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Communications and Media Studies (CMS)

CMS 111  Introduction to Communication  (3 credits)  

Survey of theories and concepts across the range of communication contexts including: interpersonal, group, organization and public. Special attention is paid to how meaning is created socially.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall.
CMS 113  Media, Culture, and Society  (3 credits)  

This course addresses the linkages between media, culture and society as they relate to the discourses of modernity and cultural globalization, aesthetics, consumption and markets. We will attempt to understand from a trans-disciplinary perspective the categories of media, culture and society in the context of representations of women and immigrants in the media, the construction of self in the age of new media, and the impact of media digitization, to name a few themes. We will also critically examine the history of media theory and trace the philosophical debates that have characterized the discipline of media studies and its elaboration of fostering communally oriented dialogue, creation of new cultural forms and the changing face of modernity.

CMS 114  Introduction to Mass Media  (3 credits)  

Modern trends and changes in mass communication; news practices and influence in controversies and consideration of alternatives; persuasive impact; critique of mass media as a source of information and influence of all "new media".

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall and Summer.
CMS 119  Organizational Communication  (3 credits)  

Study of the process of symbolic interaction in organizations. The course discusses communication successes and failures in organizations from both practical and theoretical view points.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall.
CMS 203  Persuasive Speaking  (3 credits)  

An advanced course in the theories and concepts of persuasion. Includes both interpersonal and public strategies and patterns.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall, Even years.
CMS 205  Dynamics of Small Group Communication  (3 credits)  

Conference leadership and group problem-solving. Application of principles and methods of group dynamics as practiced in a democratic society.

Course Rotation: Spring - Even years.
CMS 206  Family Communication  (3 credits)  

This course will investigate how communication patterns in families serve to organize family functions such as cohesion, change, boundaries. communication preferences. socialization. relational culture. and communication competencies. In short, across the semester. we will examine the group nature of the family, how communication serves to construct as well as reflect family relationships, and how communication serves as the process by which family members crate and share their meanings with each other.

CMS 213  Intercultural Communication  (3 credits)  

Theory and practice of communication between diverse domestic and international cultures. Emphasis on barriers and gateways to effective intercultural communication.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall and Spring.
CMS 214  Interpersonal Communication  (3 credits)  

Interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects of the communication process from the points of view of communication theory and interpersonal dynamics; opportunity is provided for students to gain experience as communicators in a variety of work and social settings. The nature of the course varies according to the needs of the students.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring and Summer.
CMS 226  Writing for the Electronic Media  (3 credits)  

An introduction to the theory and practice of writing for radio and television. The course includes a study of both theory and practice in writing commercials, public service announcements, and semi-scripted programs such as music, talk and interview shows.

Course Rotation: Fall and Spring.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission of Instructor. Major Elective or fulfills writing requirement in the major.
CMS 228  Writing for Convergent Technologies  (3 credits)  

Writing for Convergent Media exists to provide students with hands on experience in the creation of web-based texts-including blogs, podcasts and other related texts. The course will cover creation, production and distribution of texts.

Course Rotation: NYC:Spring
CMS 235  Advertising and Consumer Culture  (3 credits)  

In this course we will examine the historical root of consumer society, the institution of advertising and the impacts of advertising and consumerism on social, cultural and political life in America from the turn of the century to the present day. NY: Spring

CMS 239  Milestones in Communication Research  (3 credits)  

A critical examination of the motivations, methodologies, and implications involved in the seminal studies of the mass media and their effects. Included are studies of film, radio, print, television, comics, leaflets, and the effects of media on the message. Violence, politics, persuasion, propaganda, agenda-setting, and erotica are among the subjects of the studies.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring.
CMS 242  New Communication Technologies and Moral Panic  (3 credits)  

In the mainstream media and other public arenas, we commonly encounter stories about our "new" media environment and its harmful effects on sociality and cognition. Rather than treating our digital moment as a radical rupture with the past, this course situates the "digital revolution" within an extended history of technological and communications revolutions. Through a close examination of social panics about the effects of "old" media (books, film, television and even the written word itself), students will investigate both how the meaning of new technologies and media is socially shaped and how new media may influence social behavior. Finally, students will establish and explore social issues at the heart of debates about new media technologies including, but not limited to, issues of class, gender, youth, sex, violence, and the relationship between work and leisure.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring
CMS 243  Comics, Cartoons and the American Conversation  (3 credits)  

Comics, Cartoons and The American Conversation is a course designed to give a historical perspective to comics and cartoons and how they have been integrated into our daily lives and national frame of reference.

