any art media and other fields in which visual imagery plays an important role. As a stand-alone course Art 120 provides critical and practical skills related to visual communication.

ART-322 Web Design and Development

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Design and construct websites using current HTML and CSS standards and digital tools including Brackets, Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Emphasis on design process, content development and professional workflows.

ART-323 Graphic Design

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

A studio based exploration into visual communication with typography and images using Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Emphasis is placed on the design process and creative thinking. Corequisite: ENG-110 FILA general education: fine arts and music

ART-344 Photography

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Learn to skillfully and confidently use digital cameras and software including Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to create compelling photographs. Emphasis is placed on composition, visual communication and creative process in a contemporary photography context. Note: Students must provide a digital camera capable of manual exposure and Raw image capture. Corequisite: FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: fine arts and music

ART-347 Videography I

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Learn the fundamentals of video production including camera operation and control, stationary and moving camera techniques, audio recording, natural and artificial lighting, framing and shot structure, and use of nonlinear editing software. Students will complete hands-on exercises and assignments designed to build strong visual and technical skills needed to produce effective videos and short films. Corequisites: COMM-100, ENG-110, FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: fine arts and music

COMM-481X Media Field Experience

Credits: 3 Term Offered: All Terms

This course is designed to provide students field experience in media production, media writing, media management and/or media relations. Prior to signing up for this course, students will work with the instructor to identify a field experience site where they can either help create content at a media outlet such as a television/radio station or film production studio, or where they can practice media relations for a business or non-profit organization. The course requires students to complete: (1) an initial face-to-face meeting with the course instructor, (2) online modules about communication-related issues in the workplace, (3) an initial and exit interview with their site supervisor, (4) 100 hours of work in the field, (5) reflective short essay assignments and (6) a final project consisting of an online portfolio of work they complete during the field experience. Students may take the course up to two times for credit, but each time must be at a different site. Prerequisites: COMM-100 and COMM-255W Corequisites: Junior standing in major FILA general education: experiential learning

(with visual design focus, must be approved by department)

COMM-490 Independent Study

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall and Spring

Upon approval of the department and the division head, a student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 or better may engage in an independent study or research project. One desiring to pursue independent study or research must submit a written description of the proposed work to the chair of the appropriate department and to the appropriate division head prior to the last day of the drop and add period for the semester in which the study is to be conducted. At the end of the semester, the supervising professor files with the registrar a grade for the student and a description of the work accomplished. Credit may be received for not more than three independent studies or research projects.

(with visual design focus, must be approved by department)

THEA-200 Theatre Production: Costumes and Scenery

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

This course is an introduction to the many elements involved in Western theatre production, with emphases on two of the primary areas of design, construction and implementation: scenery and costumes, and an integration with stage management. The class will explore concepts, techniques, equipment and materials necessary for a successful theatrical production, emphasizing problem solving through research, experimentation, and collaboration. Students will be challenged to engage and understand the interrelationships between the various elements involved in mounting a stage production, and how these elements relate to and affect the other aspects of dramatic art. Previous experience with theatre is not necessary. Corequisite: FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: fine arts and music

Experiential Courses

Choose two of the following (6 credits):

COMM-131X News Practicum

Credits: 1 Term Offered: Fall and Spring

Skills-and-theory class that applies critical thinking to discuss and solve practical problems in news media production. Prepares students for the convergence of media, providing practical experience in multi-platform media writing and production including print, radio, TV and web journalism. Work includes approximately three hours outside the class and one hour inside each week. May be repeated for a total of 3 credit hours. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350 and 2 credits earned in COMM-131 or PWR-131 (Cross-listed as PWR-131X)

COMM-331X The Television & Film Studio System

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

The history of the American television and film studio system, its influence on society, and the processes of modern television and film production. Includes weekly class meetings on the Bridgewater campus (1 hour per week) and an 8-day trip to Los Angeles during Spring Break. While in Los Angeles, the class tours several studios (including Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, NBC television and/or Universal Studios), participates as audience members on a variety of television shows, talks with members of the television and film industry, and visits media related museums. Additional costs associated with travel. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350 and permission of instructor FILA general education: experiential learning

