J. Allen - Engaging Difference Matters in Communication Pedagogy
This highly interactive seminar will explore how to apply critical approaches to teaching communication courses that focus on social identity. Based on the premise that social identities are social constructions that matter to how, when, and why humans interact with one another, we will examine pedagogical perspectives on topics such as socialization, power, privilege, ideology, oppression, and intersectionality. We will study promising practices for teaching how: a) systems of power and privilege make, maintain, and modify meanings about social identity; and, b) individuals and groups use communication to reinforce, resist, and reimagine those meanings and their impacts. The seminar will invite participants to enact the roles of learners and educators. For instance, they will engage in introspective activities they might assign students to analyze their own ethics, experiences, and emotions related to difference matters. Participants will also survey a variety of instructional materials and media that anticipate and respect diverse learning styles and preferences.
Frey - Engaged Communication Research and Teaching
Engaged scholarship is all the rage! From conducting participatory action research to translating research for practitioners and lay publics to engaging students in service-learning opportunities, researchers and teachers from across academic traditions, but, especially, in communication, are redirecting their efforts from insular disciplinary concerns to mutually beneficial community-based collaborations with those outside the academy. This seminar focuses on how communication scholars (both researchers and teachers) have been and can be more engaged with their local (and national) communities. The seminar explores definitions, parameters, and benefits and costs of such scholarship; research methods that can be employed (including studying teaching efforts); and ethical issues involved. Numerous examples of engaged communication scholarship are offered, and we even can produce an example if desired (e.g., write and submit an op-ed that incorporates communication research). Most important, the seminar will revolve around discussion, especially regarding participants’ experiences with, and what they need to know about, engaged communication teaching and research.
Harter - Storytelling, Self, and Society
Storytelling matters. Narrators assemble pieces of the past to help people make sense of the present and look toward a future. Stories display and test character, make the unseen visible, personalize otherwise distant problems, and mobilize resources for change. We will approach storytelling from a broad vantage point, casting a wide net that includes autobiographical stories, cultural scripts, institutional plots, and the process of storytelling. Storytelling is particularly significant for individuals living with vulnerability, marginalized or otherwise absent in public discourse. Thus, we will explore the therapeutic potential of storytelling and the role of counter-narratives in acknowledging lived inequities and fostering social justice. Participants will receive a complimentary copy of two PBS documentaries on the empowering possibilities of storytelling (A Beautiful Remedy and Creative Abundance) and will be introduced to readings and instructional material that can be integrated in courses or units on storytelling in health, family, organizational, and public advocacy contexts. I am excited to explore with participants how storytelling can imagine new normals, politicize personal experiences and mobilize resources for social change.
Education and Media in the Digital Age: Transformations in
Teaching, Learning, Interacting, Communicating, and Collaborating
In today’s interconnected and interdependent global environment in which information flow is no longer unidirectional but multidirectional, rapid, and interactive, students have to be equipped with the necessary tools, knowledge, and skills in order to compete successfully with their counterparts around the world. As the ongoing crises in the Middle East and elsewhere illustrate, the new communication technologies are empowering citizens' aspirations for freedom, democracy, human rights, and prosperity. Equipped with smart phones and tablets, they are able to Tweet, text, chat, and transmit still and moving images throughout the world via the Internet (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Myspace, and blogs). These digital technologies pose new challenges and opportunities for all governmental, non-governmental, and business sectors, including educational institutions, and beg for innovative ideas and fresh approaches to learning, teaching, training, research, and collaboration. This seminar will explore these and other contemporary global issues in a participatory and interactive manner.
Lyons - Native American Rhetoric
The expression Native American rhetoric might evoke images of what nineteenth-century commentators called “native eloquence”: i.e., a “savage bard” reciting tribal legends or conducting sacred ceremonies by fireside, a wise elder conceding a tragic defeat, or for that matter a noble warrior promising to fight forever. This seminar, by contrast, guided by the archives, will move in a different direction, presenting a survey of Native American writing and oratory from the end of the eighteenth century to the present and focusing particularly on spoken and written texts, composed in English, that address an enduring engagement with settler society and the possibilities of what the Ojibwe writer Gerald Vizenor calls “survivance.” Key to understanding this rhetorical history is seeing it as a discourse of modernity: that is, as public language, not tribal secret; as more political than cultural; and above all as connected to the same publication circuits that other social groups and individuals have historically accessed to pursue their interests. Although we will encounter linguistic constructions of traditional discourse and culture, we will not read them as authentic ethnic contrasts (to modernity, Europe, the West, white culture, etc.) but rather as rhetorical strategies developed in the pursuit of survivance. Genres to be studied include autobiography, sermon, public lecture, tribal history, travel writing, poetry, fiction, and theoretical discourse. Three important Indian policy eras will be emphasized: removal (1828-1887), assimilation (1887-1928), and self-determination (1960s to the present). No previous experience with Native American studies is required or expected.
Turner - Family Communication
In light of how consequential and fascinating we find families and the communication that takes place within them, this class will focus on teaching the undergraduate class in family communication. We will discuss a wide array of topics relating to family communication: stories, rituals, roles, rules, and so forth. We will also spend time interrogating our definitions for family and for communication, with an eye to how these definitions impact our teaching and our research. Participants will have access to a variety of instructional materials such as texts, supplementary readings, films, syllabi, and class activities. We will also discuss other possible classes to introduce into the curriculum including: communication in military families, urban family communication, and challenging topics in family communication. The class is planned as a true seminar with a great deal of interaction and exchange.