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Featured Courses

Fall 2017


Comm 291A:   August Wilson’s Century Cycle of Plays
Professor Tim Good

August Wilson wrote ten plays about the experiences of specific African American cultural contexts in the United States, and set one play in each decade of the twentieth century.  We will read these plays, with accompanying historical and theoretical positioning, focusing on how people negotiate the dynamics of inequality in their various contexts.  Final projects can be academic or creative.  The course is designed to provide a background for the Spring 2018 DePauw Theatre production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, which will also be offered as a Winter Term course in 2018.


Comm 291B: Scenic and Lighting Design
Professor Tim Good

Description – The course will explore the scenographic intersection of lighting and scenic design for stage, screens, museums, and other contexts.  Students will receive foundational skills in both areas, and choose an area of concentration for final projects.  Can be taken P/F – contact instructor if interested for details.


Comm 291C: Theatre, Culture and Society: Shakespeare On Film
Professor Ron Dye

Students will examine, analyze and discuss film and modern stage adaptations of several plays by William Shakespeare, along with the original play texts.  The films and plays will be considered in their historical cultural contexts, and will include adaptations which are fairly “literal” or straightforward, as well as “free adaptations” which diverge widely from or only reference the original texts. Students will write critical response papers and will complete a final research paper to fulfill the “W” component of the course.


Comm 328A: TPS: Environmental Communication
Professor Jennifer Adams

In this class, we will explore the communication and conflict surrounding “the environment,” with a focus on the social construction of nature and critical/cultural approaches to environmental discourse.   Policies and practices related to the environment result not just from the facts from science alone, but often emerge from the influence of our social constructions about our “natural resources.”   We will consider the ways that wilderness and nature have been constructed in American culture, the public controversies that have developed surrounding the environment, the advocacy groups that advance various environmental causes, and the scientific and corporate discourse about the environment.  We will also consider the role of media in the ongoing discourses about the environment.  


COMM 401A: Washington and the grassroots: A post-election assessment
Professor Miranda Spivack

Following the historic 2016 presidential election, in which a political figure not unlike William Jennings Bryan played to populist discontent over the economy, jobs, religion and immigration, this course will take an investigative reporting approach to assess the impact of those promises on communities in the heartland. Derisively known by many coastal elites as "flyover country," communities in states such as Kansas and Indiana have shown their political muscle in helping to frame the election's outcome. Will the new administration make good on its promises to these voters? How will those promises - or changing views from Washington - affect communities and businesses, many of whom have relied on farm workers and other laborers, including immigrants, as well as highly educated foreign engineers,  to help keep their businesses humming? We will engage with residents across the midwest to examine the impact of Washington's policies on schools, healthcare, social services and employment, with the potential for publication and broadcast in popular media.