-or-

COMM-333X Europe Media and Culture

Credits: 3 Term Offered: May Term

This course examines the historical similarities and differences between American media and European media. The course will involve approximately a week of classes on the Bridgewater campus prior to traveling to several locations throughout Europe. Three major themes will be explored: 1) the use of persuasion and propaganda techniques employed during World War II and the Cold War, 2) the development of the European television and film industry (prior to WWII and after it), and 3) issues of media conglomeration, globalization, and the influence of the American film and television industry on Europe. Cities that may be toured include: London, Munich, Prague, Berlin and Paris. (The exact cities to be visited will change each year based on availability of speakers, film festivals, and museum special exhibits.) Additional costs associated with travel. Prerequisite: FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: world cultures and experiential learning

-or-

THEA-315X Theatre in London

Credits: 3 Term Offered: May Term

An exploration of the rich and varied theatrical scenes in London through nightly attendance at professional and nonprofessional productions. The group attends professional West End, classical, modern, and musical productions. Immersive theatre, experimental performance, and alternative theatrical spaces/venues are explored. Workshops with professionals, theatre workshops, and back stage tours, as well as theatrical, historical, and cultural interests complement the experience as do side-trips to Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare's Globe theatre. Corequisite: FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: fine arts and music, and experiential learning

-or-

COMM-365X Rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement

Credits: 3 Term Offered: May Term

This course examines the rhetorical strategies adopted by the American Civil Rights Movement. Students will study a wide variety of rhetorical artifacts such as documents and speeches, songs and other performances, lunch counter protests, sit-ins, Freedom Rides, photography and other forms of visual rhetoric. The course includes several days of courses on campus and a 10-day bus trip to key sites of the civil rights movement such as the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta. Students will have the opportunity to complete community service at some of the sites. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: experiential learning

-or-

COMM/MUS-370X Heroes, Flutes, and Ghosts: Stories and Opera

Credits: 3 Term Offered: May Term

This course examines how stories, and particularly the hero narrative as captured by Joseph Campbell, are used in opera to inspire, engage, and provide social commentary, as well as to entertain. Understanding the audience (i.e., the historical time frame) and evaluating the medium (i.e., why set the story to music?) enriches our appreciation for and evaluation of the success of a story's message. Students will analyze how narrative changes when it is told through different media and will construct their own story using the medium of their choice. This course runs in conjunction with MUS 370 The History of Dramatic Music. Prerequisite: FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: experiential learning

COMM-349X Nonprofit Communication

Credits: 3 Term Offered: May Term

Introduces students to the burgeoning nonprofit sector of American society. Students learn what makes an organization a nonprofit, explore the purposes of a nonprofit sector in society, consider the often overlooked field of nonprofit media, and explore the challenges and opportunities of working in, with, and for nonprofit organizations. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350 and COMM-100 FILA general education: experiential learning

COMM-481X Media Field Experience

Credits: 3 Term Offered: All Terms

This course is designed to provide students field experience in media production, media writing, media management and/or media relations. Prior to signing up for this course, students will work with the instructor to identify a field experience site where they can either help create content at a media outlet such as a television/radio station or film production studio, or where they can practice media relations for a business or non-profit organization. The course requires students to complete: (1) an initial face-to-face meeting with the course instructor, (2) online modules about communication-related issues in the workplace, (3) an initial and exit interview with their site supervisor, (4) 100 hours of work in the field, (5) reflective short essay assignments and (6) a final project consisting of an online portfolio of work they complete during the field experience. Students may take the course up to two times for credit, but each time must be at a different site. Prerequisites: COMM-100 and COMM-255W Corequisites: Junior standing in major FILA general education: experiential learning

COMM-490 Independent Study

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall and Spring

Upon approval of the department and the division head, a student with a cumulative grade point average of 2.20 or better may engage in an independent study or research project. One desiring to pursue independent study or research must submit a written description of the proposed work to the chair of the appropriate department and to the appropriate division head prior to the last day of the drop and add period for the semester in which the study is to be conducted. At the end of the semester, the supervising professor files with the registrar a grade for the student and a description of the work accomplished. Credit may be received for not more than three independent studies or research projects.

