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Global Communication and
Peace Studies

Teaching Faculty

Jayson Dibble
Deirdre Johnston

Courses Offered

Comm 231. Communication and Conflict

This course addresses the theory and practice of conflict resolution from a communication perspective. Students examine, in the first half of the course, symbolic patterns of destructive conflict behavior, including the role and function of words and images in constructing enemies and dehumanizing others. Role-play, discussion, and lecture are utilized in the second half of the course to introduce students to the theory, practice and vocation of mediation, a facilitative non-adversarial conflict resolution process. Students learn how to use communication to maintain mediator neutrality, frame issues, generate problemsolving options, and write agreements.

Four Credits, Dibble, Spring Semesters

Comm 371. Communicating Across Differences: Intercultural and Gender Communication

This course addresses the social construction of inequality, specifically focusing on how communication processes are the means by which gender, race, class, nationality, culture and ethnicity are created, and are also the means by which individuals can resist personal participation in perpetuating systems of inequality. Through encountering multicultural experiences, interviewing people in different social positions, and engaging in exercises and simulations, we will learn to broaden our self-identities and our understanding of others by learning about the experiences, feelings, and views of people in social situations different from our own. Note: this course is cross-listed with Women's Studies.

Four Credits, Johnston, Spring Semester/ Even Years

Comm 470. Cultural Theory

Although it has roots in older disciplines such as history, sociology, political science, and linguistics, "cultural studies" is a dynamic and young field that examines how power, the state, language, and identity shape people's lives in a cultural context. Drawing on the theorists discussed in our readings, our class approaches how culture is constructed and reproduced through (1) larger economic, political, and ideological structures (the nation, gender, social class, language, race, and ethnicity) that in turn influence (2) people's everyday signifying practices that include (among many others) group communication, shopping, food, and fashion, people's construction and reception of mediated texts such as television, films, magazines/newspapers, the Internet, and music. Our class readings and assignments will focus on making this link between larger structures and everyday signifying practices that make up "culture."

Four Credits, Spring Semester