Go to http://tritonlink.ucsd.edu for more important enrollment 
and registration information for 2015-2016

For course descriptions please visit the UCSD catalog at:

Junior Seminars

PREREQUISITES: Junior Standing and MUST HAVE TAKEN COMM 10 and AT LEAST 1 of the COMM 100 courses

COMM 190
Instructor: Lilly Irani
The Social Life of Innovation
Description: What is innovation? Why has it become a dominant way of conceptualizing creativity and cultural transformation? What ways of living and making are marginalized in mainstream ideas of innovation? This class investigates histories of innovation, technology, and creativity. We will examine how gender, race, class, and colonial histories structure how innovation is practiced and who is recognizable as an innovator. The seminar includes intensive reading, reflection, and research.


COMM 190
Instructor: Stefan Tanaka, co-taught with Deborah Forster and Yelena Gluzman
Title: Beginning of Cybernetics: The Macy Conferences

Description: The Macy Conferences, held between 1946 and 1953 are often considered the beginning of the modern field of cybernetics and, by some accounts, the beginning of cognitive science. One of the founders, Norbert Wiener defined cybernetics as a "study of messages as a means of controlling machines and society."  The disciplinary breadth is remarkable; a partial list includes psychiatry, anthropology, computer engineering, sociology, biophysics, psychology, mathematics, and philosophy.  In addition to cybernetics, many participants were key figures in the founding of information theory and systems theory.

Through the transcripts of the meetings, the seminar will explore the process--issues and debates--by which scholars from a wide range of disciplines were able to formulate the contours of this field. Students will perform the debates as well as conduct research on various participants.

COMM 190
Instructor: Val Hartouni
Title: Eve of Destruction: The 1960s and the Crisis of Culture
Description: The 1960's were a particularly turbulent decade in American life whose meaning and legacy continue to be debated.  During this now thoroughly mythologized period, contesting cultural and political claims, meanings, and practices collided, at times violently, in streets, courts, universities, and legislatures across the land. And whether one sees these struggles as moments of opportunity and democratic possibility or as the moral and political unraveling of a once great Republic, most will agree that the era contributed to reshaping (fundamentally, for better or worse) the understandings, expectations, and shared practices that organize individual and collective life.  This course explores critical events and trends of the decade and their lasting impact.  Through the use of film, television, autobiography, literature, historical narrative, and music we will consider the war in Viet Nam and its opposition, the Civil Rights movement, Student revolt on the UC campuses (and beyond), the Free-Speech Movement, a changing popular culture, and the growth of counter-cultures.

COMM 190
Instructor: Christo Sims 
Title: Futures of Learning
In this seminar we will take up the design challenge: how might public universities be otherwise? Through individual and group work, you will learn to analyze current educational institutions, assess influential proposals about how to fix or improve public universities, and imagine your own ideas about how public universities could – and perhaps should – be radically different. Throughout, we will ask questions about equity, learning, and the roles of educational institutions in society. You will learn to critically analyze the latest debates around media technologies and education and you will develop skills for exploring and communicating currently unimaginable futures. This is a hands-on course that involves a fair amount of project-based work.


Intermediate Electives - Topics

COMM 113T: Intermediate Topics in Communication
Instructor: Andras Kovacs (nominated)
Title: How do we Understand Film and Media: The Cognitive Approach
What goes on in our minds when we are watching movies or some other audiovisual media? Why do we prefer this movie to that one? Why our emotions are so intense when watching a film, and why do we confound often what we see on television with reality? A whole new science is emerging that tries to explain on scientific grounds the audiovisual experience of the media. Even Hollywood studios and advertisement film companies have been using advanced neuropsychological research lately to reach their potential audiences more effectively. This course is an introduction to the science that helps us answer these questions. We’ll have a look into our perceptual system, memory system, emotional system, which build up representations of what we see on the screen, and explain both our rational and emotional reactions to it.

