You can sort all courses offered by session, subject, instructor, and more in the myHeliotrope online course search.

COM 1400: Introduction to Video Techniques and Technology

This introduction to the art and science of video production focuses on developing visual literacy and postproduction skills. Starting with an examination of basic video technology and traditional media aesthetics, all stages of the video production process are covered. Students receive introductory technical training and hands-on experience with digital camcorders, microphones, and nonlinear editing equipment.

Credits: 3

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 1500: Introduction to Communication

The history and impact of communication technologies are examined, beginning with speech and moving forward through print and digital media, advertising and public relations, media regulation and potential, and ending with a consideration of the future.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 2005: Public Speaking

Students develop expertise in public speaking by preparing and presenting different types of speeches for a variety of purposes. The focus is on the main elements of planning and delivering a speech: the message, the speaker, the audience, and the occasion. All speeches are critiqued in class. As an integral part of the course, students learn PowerPoint.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 2050: Introduction to Media Writing

In this writing intensive course, students build foundational skills in writing for a variety of media and purposes: print, digital, and broadcast media, public relations and advertising. Students begin to explore the divergent applications of written communication by analyzing their roles as both consumers of and writers for media. Ethical and legal issues are also introduced.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3020: Law, Ethics, and the Media

The First Amendment allows the mass media certain freedoms to publish, broadcast, advertise, and promote. Yet with those rights come responsibilities. This course examines the legal and ethical dimensions and issues involved with contemporary American mass media.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3040: Mass Media: A Cultural History

An interdisciplinary (social science and humanities) course that emphasizes critical thinking in understanding the social and historical effects of mass media in the U.S. and throughout the world. This course begins in 19th-century America, when print media shaped and defined the national culture, and concludes in the current century with the mass-media convergence of print, electronic, and digital multimedia that is shaping and defining our global culture.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3120: Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is approached from a communication perspective in this course. Students explore the cooperative decision-making process in which individuals and groups work together to attempt to achieve goals that may initially seem divergent. By examining the way language is used to frame arguments and barriers, students practice planning, reframing, and bargaining to maintain roles and relationships.

Credits: 2

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3130: Public Communication Campaigns

Students learn how to inform and influence large audiences about noncommercial issues through a series of purposeful communication activities. By examining cases in environment, health, human and animal welfare, and disaster prevention, participants differentiate successful from unsuccessful campaigns and review the process for crafting appropriate mediated messages and selecting specific channels to produce a desired impact.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3165: American Film, Reflections of a Century I: 1900 to 1949

Early films depict the transition from the Victorian era to the Industrial Age, the birth of big cities, the suffragette movement, and the development of narrative cinema. Topics include World War I and the introduction of the propaganda film, the wild Jazz Age, the cynical gangster movies, the protest films of the Depression era, and the rise of escapist films.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3170: American Film, Reflections of a Century II: 1950 to 1999

Defining trends in U.S. cultural history between 1950 and 1999, as reflected in film. Topics include the re-introduction of realism, counterculture films, films by socially oriented and “new auteur directors,” and the impact of AIDS, relations between the sexes, and modern special effects. Aspects of cinema history are also examined, including the construct and use of certain genres, the relationship between cinematic realism and censorship, and the rise of independent film.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3200: American Film, Reflections of a Century III: The 21st Century

Analyzes trends in American cultural history as reflected in the movies from 1990 onwards, with an exploration of precursors. Topics include the digital age, globalism, millennialism, postmodernism, and what is to come in the future. Students examine connections between Western civilization and landmarks of film history—cinema mirroring society and vice versa.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3300: Management and Communication

The roles and theories of communication and leadership, together with the skills and traits of effective managers, are studied. Students examine how managers use behavioral modification and motivation techniques, develop coaching skills, manage change and conflict, and create a vision for their employees. The topics of strategy, organizational culture, and diversity are also included.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3320: Documentary Production

An examination of the history, cultural impact, and aesthetics of documentary film and video production. Through viewings, lectures, discussions, and hands-on exercises, students learn how to research, write, interview, direct, shoot, and edit a documentary. Using camcorders and editing equipment, students produce their own short documentaries.

Credits: 3

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3700: Teamwork Through Meetings

Knowing how to get work done through meetings is an increasingly important skill set. Students explore the discursive strategies used in a variety of multicultural business meetings, both face-to-face and virtual. Using communication methods, students analyze why some meetings are considered productive and others not so much, as well as the roles, relationships, conflict, and written documentation enacted therein.