(with department approval)

COMM/MUS-309X Audio Production

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

This course provides a hands-on introduction to the world of modern multi-track recording. Students will gain experience with the equipment fundamental to audio engineering and production, including recording consoles, microphones, equalizers, time-based effects and Avid Pro Tools; the industry standard digital audio workstation. Participants will engage in a variety of projects which demonstrate the breadth of activity of an audio engineer. These include creating a podcast and engaging in a series of real world sessions with professional recording artists. Through these sessions, the techniques of recording, editing, mixing and mastering audio will be explored. Prerequisite: COMM-100 FILA general education: experiential learning (Cross-listed as MUS-309X)

THEA-210 Theatre Production: Lighting and Sound

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

An introduction to the many elements involved in Western theatre production, with a special focus on stage management and emphases on two of the primary areas of design, construction and implementation: lighting and sound. The class will explore concepts, techniques, equipment and materials necessary for a successful theatrical production, emphasizing problem solving through research, experimentation, and collaboration. Students will be challenged to engage and understand the interrelationships between the various elements involved in mounting a stage production, and how these elements relate to and affect the other aspects of dramatic art. Previous experience with theatre is not necessary. Corequisite: FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: fine arts & music Alternate years: offered 2018-2019

Additional Courses

An additional 12 credit hours are required from the following list of courses (only 6 credit hours may be taken from courses without the COMM prefix):

COMM All courses designated COMM (except COMM-100)

ART-120 Introduction to Visual Design

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall and Spring

A studio project-based introduction to the elements and principles of 2-D and 3-D design in visual art and communication contexts. Emphasis is on visual problem solving, mastery of visual design principles, technical proficiency, and critical analysis of how visual images communicate. This course provides a foundation for students planning to take advanced courses in any art media and other fields in which visual imagery plays an important role. As a stand-alone course Art 120 provides critical and practical skills related to visual communication.

ART-322 Web Design and Development

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Design and construct websites using current HTML and CSS standards and digital tools including Brackets, Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Emphasis on design process, content development and professional workflows.

ART-323 Graphic Design

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

A studio based exploration into visual communication with typography and images using Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Emphasis is placed on the design process and creative thinking. Corequisite: ENG-110 FILA general education: fine arts and music

ART-344 Photography

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Learn to skillfully and confidently use digital cameras and software including Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to create compelling photographs. Emphasis is placed on composition, visual communication and creative process in a contemporary photography context. Note: Students must provide a digital camera capable of manual exposure and Raw image capture. Corequisite: FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: fine arts and music

ART-347 Videography I

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Learn the fundamentals of video production including camera operation and control, stationary and moving camera techniques, audio recording, natural and artificial lighting, framing and shot structure, and use of nonlinear editing software. Students will complete hands-on exercises and assignments designed to build strong visual and technical skills needed to produce effective videos and short films. Corequisites: COMM-100, ENG-110, FILA-150 or FILA-350 FILA general education: fine arts and music

PWR-201 Introduction to Professional Writing

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Introduces students to a range of rhetorical principles and practices in professional genres that they will explore in future coursework and in their careers. Prerequisite: ENG-110

PWR-311 Creative Writing

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Only

Intensive workshop providing an opportunity to gain deeper insight into literary techniques and practices through the production of original short and longer works of fiction, poetry and drama, as well as creative expository forms. Students develop a single, but substantial, literary project unified by a common theme or themes. Group workshops and individual conferences provide extensive feedback and critical response as the student progresses through the project. Prerequisite: ENG-110

PWR-312W Technical & Workplace Writing

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

Advanced writing course in composing reports, proposals, instructions, brochures, digital information and other technical documents. Principles of document design, strategies for incorporating graphic elements into texts and methods of editing are also emphasized. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350 and ENG-110 FILA general education: writing intensive

PWR-318W Writing in Electronic Environments

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Fall Or Spring

Studies the nature of writing as it is shaped by digital technologies, including desktop publishing, document design and electronic portfolios. Implications of these media for writing in both theory and practice are emphasized. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350 and ENG-110 FILA general education: writing intensive