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Course Descriptions

COMM 101 Introduction to Media Studies (4) (S)

Introduces students to the role played by mass media in culture. Media institutions and technologies are examined in terms of their histories, economic and legal characteristics, and contemporary social influence. Offered each semester.

COMM 210 Audio Production Workshop (1)

Introduces students to fundamental aspects of a variety of audio applications, including field recording, studio recording, and multitrack production. Offered each spring.

COMM 221 Understanding Film (4) (A)

A survey of film as an artistic and cultural medium. The course explores film historically and aesthetically, considering aspects of film technology, style, narrative, genre, and ideology. Emphasis is placed on historically important films, filmmakers, and film movements, but contemporary trends are also addressed. Offered each spring.

COMM 222 Public Speaking (4)

An individualized introduction to the theory and practice of informative and persuasive speech communication. Extemporaneous speaking is explored in depth while impromptu and group communication are also examined. The communication model is stressed, including sender, receiver, message (verbal and non-verbal) channel, noise, and feedback. Offered each semester.

COMM 250 Digital Filmmaking I (4)

Introduces students to the techniques and traditions of fictional narrative film making. Emphasis is placed on principles of visual storytelling and conventions of continuity and composition, videography, lighting, editing, and production management. Students also learn the fundamentals of screenwriting. Offered each semester.

COMM 300 Media Law and Ethics (4)

Examines the legal principles and regulatory structures, primarily in the areas of First Amendment law and copyright, governing print and electronic media. Additional discussion concerns ethical standards and potential ethical dilemmas faced by working media professionals. Prerequisite: COMM 101 or 211 and junior/senior status. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

COMM 312 The Art of Animation (4)

An in-depth look at the history of animation as a developing art form. The course also looks at animation as a reflection of culture and as a business. Prerequisite: COMM 101 (formerly 211) or consent. Offered intermittently.

COMM 320 Experimental Film and Video (4)

Explores the history and theory of experimental film and video through lecture, discussion, reading, and screenings and through creative action. Students produce their own avant-garde videos as they learn the form's aesthetic heritage and contemporary developments. Prerequisite: COMM 101 (previously COMM 211) or COMM 221 or consent. Offered in selected Winter Sessions.

COMM 321 Theories and Methods in Mass Communication (4)

An overview of the theories and research methods that characterize the study of mass communication. Students use theory as a lens for conducting their own studies using surveys, experiments, field research, content analysis, and qualitative techniques. Prerequisites: COMM 101 and junior/senior status. Offered each semester.

COMM 325 Organizational Communication (4)

Examines all forms of communication in any profit or non-profit organization. Combines theory and practice to understand intended and unintended messages. Topics include culture, networking, impact of technology, medium and channel, and rhetorical purpose. Offered each spring.

COMM 326 Persuasion and the Media (4)

An examination of the methods and techniques that advertisers use to persuade audiences. Prerequisite: COMM 101 (formerly 211). Offered each fall.

COMM 328 Public Relations (4)

An introduction to the public relations and advertising profession with an emphasis on writing. Students examine the role of public relations and advertising in a free society and the demands and constraints, including ethical ones, placed upon them. They write background or briefing papers, press releases, informational and persuasive copy, and finding promotable elements in products and services. Identical to JOUR 328. Offered each semester.

COMM 333 Special Topics in Media Studies (4)

An investigation of selected themes, genres, directors, periods, or topics in mass media and cultural studies. Sample topics include "American Silent Film," "The Movies of 1939," "The Films of the Coen Brothers," "Women and Film," "The Documentary Tradition," and "The Western." Prerequisite: COMM 101 or consent. May be repeated if the topic is different.

COMM 335 Christian Theology and Film (4) (V,W)

Explores how the fields of theology and film studies cross-fertilize each other, with special attention given to the ways in which film functions as religious discourse. Students investigate the historical evolution of film as a means of communicating theological doctrines or themes through its narrative patterns and analyze how religious and secular films can be constructed as cultural texts that advise not only how one should live, but what one should believe. Emphasizes the sermonic nature of film, various hermeneutics of film, and how audiences receive and appropriate both manifest and latent religious meanings. Prerequisite: 3 semester hours in communication, English, history, philosophy, or religious studies. Identical to RELST 335. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

COMM 411 Senior Seminar in Communication Studies (4) (I,W)

In-depth investigation into the art, history, culture, and ethics of various media through the lens of a particular topic. For example, students may explore the construct of celebrity or friendship as formulated, manufactured, and disseminated through mediated channels. Prerequisites: successful completion of ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher, COMM 101 (formerly 211), and COMM 321 (formerly 323/324). Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

COMM 481 Internship in Communication (4)

A significant, practical learning experience for the student of communication and, as such, a required component of the program of studies. Students may complete one or two internships as part of the major. All internships must be approved by the program coordinator. Offered each semester.

COMM EL1 Elective (0.1-10)

COMM EL2 Elective (0.1-10)

JOUR 201 Introduction to Journalism (4)

An introduction to the study of newsgathering, reporting, and writing across multiple media platforms, including ethical, legal, and stylistic concerns. Prerequisite: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher. Offered each semester.

JOUR 210 Journalism Workshop (4)

A practical workshop in which students contribute to The Marlin Chronicle, Virginia Wesleyan's student newspaper, as writers, designers, and photographers. Students are encouraged to discover and develop a specialty. Prerequisite: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher or consent. Offered each semester.

JOUR 385 Editors in the Workshop (1)

An opportunity for editors of The Marlin Chronicle to superintend the professional performance of their sections. Editors run weekly budget meetings; make assignments; encourage, assist, and evaluate staff; and produce a responsible, quality publication. May be repeated for credit. Offered each semester.

JOUR 397 Feature Writing (4)

Students pursue the principles of researching, interviewing, and writing several different kinds of feature stories, including editorials, columns, and lifestyle pieces. Special topics include sports, travel, food and humor. Prerequisite: JOUR 201 or consent.

JOUR 435 Advanced Newswriting (4) (W)

An advanced course in the collection and reporting of news in which students are expected to demonstrate independence and initiative in their work. Each student learns to develop a beat and make use of sources. Emphasis is placed on skepticism. Prerequisite: JOUR 201. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.

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