Communication for Social Change

Course Description:

“Social change” is a multi-dimensional concept and social process at the core of our communal fabric. The bedrock of democracy is built on the robust nature of social change. However, social change is much more than an act or action, it is a long process of negotiation between those who have and those who do not. Regardless of how one frames or understands social change, its stages and parts are embodied through the dynamic process of communication.  Numerous scholars have theorized the social change potential of mediated communication and mass production. This graduate course is a brief theoretical and practical survey in understanding the communication and social change broadly. We will explore concepts and theories of social change that have application for our critical arts practice, studies, theoretical commitments, performance and/or industries. The objective of the course is to join theories of social change with the interests of the students in the course, allowing for flexibility and freedom for students to work on and development their current research area. The course is comprised of a diverse group of students (MFA, PhD and MS). Students in the course are encouraged to explore the connections between theory, history and practice in their area of expertise. The final project may be scholarly, creative or a combination of both.

Course Objectives:

This course has the following objectives:

  • Understanding the multidisciplinary aspects of theories exploring the concept of social change and communication
  • Increasing knowledge relevant to the analysis and criticism of media in regards to social change
  • Applying contemporary methods of criticism to exploring the social change process across context
  • Developing skills as a critic, writer, editor, theorist and/or media maker
  • Acquiring skills to become intelligent consumer and producer of social messages as addressed to particular audiences.

Course Requirements:

Presentations and Written Assignments: The core of your grade will be determined by your weekly projects. These presentations and written projects are designed to give you an opportunity to apply the course content to your research program and to develop your final class projects in a workshop environment.

Assignment One: Introduction Presentation on Social Change

Assignment Two: Research Question/Creative Concept

Assignment Three: Bibliography

Assignment Four: Final Project Proposal

Assignment Five: 5-page paper, Social Change and Your Field

Assignment Six: Rough Draft Peer Review, worth 75 points, exchange projects, provide feedback on

Assignment Eight: Presentation of Final Project, worth 200 (8/9)

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