Academic Courses & Programs

Communication Arts & Media Studies

Digital Media Studies, Introductory
In this course we study how people and institutions create digital identities and compare them to identities which actually get printed on paper, such as passports and family photo albums, supplementing our analysis with social theories on the subject of authenticity. We then work through and annotate the traffic patterns of people who have immigrated to the United States since the 1900s, as well as a short modern history of paper making, photography, the newspaper and tabloid news industry, movies, the radio and television. This will allow us to better understand the literal and figurative difference between creating ideas, as well as to explore the environmental impact of the industrial and global revolution in four specific settings: the state of New York, the province of British Columbia and the countries of India and Ghana.  Over the duration of the semester students will be expected to create their own digital media project about the themes in the course in or around the campus where they take this course.  A basic but thorough introduction to using digital media making software (including Audacity, Photoshop and Final Cut) will also be included with this course. • Developed at the Denver Public Library

Five Senses, The Sociology of the
In this course students will learn how the social meaning of everyday life changes when expressed through or documented in words, sounds or still or moving images. Emphasis will be placed upon the everyday experiences of people who move through the world without one or more senses, as well as specific artistic mediums which emphasize one or another sense, namely radio, photography, movies, cooking and sculpture. Students will learn about different cultures associated with one or another sense (such as deaf or blind culture) and the forms of media created by these cultures (such as sign language and braille), different social movements associated with these cultures and how medical definitions and media representations of these cultures (and states of being) have changed since the early 1900s.  Students will also consider how these cultures (and state of being) parallel and/or intersect with the development of different broadcast and digital forms of media. • Developed at the Denver Public Library • Taught at Purchase College-State University of New York • Available as an On-Line Course

Rhetoric & Public Speaking, Introductory
In this course we will explore the rhetorical difference between expressing ideas through formal or spontaneous modes of speaking, as well as the spoken versus printed word.  We will start with an analysis of American blues, jazz, scat, rap and hip hop and then compare these musical and poetic forms alongside the printed lyrics of other forms of poetry and lyrical and popular music. We will then move on different kinds of political and legal speech, making clear the rhetorical distinctions between rallying cries and campaign speeches, congressional debates and Constitutional and appellate forms of law. Next, we will consider different kinds of theatrical modes of talk, including the monologues and soliloquies from classic American literature, as well as study the kinds of speeches written and given during times of crisis and triumph. Finally, we will study the common tropes used by both the famous and not so famous during press conferences and interviews, as well as how these kinds of performances get documented and reported.  Students will write and/or perform two or more of the following five kinds of spoken word or speech exercises:  1) Recite a pop song, sing a poem or read aloud a children's book; 2) interpret selections from a famous speech; 3) engage in a Congressional or Lincoln/Douglas style debate or speak extemporaneously on an assigned topic; 4) perform a dramatic or comedic monologue or re-enact a famous interview or press conference; 5) compose and recite an original oratory. • Developed at the Denver Public Library