Credits: 2

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3701: The Business of Writing

Offers hands-on tools to prepare students to market their work while staying true to their artistic and creative sensibilities. Topics include how to submit work to producers, competitions, and companies. Students learn how to write professional synopses, query letters, and one-sheets, plus the technique of pitching, with practice pitching sessions.

Credits: 2

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3702: Making On-Camera Presentations

After reviewing basic presentation skills and techniques, student gain experience handling digital devices to record presentations of themselves and others. Providing hands-on instruction and practice for conducting and recording professional presentations and interviews (still frame and in motion), the course also covers essential production elements: shooting and editing, interviewing and selecting sound bites, and writing and voicing.

Credits: 2

Department: Liberal Studies
COM 3710: A Critical Look at Television in Society: From “I Love Lucy” to Honey Boo Boo

Television is much more than a passive, incessant means of diversion—it is a powerful environment of ideas, emotions, and values that influences people’s thoughts, actions, and relationships. Students become acquainted with current issues concerning television in society and explore the impact of television on society. Aspects examined include the 1950s and mass culture, viewer response, serial/episodic structure, and the rise of cable.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3000: Holocaust Theatre and Film

Explores various representations of the Holocaust in dramatic and cinematic forms. The focus is on American and Israeli plays by such authors as Arthur Miller and Donald Margulies. Students examine questions of realism, historical truth, and artistic freedom and view Eastern European, American, and German films, including popular Shoah films like Schindler’s List, Life is Beautiful, and Sophie’s Choice.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3010: America at the Movies

Selected films are analyzed to illuminate significant aspects of American society in the 1970s and 1980s, including the war in Vietnam and expansion of American power, the end of legal racial segregation, the movements for women's equality and gay rights, and challenges to traditional conventions (the sexual revolution, counterculture movement, and youth movement). How did these developments affect life in America in the following decades, and how did Hollywood confront their political reverberations?

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3030: Modernism, Media, and the Middle Class

Charles Morazé, in The Triumph of the Middle Classes, describes the political and social history of the bourgeoisie during the 19th century. This course traces themes from Morazé; through the 20th century, with attention to how the middle class sees itself through art, literature, film, advertising, and television.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3050: History and Memory: Literature and Films of Atrocity

Students study historic accounts, memoirs, diaries, and cinematic depictions of such atrocities as the Jewish Holocaust, Armenian and Rwandan genocides, Stalinist and South African purges, and Cambodian massacres. Genocide and mass murder are dissected by considering the causes, methods, aftermath, and possibly the lessons learned.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3060: Frontline Reporting: Global Conflict

The past century saw two world wars and countless smaller, armed conflagrations over land, political influence, and ancient hatreds. This course focuses on a variety of post–World War II conflicts as reported by international journalists. Students learn about the atrocities in Bosnia, the Middle East, and Africa, among others, but most of all, they learn how war and conflict are reported.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3070: Teenagers in Literature and Film

Whether finding a prom date or a lunch table, or dealing with the problems of puberty, the anxiety of being a teenager is a nearly universal experience. Writers and filmmakers use adolescence in their work as a way to connect to their audience. This course traces the pervasive themes of the teenage experience in film and literature.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3080: East–West: Film and Literature of Cultural Formation

Students explore contemporary literary and cinematic expressions of immigrant groups seeking acceptance in Western cultures. The focus is on issues related to assimilation, identity, and the reactions of the Western mainstream cultures as outside forces compete for recognition. The immigrant groups depicted include those originating in Southeast Asia, China, Africa, and the Middle East.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3090: Social Psychological Theory Applied Through Film

A discussion of the constructs, theories, and ideas in the field of social psychology that are most relevant to contemporary society. Films that are rich in examples of social psychological theory are analyzed to facilitate mastery of these concepts.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3100: Film and Artistic Expression

The most successful films function as both art and entertainment; students explore why this balance is a rare achievement. Topics include the business origins and aspects of cinema, films that concern and depict artistic process, and a critical/historical evaluation of films as works of art. Film aesthetics are examined from several perspectives, including grammar, genres and forms, and auteur theory.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3120: The Law and Film

An examination of how law functions (or malfunctions), using contemporary films to illustrate the U.S. criminal justice system. Students review a series of films and compare them to literature and contemporary realities. Topics include arrest, interrogation, and the right to an attorney; preparation for trial and jury selection; the conduct of a trial, including opening statements, examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses, and sentencing; and imprisonment.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3140: African American Cinema

This focus on African American cinema includes the work of major African American directors and performers and the films that reflect the complex issues attending the relationship between race and film in the United States.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3160: American Subcultures in Film

