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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Christine L Harold
COM 495
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Communication

Lecture, seminar, and/or team study. Topics vary.

Class description

Rhetorics of Commerce, Consumerism, and Community: Historian Stuart Ewen has described advertising as “the prevailing vernacular of public address.” In this class we will explore the rhetorical intersections among commerce, consumption, and community. We will look at the effects of commercialization on our everyday lives: our work, play, love, and food, for example. By engaging a variety of scholarly, critical, and popular analyses on the subject of consumer culture, we will investigate the tensions between people and stuff, between “subjects” and “objects,” and between production and consumption. I encourage us to start from the premise that we cannot fully understand our own agency as rhetors, political actors, workers, consumers, or humans without examining our interdependency with the commercial, manufactured world in which we live.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Christine L Harold
Date: 09/14/2012