Course Descriptions Communication Studies Furman University

101 Public Speaking
Study of the fundamental principles and strategies of informative, persuasive, and ceremonial speaking. Emphasis on how to research, organize, and deliver a speech. The ethical, political, and social character of public speaking is also examined. Students perform a variety of speeches and oral exercises and serve as speech critics and interlocutors. 4 credits.

111 Argumentation
Study of the precepts, theories, strategies, and ethics of argument. Students critically analyze arguments found in speeches, public debates and controversies, newspaper articles and editorials, television news programs, and scholarly texts. Students write argumentative essays, present argumentative speeches, and engage in class debates. 4 credits.

121 Digital Communication
GER: VP (Visual and Performing Arts)
The use of digital, electronic media in the cultivation of democratic society. Students will gather information and learn to transmit that information through blogs, podcasts, video, and other digital media. 4 credits.

131 Broadcast Communication
Study of the journalistic, technical, and aesthetic aspects of television production. Critical analysis of electronic news texts and to research, write, videotape, and edit news stories. 4 credits.

133 Video Documentary
Examines the research, theory, aesthetics and production techniques of the video documentary. Students will work together to produce a 15-to-20-minute long documentary. They will conduct research, shoot video, and edit the final documentary. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

141 Small Group Communication
Investigation and application of theories of small group communication. A systemic view of small groups focusing on the communication competencies and communication processes involved in successful small group leadership and decision making. 4 credits.

201 Introduction to Rhetoric
Topical survey of the major questions and controversies in rhetorical theory, criticism, and practice. Topics include: classical canons of rhetoric, rhetoric's role in civic life, and rhetoric's relation to power, politics, law, education, and ethics. Readings may include selections from Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Nietzsche, Burke, Toulmin, Perelmen, Habermas, Foucault, White, Allen, and others. 4 credits.

221 Introduction to Mass Communication
The nature and history of mass communication. Beginning with oral communication and the literacy revolution and moving to print, electronic, and digital forms of communication. Examining the social, economic, political, legal, and cultural aspects of mass communication, as well as the role of technology in the development of mass media. 4 credits.

301 Rhetorical Criticism
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
Survey of the major methods of rhetorical criticism, including neo-Aristotelianism, dramatism, social movement rhetoric, close textual analysis, and others. Topics include: the theoretical underpinnings of these methods, examining the nature of rhetorical texts, analyzing scholarly essays that employ these methods, and writing and presenting essays based on critical analysis of rhetorical texts. 4 credits.

311 Rhetoric in the Ancient World
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
The history of rhetorical theory and practice from 500 BCE to 500 CE. Focus on Greek and Roman rhetorics' relation to politics, law, religion, philosophy, liberal education and culture along with an examination of ancient rhetorics' influence on medieval rhetoric. Readings include selections from the sophists, Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Tacitus, and Augustine. 4 credits.

312 Rhetoric in the Modern World
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
The history of rhetorical theory and practice from the Renaissance to the present. Focus on the European tradition with special attention given to rhetoric's relation to liberal education, politics, law, ethics, religion, myth, and ritual. Readings are from primary texts in the rhetorical tradition and may include selections from Petrarch, Salutati, Valla, Bracciolini, Cavalcanti, Ramus, Erasmus, Bacon, Hobbes, Lamy, Fenelon, Mackenzie, Locke, Vico, Monboddo, Blair, Campbell, Whately, Theremin, Nietzsche, Richards, Weaver, Burke, Perelman, Toulmin, Foucault, Habermas, and others. 4 credits.

315 U.S. Public Address I: 1630-1865
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
History and criticism of major U.S. speeches and rhetorical texts. Examination of a broad range of historical and rhetorical factors that influenced the construction and reception of speeches from the colonial period through the end of the Civil War. Focus on the political, religious, legal, and social exigencies to which the speeches responded, as well as the place of these rhetorical texts in U.S. public controversies. 4 credits.

316 U.S. Public Address II: 1866-Present
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
History and criticism of major U.S. speeches and rhetorical texts. Examination of a broad range of historical and rhetorical factors that influenced the construction and reception of speeches from the end of the Civil War to the present. Focus on the political, religious, legal, and social exigencies to which the speeches responded, as well as the place of these rhetorical texts in U.S. public controversies. 4 credits.

321 Media Criticism
GER: VP (Visual and Performing Arts)
Critical methods used to analyze the mass media and popular cultural texts. The theoretical basis of such critical methods as semiotics, psychoanalysis, narrative and ideological theory, and cultural studies, and how to use these methods to analyze media texts such as television shows, movies, and magazine advertisements. 4 credits.