Advanced Electives - Topics

COMM 132 - Advanced Topics in Communication
Instructor: Andras Kovacs (nominated)
Title: Success and Happiness in Hollywood Films
One of the reasons Hollywood cinema is so attractive worldwide is that these films propagate a way of life that moves the imagination of audiences regardless of their nationality, religion and cultural tradition. The most important ingredient of the value system underlying this way of life is individual success and happiness. Hollywood films have formed over the past hundred years a set of behavioral and psychological patterns that are considered to help reaching success and happiness. What are these patterns? What does Hollywood way of storytelling and character construction suggest us about what psychological traits and modes of behavior will make us both happy and successful, and how not following these patterns causes failure. In this course, we will analyze well known Hollywood films from different historical periods to see the different variations the same personality traits and behavioral patterns appearing in them leading to success or happiness.

COMM 146 - Advanced Topics in Cultural Production
Instructor: Angela Booker
Title: Storytelling
What are the roles for storytelling in an ‘age of information’? In this course we will consider storytelling as an intervention in processes of producing meaning. We will address theory,method, and practice and will explore storytelling in variety of forms. The course should interest students who care about politics, cultural production, community, distributed cognition, and human development.

COMM 146 - Advanced Topics in Cultural Production
Instructor: Ned Randolph (nominated)
Title: Journalism in a Time of Crisis
Students will hone techniques of reporting and news writing while considering the role of journalism in a time of hyper-partisanship and media skepticism. As charges of Fake News, Post-Truth and Alternative Facts swirl, students will be expected to think critically about their own news literacy and production practices. Expect to actively participate in group discussions, and be ready to workshop your stories with the goal of producing publishable work.

Graduate Courses

COGR 200B - Introduction to Study of Communication: Communication and Culture (4)
Instructor: Fernando Dominguez Rubio 

Description: This course focuses on questions of interpretation and meaning. This course will examine how people use texts to interpret the world and coordinate their activities in social groups. Students will study both theories of interpretation in the conventional sense and theories about the act of interpreting. Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

COGR 210D - Historical Methods for Communication Research (4)
Instructor: David Serlin 

Description: Different approaches to conducting historical research in communication. Such approaches may include the social history of communication technology; structuralist and poststructuralist accounts of language, media, and collective memory; and new historicist treatments of cultural history. Sources, documentation, and the nature of argument from historical evidence are emphasized. Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

COGR 225B - Seminar in Science Studies (4)
Instructor: Claire Ellen Edington

Description: Study and discussion of a selected topic in the science studies field with an emphasis on the development of research and writing skills. The topic varies from year to year. Prerequisites:enrollment in the Science Studies Program or consent of instructor.

COGR 225C - Colloquium in Science Studies (4)
Instructor: Catherina M. Gere

Description: A forum for the presentation and discussion of research in progress in science studies by graduate students, faculty, and visitors. Students must attend the colloquium series for their entire first and second years. They receive course credit in one quarter each year. Prerequisites: enrollment in the Science Studies Program.

COGR 275 - Topics in Communication (4)
Instructor: Zeinabu I. Davis

Description: Specialized study in communication, with topics to be determined by the instructor for any given quarter.

COGR 284 - Time (4)
Instructor: Stefan A. Tanaka

Description: This seminar will introduce key issues and readings in our understanding of time. Time is historical, not natural. We will examine ways that modern time structures and orders human interaction. Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

COGR 285 - Ethnography Practicium (4) 
Instructor: Christopher O. Sims 

COGR 296 - Communication Research as an Interdisciplinary Activity (4)
Instructor: Shawna F. Kidman

Description: A course that introduces students to the interdisciplinary nature of the field of communication research as represented by the work of faculty in the Department of Communication. Through faculty research, students are presented with concrete examples of communication research theory and practice that can provide them with insights for conducting their own research projects. Prerequisites: graduate standing or consent of instructor.