CMS 244  Digital Cultures  (3 credits)  

This course explores the ways in which digital media and information technologies are impacting everyday life, culture, institutions and identities. We will address issues of representation, identity, policy, regulation, law, ethics, aesthetics and consumption in the digital era. We will ask: How does new media alter the ways in which we communicate? Play? Do business? Gather information? Entertain ourselves? Imagine our worlds? Participate in the democratic process? And engage in social change? What are the consequences of these innovations?

Course Rotation: NY: Summer.
CMS 245  Communication and Popular Culture  (3 credits)  

Students will study texts of popular culture (e.g. movies, television, music, etc.) as artifacts of the social, economic and political issues that shape them.

CMS 250  Digital Youth Activism  (3 credits)  

What does activism look like in the digital age? How are youth engaging with digital technologies in everyday life, and what are the political implications of these everyday practices? This course examines the myriad forms and mechanisms of digital activism that have been embraced by youth throughout the globe. We will consider how digital media can be a platform for both leisure and politics, and some of the ways in which each informs the other. Digital media—both its form and content, as well as its production and consumption—will serve as a lens onto issues of social inequality and national politics as they pertain to youth.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall
CMS 270  Political Communication  (3 credits)  

Students study and engage in communication practices as they relate to the political process, social issues and public policy. Special attention is paid to theories of discourse as they relate to these topics. The primary focus is on American political discourse, but international issues and dynamics will be addressed.

Course Rotation: NY: Fall.
CMS 280  Introduction to Journalism  (3 credits)  

This is an entry-level journalism course. Students in this class will engage in basic journalistic writing and reporting including spot, feature, and interview news. Students will also gain basic understanding of the principles of journalism as well as the changing landscape in the journalism theory and practice.

Course Rotation: NY: Fall
CMS 290  Current Media in NY  (3 credits)  

This course will provide an overview of today’s media professions. Our inquiry will focus on guest lectures from media professionals and faculty who have direct knowledge of today’s media and communication landscape. All communications industries are going through enormous and exciting changes as they adapt to new technologies and engagement patterns. We will exchange ideas with guest speakers and attempt to define how these changes are revamping traditional workplace patterns and positions. Through lectures, reflections, research and engagement, students will learn how to network with professionals and prepare themselves for relevant career opportunities. This course is a place to broaden your knowledge of media industries, to develop professional values, and to begin to explore media industry careers.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall
CMS 291  Sport Communication & Culture  (3 credits)  

Sport Communication and Culture examines the interrelationship between sports media and society to investigate how that interrelationship reinforces social values. sometimes challenges social norms. and draws on the cultural identification of class. race, and gender to identify sports values with cultural values. Drawing on theories of crisis. critical. and strategic communication. this course will analyze media's role In telling the story of sports and. in telling that story. shaping and reinforcing cultural values. Students will study several critical approaches to sports and public discourse and will apply those approaches to sports organizations. the news media. and popular media.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall
CMS 292  Hip-Hop Feminism and the Media  (3 credits)  

This course examines feminism, rap music, and hip-hop culture. We will explore the work of actual women in hip-hop, images of women, and feminist critiques of rap music and hip-hop culture. We will also work on locating a space of praxis - where theory meets practice - that uses hip-hop, rap and feminism to propose ways of addressing social inequalities. With this in mind, one goal of this course is to move beyond discussion to a space of critique linked to change. Taking current controversies and rap music's dominant presence in US media and memory into consideration, we will use rap as a springboard into a consideration of pressing social, cultural, and political issues such as sexism, misogyny, homophobia, racism, classism, and heterosexism. Given hip-hop's media influence both in the US and globally, and the current growth of Hip-Hop Studies as a field, this course will also examine knowledge-making and the role that gender plays in what constitutes knowledge in the field of Hip-Hop Studies.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring.
CMS 294  Language and Contexts  (3 credits)  

This course is designed to acquaint students with language as a symbolic process, examining various uses of language in interpersonal and public contexts. Extending upon the foundational principles of communication, the course will help students to critically analyze communication activities. All the while, students will be given opportunities to evaluate their own use of language and discuss means of more effective communication.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring.
CMS 295  Participatory Communication  (3 credits)  

