This course studies critical contexts of public communications to bring students an understanding of forces that shape media and representation, and relationships between mass communication and the public. Whether as a consumer or a professional, this class is designed so that you can examine relevant issues in public communication through a critical and insightful lens. This course looks at a variety of issues across numerous facets of public communication, from public relations to social media to celebrity to the various permutations of consumer culture during the 20th and 21st centuries.
This course is arranged in a seminar style – that is, COM 436 is organized around class discussions of readings and other materials. Throughout the semester, you will gradually take greater control of the class by leading a class discussion and giving a presentation on your final project. In so doing, this course gives you the tools and the space to develop a critical research project on an issue in public communication relevant to your personal and/or professional interests.