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COMM 401

Special Topics in Communication

Recent topics have included Public Relations, International Media, Family Communication, Conflict Resolution, American Theatre and the Vietnam War, Human Communication Theory, American Film and Culture and Writing for Stage, Screen and TV. This course number may be repeated for credit with different topics.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1/2-1 course

Fall Semester information

Miranda Spivack

401A: Tps: Covering the 2016 Campaigns

In what is already a history-making presidential contest, we will examine the role of the media - old media, new media, social media - in framing the issues both nationally and in state/local races. Are the media serving as a "fourth estate" watchdog on the candidates, and probing the issues that are confronting the electorate? We will try to determine what the framers of the Constitution envisioned with the First Amendment and how that can affect mainstream news organizations- as well as others purporting to play a journalistic role. We also will look at the roles that gender, race, and new American voters may play in the outcome in November across the country.

Spring Semester information

Timothy Good

401A: Tps:The Other Side of the Arts

The course will investigate different models of arts organizations, including union-based models, alternate structures (other than unions), leadership in the arts, entrepreneurship, startups, world markets for arts, grants and fundraising, and the very broad variety of graduate programs that are possible. The work will culminate with a final project which will connect these ideas with the real world of the arts: complete design portfolio, budgeting and planning for a guest artist or event here on campus, a fleshed out marketing or development plan, full audition plus resume/headshot, etc. We will cover theaters, symphonies, dance companies, art galleries, museums, corporate applications, and newer models that ignore these boundaries. A primary goal of the course is to bring together ideas and practices from the "real worlds" of art, music, dance, writing, and theater, for mutual benefit.

Seth Friedman

401B: Tps:Film Theory

What is cinema? This seemingly simple question will be the primary focus of this upper-level seminar on film theory because it has consistently inspired great debate about the medium since its emergence. Indeed, many critics argue that an interrogation of the essence of cinema has only become more salient in the digital age, as the ways that films are now constructed, distributed, viewed, interpreted, and discussed have both dramatically changed and remained remarkably similar amidst the advent of new media technologies. As this example begins to suggest, scholarly examinations of the meaning of cinema are often centered on two ostensibly contradictory concerns: the medium's specificity and its connections to other arts and modes of communication. Consequently, this class will survey a number of the most influential classic and contemporary writings on cinema to help us gain a better understanding of how the medium is distinct as well as related to other forms of expression, social institutions, and cultural practices.

Gigi Jennewein

401C: Tps:Spring Shakespeare Festival

This course trains DePauw students to direct local high and middle school students in the mounting of fully staged 75-minute Shakespeare plays. Students spend the first three weeks in the classroom learning best practice techniques for teaching Shakespeare and working with youth. The remainder of the semester is spent in the participating Putnam County schools shaping a production while also delivering the intellectual and emotional benefits that can be acquired by physically and vocally experiencing Shakespeare's language. This course culminates in a day-long festival at DePauw University's Moore Theatre (Green Center) comprised of performances of each participating school's play. DePauw's Shakespeare in the Schools program is inspired by and produced in association with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA. The course requires a M/W/F 2:30-5:00 commitment to accommodate transportation and in-school rehearsal. It is repeatable for credit under different prefixes. See instructor for details and required SPAC.