This course will examine a recent trend in communication that has come about with the advent of the mobile device and Web 2.0 technologies, known as participatory communication. After providing an overview of the theoretical development, the course will examine several participatory media channels that have become “mainstream” within the past few years. In addition to analysis and criticism of the media, students will apply the concepts in practical exercises that utilize contemporary media channels.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall and Spring.
CMS 309  Girls’ Media Studies: Theory and Research  (3 credits)  

This upper-level seminar will focus on historical and contemporary girls' media culture and introduce feminist media studies to explore girls' media culture. All students will conduct original research on media created for a girl audience. Students will be expected to read one book or several articles per week, write weekly reading responses, and write a 15-20 page final research paper.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring, odd years.
CMS 310  Communication and Media Analytics  (3 credits)  

The purpose of this course is to help students gain a practical understanding of the field by independently conducting their own communication and media study. Students will learn how to conduct a systematic communication inquiry by: identifying an issue that needs to be investigated; proposing a design to study the issue: collecting and analyzing data; interpreting the results; and presenting the findings of their study to a lay audience. Students will be able to use this project as evidence for the hands-on, practical experience they will have gained in studying the field of communication and media or to bolster their application for graduate school , if they choose to pursue further education in this field of study.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall & Spring
CMS 311  Ethics, Morality, and the Media  (3 credits)  

An examination and evaluation of the performance and responsibilities of the various media with regard to ethical and moral standards and the constitutional protection given them. The course focuses on analysis and discussion of such issues as censorship, public access, pornography, privacy, advertising, and television programming.

Course Rotation: PLV: Fall, Even years.
CMS 312  Introduction to Cultural Studies  (3 credits)  

Cultural Studies as an intellectual formation resists easy definition because it is considered as an interdisciplinary or even anti-disciplinary mode of inquiry into societies’ institutional, ideological, and communicative practices. As a discursive formation, it has no simple origins, it is seen to have multiple histories and yet, it refuses to be a master discourse or a meta-discourse. It does not possess a research methodology of its own but the choice of research practices depends upon the kind of questions one asks in a particular context. Given some of the historical tensions that constitute the body of cultural studies, this course will address the question of “what cultural studies really is”, the historical trajectories that underlie the formations of cultural studies in various nations, and what it means to study culture as a struggle over meaning and as field of cultural practices that reflect domination, subordination and negotiation.

Course Rotation: NY: Fall.
CMS 313  The Dark Side of Communication  (3 credits)  

This course examines modern abuses in communication which citizens today must learn to navigate, from the epidemic of Cyberbullying to the darker form of media and political expression that impact democracy. Students will explore issues, theories, and implications of destructive communications in a variety of contexts including interpersonal relationships, identity- politics, and media explorations. Among the issues that will be explored, the course will focus on the language bullying, verbal abuse: hate groups and bigotry, cult rhetoric and manipulation: radicalization through social media; Partisan vitrol; identity politics and conspiracy theorists. An emphasis will be placed not only on building an understanding of the many manifestations of the darker side of human communication, but also forms of advocacy and counter-efforts towards confronting these issues beyond the classroom.

CMS 314  Media v. Government  (3 credits)  

This course examines the defining conflicts between media and government, the consequences of which have helped to shape our principles and practices of mass communication. We explore the historical cultural clashes and landmark legal cases that have tested the meanings and boundaries of a free press, the public interest, the right to privacy, freedom of information, and national security. Students will also learn about central debates in the practice of mass media through examining famous battles over defamation, copyright infringement, and indecent material. Some of these cases have positioned media producers against government agencies, arriving at dramatic decisions in the Supreme Court. Others have placed media figures against political figures in cultural collisions that played out on national television, or online, where the "court of public opinion" mattered most. From Edward Murrow's historical head-to-head with Joseph McCarthy in 1954, to President Trump's conflicts with news outlets and social networks in present day, students will immerse themselves in the cultural, political, and legal frameworks in which these rivalries occurred. Beyond American media, the course will examine the varying press systems around the globe, and the revolutionary role that certain media have assumed against authoritarian governments.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall
CMS 331  Strategic Communication  (3 credits)  

