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Graduate Courses

40-500.   Pro-Seminar:
An introduction to themes of social justice and the common good; media and democratic communication. The course will also facilitate the development of intellectual skills and include an exploration of procedures and requirements relevant to graduate study and intellectual life. Students will produce proposals and literature reviews for their major research paper or thesis projects.

40-501.  Critical Theories of Communication
A review of critical theories of communication in the context of social justice themes. Key topic areas include theories of commodification, ideology, cultural production and representation, art and politics, communication and democracy, information, and globalization.

40-502.  Graduate Research Methods
This course provides an overview and applications of a range of contemporary research methods in communication studies. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be examined in this course, but the course may focus primarily on one or the other type of approach to communication research.

40-512.  Communication and Social Movements
Examines the use of traditional and non-traditional forms of communication that have been used within, and by, a variety of social movements and social formations. The course draws upon a combination of new social movement theory and critical media and cultural studies. Areas of focus will include the following: an assessment of (i) the contribution of new communication technologies to social activism and social movements; (ii) the representations of social movements in the context of political/economic/social change; (iii) the diversity and importance of alternative media as a central component of movements for social justice.

40-513.  History of Communication Thought and Technology
Examines the evolution of media technology from perspectives of dependency theory, political economy, and critical cultural studies. Communication thought from the Greeks to the present, with emphasis on Canadian and U.S. Communication thought and international communication from the perspective of social justice and the common good will be analyzed.

40-514.  Political Economy of Communication
The course examines the historical roots of critical political economy in relation to media and communication studies and explores contemporary applications of, and current issues in, the political economy of communication. Students will read a series of books and documentary materials which help to bring to light the role played by mass media in power relations and the social construction of reality. The texts will be examined from the perspective of critical political economists (such as Noam Chomsky).

40-515.  Media Representation and Reception
Any range of media modes and texts, such as documentary, experimental film, music-video, feature films, television, and the emerging digital formats, may be examined in terms of their aesthetics, poetics, history, and cultural politics. Theoretical approaches to representational analysis and/or audience reception will be presented for critical reflection.

40-518.  City as Media
The seminar will explore theoretical approaches to the ways in which urban spaces, everyday life, and city stories are articulated and imagined through media, arts and technologies. Seminar participants will develop research papers and experience-based creative projects about Windsor and/or Detroit. Students will examine films, stories, sounds and other media objects that reflect the urban, but will also be encouraged to develop research methodologies that use old and new media to question and document the cities’ urban and suburban life. In classroom seminars, a range of theoretical writings and media objects all oriented to the urban will be discussed. In research practice, students will work with techniques such as auto-ethnographies to develop creative documents around everyday urban life. (3 hour lecture.)

40-520.  Directed Study
Normally reserved for students not writing a thesis. With approval of the graduate program director, a student may undertake to write an original paper on a specialized topic which will enhance his or her program of study. The course will involve directed supervision of readings and informal discussion with the student's course supervisor.

40-543.  Advanced Film Theory and Criticism
Films are explored under the broad rubric of cultural studies; specific theoretical approaches employed to analyze cinema are examined. Case studies of genres as the emergent effective mode of understanding films are taken up. Films selected may belong to the silent or classical period to the contemporary. The readings provide tools to analyze formal aspects and critical interpretative frameworks applied to examine films. Writing assignments forge links between the written and the visual and between theory and film texts. (3 hrs/week: once a month, class will be extended due to in-class film screening.)

40-590.  Selected Topics
Selected advanced topics in Communication Studies based on special faculty interests and opportunities afforded by the availability of visiting professors. Special topics courses are subject to Graduate Committee approval. (May be repeated for credit provided that the topics differ.) (3 lecture hours a week.)

*Courses are subject to change and are offered on a rotating basis.