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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Gina S Neff
COM 495
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Communication

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

Class description

Cultural and media products are often thought of in terms cultural consumption—that is, how people interact with the products of mass media industries. This course however examines how those products are produced by looking at conditions in contemporary mass media and communication industries. We examine communications industries such as film, music, and publishing in this course. We focus on how production within these sectors is organized, what kind of working conditions arise, and how commercially produced popular culture is made and distributed. Is it intellectually useful to classify this form of communication into a category of “cultural industries”? What are the similarities and differences that arise given the unique nature of mass-mediated communication? How do for profit and non-profit institutions solve problems inherent in making and distributing and cultural goods? These questions will be the center of the discussion for the course.

Student learning goals

Identify and describe cultural industries

Understand the conditions that influence how cultural products are made

Analyze cultural products within the context of the dynamics of cultural industries

Improve writing skills, especially on short analytic papers

Improve ability to work in a team

Develop new tools for examining popular culture and media

General method of instruction

Interactive lecture.

Recommended preparation

Senior standing.

Class assignments and grading

Writing intensive.

5 short papers, an in-class midterm essay, and a final group project.


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 Gina S Neff
Date: 05/03/2007