323 Race, Class, and Gender in Mass Media
Examining how social perceptions of race, gender, and class are influenced by the mass media. The social connections between and among representations in print, film, electronic, digital media, institutional practices, and our experience of race, gender and class. 4 credits.

325 Mass Media Research Methods
GER: HB (Empirical Study of Human Behavior)
Introduction to mass media research methods. Developes understanding, critical thinking, and provides practice in research related to mass media, including the principles and basic techniques of mass communication research and the application of results. Students will create a research proposal related to various mass media messages, audiences, and institutions. 4 credits.

331 Media History
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions)
Examining the changing nature, structure, and function of mass media institutions in the United States and their historical relationships to society and culture from the founding of the republic to the end of the 20th century. 4 credits.

335 Political Economy of Mass Media
Examining the structure, regulation, economics, ownership, and technology of mass media, as well as the influence of these factors on global media content. 4 credits.

337 International Communication
GER: WC (World Cultures)
A survey of the different media systems in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Oceania. Exploring the basic characteristics of media philosophies, reporting, content and audience in each world region, and discussion of the impact of media globalization ('Westernization' of the media, clash of cultures, transnational media conglomerations, new technologies, etc.). 4 credits.

341 Interpersonal Communication
Theoretical overview of the oral and nonverbal strategies individuals use when negotiating perspectives on the self and others. Areas of focus include the communicative dynamics involved in friendship, marriage, family, student- teacher, and work relationships. 4 credits.

343 Organizational Communication
Study of the communication within organizations and between organizations and the public. Using theoretical essays and case studies, topics include: hierarchical and participatory decision-making systems, the communicative relationships between and among employers, employees, and the public, and communication-based methods of analyzing corporate culture and resolving ethical dilemmas in the workplace. 4 credits.

350 Lenses on Africa: African Film in a Global Context
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts) and WC (World Cultures)
Explores the African continent through film, focusing on critical social issues and ongoing transformations of social orientations and values. Explores a range of key African filmmakers, taking into account the historical, cultural and social contexts that inform their work. Provides an introduction to African filmmaking practices by focusing on both the form and the content of these films, and by examining the way that African filmmakers project local, national, and regional issues onto global screens. 4 credits.

351 Advocacy
Study of the history, theories, principles, and strategies of public advocacy in the process of social, political, economic, and legal change. Students examine case studies of advocacy campaigns, consider the ethical and ideological implications of such campaigns, and may engage in service- learning projects associated with a local integrated advocacy campaign. 4 credits.

353 Political Communication
GER: HA (Historical Analysis of Human Interactions)
Historical and theoretical study of the modern public sphere and public life in Europe and the United States. Focus on how transformations of political ideals, social and economic institutions, and the media have changed the character of political discourse. Examination of how the changing relationships among state governments, political parties, special interest groups, and social movements affect political discourse. 4 credits.

355 Propaganda
History, theory, and critique of propaganda. Case studies of propaganda relating to a variety of discursive and social practices including speeches, public spectacles, media events, art, and film. Examining forms of state and non- governmental propaganda. Topics include: American propaganda during WWI, Nazi and Fascist propaganda, and the Communist propaganda programs of the Soviet Union and China. 4 credits.

360 Italian Film
GER: VP (Visual and Performing Arts) An examination of the apex of Italian cinema from the emergence of neorealism, through the works of the great Italian auteur directors including Fellini, Antonioni and Pasolini to the present. Students will learn how Italian film represented Italian history, politics, and culture. Of particular importance for the class will be to show how the tradition of Italian neorealism carried on from the 1940s until the 1960s and shows signs of a resurgence in contemporary Italian film. 4 credits.

365 Great Film Directors
GER: VP (Visual and Performing Arts)
An examination of the concept of auteur (author) film production that focus on the unique stylistic elements of films based on the film director's aesthetics and worldview. The course looks at the films of many of the main individuals, both inside and outside of Hollywood, who are considered auteur directors such as John Ford, Billy Wilder, Igmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Pedro Almadovor, Spike Lee, Zhang Yimou, and Wong Kar Wai. 4 credits.

401 Studies in Rhetoric
Concentrated study in one area, controversy, or theorist of rhetoric. Course topics change with each offering. Possible topics include the rhetoric of law, the rhetoric of social movements, Native American rhetoric, Cicero, or Kenneth Burke. May be repeated for credit with change of topic. 4 credits.