What does it mean to be part of a subculture? This phenomenon is explored through film, focusing on subcultures that are usually not in the mainstream spotlight and analyzing what it means to live on the margins. The subcultures may include, for example, the Amish, big rig drivers, Scrabble champions, graffiti artists, quadriplegic athletes, prison inmates, and outsider artists.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3180: The Horror Film

Charts the transformations of one of the most stimulating and complex of film genres, the horror film, from its birth in the early years of the 20th century to the present. Students study the apex of the Hollywood horror film in the 1930s and how it has evolved in response to contemporary culture.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3190: The Family on Film

Explores the many types of families presented on the silver screen in the 20th century and today: perfect/idyllic families, families threatened by divorce, dysfunctional families, eccentric families, families facing a crisis, and current notions of extended or nontraditional families.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3210: The Comedy Film

Throughout the history of cinema, the comedy film has been one of the most financially profitable genres, producing some of the biggest movie stars. Topics include various comedy film styles and performers, and the role of the comedy film genre within the context of world history, especially during darker periods like the Depression and World War II.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3220: Green Screen: Environmentalism and Film

Offering an ecological approach to cinema and drawing on documentaries and popular Hollywood films, this course examines the representation of nature and wildlife across genres and explores how film depicts and dramatizes the current environmental crisis. It also asks how the technology of film is a means for the domination and exploitation as well as the exploration and veneration of nature.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3230: History in Film

How has history been portrayed on the silver screen? What responsibilities do directors assume in presenting their subjective view of historical events? Students consider these questions and examine depictions of American and European history in early and contemporary cinema, the documentary film, and the cinematic presentation of film history itself.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3235: The City on Film

“The city” is examined from some of the perspectives in which it has been depicted in film, beginning with early screen melodramas where the evils of the city are juxtaposed against the virtues of country life. Discussions range from the plight of anonymous individuals struggling for recognition and representations of the “urban jungle” in 1940s film noir to more contemporary perspectives. Filmmakers who incorporate the city as an identifying aspect of their directorial styles are also considered.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3240: Gender Expression in Film

By focusing on masculinities, femininities, and the space in between, this course examines the cultural structure of gender and investigates the various ways that gender is expressed visually in film.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3250: Human Rights Topics in Film

Topics including tolerance, racism, terrorism, colonization, and citizenship are explored in the context of human rights. The use of film in promoting and protecting human rights internationally is interrogated. This course aims to engage and help students understand various political and social issues through the visual medium of film.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3260: The Great Directors

Asserting that directors are in some ways the “authors” of a film text, it is often possible to identify key aspects and motifs of particular directorial styles. While looking at the director's overall role in the collaborative filmmaking process, this course examines the work of several influential directors who have had a major impact on the cinema.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3270: The American Crime Film

An examination of the transformations, both stylistic and thematic, within the crime film. Topics include the ways in which social attitudes toward crime and criminals are mediated in the social conventions of the cinema, the relationship of the crime film to distinct periods of American history, and the relevance of the crime film to other genres.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3280: Romance, Love, and Sex on Film

The various styles of lovemaking that have dominated the silver screen are examined, considering them both as art and entertainment and as reflections of social mores and attitudes. Topics vary through the decades, ranging from the early “peep show” days of the film industry through eras of moralism and censorship to the more sexually liberated and explicit films of the 1950s and beyond.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3290: Sports Films: Underdogs, Champions, and Gutter Balls

Examines the elements and messages in sports films that make people cheer for the underdog and care about teams, players, and sports. Using both big-budget Hollywood films and documentaries with a small scope, this course explores the ideas of team, sport, and athletics and investigates the grip that sports have on American culture.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3310: Theatre on Film

The intricate love-hate relationship between the cinema and the theatre is analyzed by considering how the theatre has been depicted in films and how select plays have been adapted for the silver screen. By studying the close relationship between theatre and film, one can discover their stark similarities and differences as performance and entertainment art forms. Students study the birth of the cinema and how film principles (chiefly, narrative film) are largely adopted and adapted from theatre practices.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies
CMS 3340: Lights, Camera, God: Religion in the Movies

Since the dawn of cinema, religion has had an enduring hold on filmmakers’ creative and spiritual imaginations. The symbolic and controversial role of religion in movies made during the 20th century is examined through films and critical readings. Students analyze Judeo-Christian traditions and imagery inspired by the Bible and sacred sites. Films include cinematic masterpieces, popular movies, silent films, and indie features.

Credits: 4

Department: Liberal Studies