Communications (COMM)

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COMM 1100  3 credits  
Foundations of Communication Studies  

Students will be given a comprehensive overview of what it means to study communications. They will explore classic definitions and models of communications and trace how these notions have changed with the introduction of new media, new messages, new communicators and a more active and participatory audience. They will explore: communication theories, communication media, the key power players in the realm of communications (particularly in North America) and the role of the audience.

Level: UG

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

COMM 1110  3 credits  
Television and Social Change  

Students will explore the evolution of North American television programs from their beginnings to the present day, in the context of their impact on and reflection of social change. Students will critically view and analyse the iconic television programs produced since World War Two and consider their role in mirroring and/or affecting society at large from a cultural, political and social perspective.

Level: UG

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

COMM 1200  3 credits  
Visual Literacy  

Students will critically explore visual-literacy concepts and theories that are applicable to a broad range of media including, but not limited to, web sites, television, newspapers, fine art, advertising, social media, photography, zines, comics/graphic novels and film/video. They will learn how to interpret, negotiate and evaluate effective visual communications through screenings, readings, workshops, exercises and classroom discussion. Students will learn how to 'see' the basic graphic composition of images, such as design elements and principles. They will analyze visual-communication problems, discuss solutions and produce personal projects that reflect their understanding of visual literacy. Note: This course may include mandatory field trips.

Level: UG

Attribute: ARTS

COMM 2100  3 credits  
Media Ethics and Law  

Students will learn about the philosophical underpinnings of various approaches to ethical dilemmas, and about current media-related laws. They will consider these theories and laws relative to such issues as privacy, offensive content, freedom of expression, contempt of court and conflict of interest. They will explore these issues as they relate to various communication methods including, but not limited to, social networking, blogs and other interactive media, citizen and professional journalism, and various entertainment media. They will critically examine and analyze content from an ethical and legal perspective and discuss the impact of new technologies on media ethics and law.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 6 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

COMM 2210  3 credits  
Media, Audiences and Popular Culture  

Students will be introduced to the study of popular culture. They will map the topic in different media, such as television, movies, advertising, video games, animation, music, public art and the Internet. They will also explore how popular culture has aligned itself historically with different goals: cultural, economic, political, and social. They will explore the major organizations and other players involved in communications around the world with particular focus on North America. Note: This course may include required field trips.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 6 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

COMM 3100  3 credits  
Media and Diversity  

Students will examine the media from the perspective of a diverse audience, with a specific focus on issues such as race, religion, gender and culture. They will analyze diversity issues in media content for fairness and balance. Note: This course may include required field trips.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including ENGL 1100

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

COMM 3200  3 credits  
Celebrity and the Media  

Students will explore the evolution and impact of celebrity culture. They will examine how changes in media technology have changed the nature of celebrity. They will study the relationship between celebrity culture and various aspects of society, including politics, consumerism, and privacy. They will explore the impact of celebrity culture on notions of self and identity. They will critically reflect on the ways they engage with celebrity.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including either SOCI 2275 or 3 credits from a course in COMM.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

COMM 3210  3 credits  
Communication and Everyday Life  

Students will examine the interaction of language and culture in everyday life. They will explore how language gives order not only to communication but to perceptions of the world and how it operates. Students will analyze how historical power relations have shaped language and, subsequently, policy and law. Students will learn discourse analysis techniques to assess and analyze a diverse range of influential "texts" encountered in everyday life, such as gossip, humour, music, film, visual art, and architecture. They will examine how structures of power and oppression are embedded within institutions that employ, manufacture, and broadcast texts, and how dialogic communication and discourse analysis can enable the deconstruction of the underlying forces that shape these texts.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including one of the following: FINA 2147, SOCI 2255, SOCI 2275 or 3 credits from a course in COMM.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

COMM 3220  3 credits  
Social Media, New Technology, and Society  

Students will examine social media theory and practice, wearable and mobile app technologies, and their relationships to social changes in work, leisure, and everyday life. They will explore the range of imperatives served by these new technologies: from commercial to personal, from political to activist, and from artistic to countercultural. Students will discuss the ethics of social media and mobile and wearable technologies. They will also address intersections of technology and gender, race, sexuality, social justice, identity, policy, and law. Note: Students require access to a computer, tablet, or smart phone with Internet access.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher, including one of the following: SOCI 2255, SOCI 2275 or 3 credits from a course in COMM.

Attribute: ARTS

COMM 3230  3 credits  
Sports, Media and Audience  

Students will explore the relationship between sports, athletes, media, and audience. They will analyze the relationship between sport media and race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, consumerism, violence, civic life and other issues. They will examine issues relating to journalism ethics and the production of sports media, including mass media and social media.

Level: UG

Prerequisite(s): 45 credits from courses at the 1100 level or higher.

Attributes: ASTR, ARTS

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