411 African American Rhetoric
GER: TA (Critical, Analytical Interpretation of Texts)
The persuasive efforts, primarily oratorical, by African Americans attempting to gain freedom, establish citizenship, and acquire equal rights. Emphasis on discursive and nondiscursive rhetorical strategies of black identity, power, and community. Consideration of the rhetorical construction of ideologies of struggle, the external and internal debates characteristic of black social movements, and the rhetorical cultivation of black consciousness. 4 credits.

412 International Women's Rhetoric
GER: WC (World Cultures)
Analysis of speeches given by women in the international community about their conditions and their circumstances. Exploring the historical, socio-political, and cultural contexts of speeches by women to understand the rhetorical strategies and effects of their messages. 4 credits.

414 Rhetoric of Emerging Democracies
GER: WC (World Cultures)
The rhetoric of non-U.S. democratic movements. Focus on nonviolent movements and the rhetorical aspects of mixed violent and nonviolent movements of the twentieth and early twenty-first-century. Primary emphasis is on the speeches and other persuasive appeals by reformers, including the justifications for democratic reform, forms of protest, strategies of dissent, and confluence of democratic, anti-colonial, and nationalist themes. Also includes consideration of the African, Asian, Latin American, Near Eastern, and Eastern European cultural contexts out of which these rhetorical concerns and movements arise. 4 credits.

421 Studies in Mass Media
Concentrated study in one area or theorist of mass communication. Course topics will change with each offering. Potential topics include the global media integration, the internet as a public sphere, public journalism, the theories of Marshall McLuhan, Hollywood film genres, or Italian film. 4 credits.

431 Rhetoric of Social Activism
Intensive study of the discourses of social activism. Study and application of the techniques of textual reconstruction, editing, and criticism, as well as interviewing and oral history. Students will work to preserve and provide scholarly access to the speeches of social activists and to the words of the scholars who study them. Course will usually involve travel to one or more scholarly centers and study with those who staff those centers. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

432 Places and Spaces of Early U.S. Controversy
Analysis of primary U.S. texts in the physical places and textual spaces they inhabited in public debate, with visual rhetoric and architecture read in relationship to written argument. Visits to museums, archives, and unmarked sites reveal insights on agency, circulation, and ethics. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.

460 Communication Ethics
GER: UQ (Ultimate Questions)
The ethical questions raised by the practice of human communication. The sources of ethical standards, methods of ethical criticism, and perspectives on the ethics of persuasion. 4 credits.

461 Communication Law
Issues confronting public speakers, journalists, advocates, debaters, and film and television producers when they seek to speak freely and responsibly. Topics include: seditious speech, symbolic conduct, fighting words, offensive speech, obscenity, defamation, commercial speech, free press v. fair trial, media regulation, advertising codes, and the theoretical justifications for free expression. 4 credits.

470 Seminar in Rhetoric
Intensive treatment of a major question, theme, or issue in the field of rhetoric. 4 credits.

475 Seminar in Mass Communications
Intensive treatment of a major question, theme, or issue in the field of mass communication. 4 credits.

501 Independent Study
Qualified students study in a specific subject or theory of communication under the supervision of a faculty member. Students are required to do intensive reading and research in their subject, meet with their faculty supervisor on a regular basis, write an extensive paper, and give an oral presentation on their work. This course may be taken more than once but may not be counted toward the major more than once. It may not be completed on a pass-no pass basis. Variable credit.

502 Directed Research
Variable credit.

503 Individualized Internship
Variable credit.

505 Structured Internship
Directed individualized internship in the field of communication. Studying the communicative practices employed in such settings as a courtroom, television or radio station, newspaper, magazine, advocacy group, mediation center, or arts organization. Students are required to work approximately 175 hours at their internship site, meet regularly with their workplace and faculty advisors, and submit a log, portfolio, and academic paper relating to their internship work. This course may be taken only once and may not be completed on a pass-no pass basis. Variable credit.

509 Forensics
The research, analysis, organization, and practice of debates and speeches for on-campus and intercollegiate debating and speaking competitions. Applying theories of argumentation to develop cases for and against public issues. 0 credits.

Connect with Admission

Furman University is one of the nation's premier undergraduate liberal arts colleges. We offer outstanding academics, opportunities for a broad range of talented students with a passion for learning, a robust arts program, and NCAA Division I athletics.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now
  • 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at Furman
  • Furman University