Strategic communication is a field of study that has assumed added importance in these troubled times in view of the crises in governance, national discourse. public diplomacy. and climate change, to name a few. Strategic communication takes different forms depending on the specific context in which it operates; it could be constructed and interpreted as purposeful, targeted, benevolent or manipulative based on its mission to accomplish organizational certain goals. It involves both informed planning and message strategizing for long­ term goals for the future and "thinking on ones feet" to address contingent exigencies and emergencies of the present. In this course we explore through theories and case studies, the use of strategic communication in solving diplomatic crises, intervening in health crises, addressing climate change, advocating for social justice ,and managing public relations disasters for individuals and organizations. Even as it attempts to influence is also simultaneously being challenged to adapt to the pervasive and ever-evolving social 'media ecology' to reformulate its concepts. approaches and research methods, academically and professionally. It draws disciplinary sustenance from business management, communication theory, critical media studies, political science, psychology, participatory action research, development communication, public relations, public diplomacy, social marketing, and sociology, not to mention, data science and data analytics. It blurs the disciplinary boundaries between the liberal arts and STEM fields in constituting itself as a problem-solving and goal-oriented field of study. It finds application in (inter) governmental and non-governmental organizations, corporate and not-for profit settings, advocacy and activism, crisis management, fundraising, crowd sourcing, managing public relations, and social profiling to generate big data. Strategic communication straddles the borders of culture, politics, and business while addressing the diplomat, consumer, client, citizen, or patient- inter-culturally, organizationally, and inter-personally.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall
CMS 332  Self-Presentation and Impression Management through Communication  (3 credits)  

This course is grounded in the theory and research on communication behaviors that serve to manage and create a desired impression in social and professional setting. It examines how social interaction constituted in and through communication and it gives attention to the development of a repertoire of strategies that can be employed in the service of identify management.

Course Rotation: NY: Spring
CMS 334  Persuasion and Compliance-Gaining  (3 credits)  

An introduction to the distinct but related fields of Persuasion and Compliance Gaining theories and concepts. Subject matter will focus on both interpersonal and public spheres. Emphasis will be placed on 20th century and later theories and concepts.

CMS 335  Media and Gender  (3 credits)  

This course investigates the ways in which media constructs gender through the exploration femininity and masculinity in media representations, intersections of race, class, sexuality and gender in mediated gender constructions and audience participation in creating meaning from representations of gendered identities. This course also considers how such constructions impact our perceptions of gender as well as our senses to self.

Course Rotation: NY: Spring.
CMS 336  Propaganda  (3 credits)  

Propaganda is studied as a systematic technique of persuasion of large groups of people using the mass media. This course examines the nature and techniques of propaganda necessary for an understanding of mass communication, history, public opinion, and politics.

Course Rotation: Spring.
CMS 338  Media Criticism  (3 credits)  

A survey of various past and contemporary aspects of control of media content including: sexually explicit material, blasphemy, portrayals of violence, school publications, tobacco and alcohol product and gambling casino advertisements, election night reports and voter surveys and early ballot counts, libel, etc. Constitutional, political, commercial implications are explored with special attention paid to landmark Supreme Court cases.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring. PLV: Fall - Odd years.
CMS 341  Citizen Journalism and Deliberation  (3 credits)  

This course examines new developments in democratic theories and journalistic practices. Beyond classroom lecture, students in the course will take several different roles-news reporters, from moderator, and discussant, experiencing participatory democracy through the analysis and deliberation of vital issues facing their communities and school. Seminar/discussion.

CMS 393  Internship Program l  (1-9 credits)  

One to one-and-a-half days per week for 14 weeks or equivalent number of hours. Internships in corporate communication, public agencies, public relations, and related fields.

Course Rotation: PLV: Fall, Spring, and Summer.
Prerequisites: Permission of Department Chair.
CMS 394  Internship Program II  (1-6 credits)  

One to one-and-a-half days per week for 14 weeks or equivalent number of hours. Internships in corporate communication, public agencies, public relations, and related fields.

Prerequisites: Permission of Department Chair.
CMS 395  Independent Study in Communications  (1-9 credits)  

With the approval of the appropriate faculty member, the department chairperson, and the academic dean, students may select a topic for guided research that is not included in the regular course offerings. The student meets regularly with the faculty member to review progress. A research project or paper must also be submitted.

Course Rotation: Fall, Spring, and Summer.
Prerequisites: Junior standing, minimum CQPA of 3.00.
CMS 481  Language and Power  (3 credits)  

The course explores a central theme operating in all forms of verbal communications - the two central features of discourse.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall.
Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of instructor required.