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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2008-09 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Undergraduate courses in Communication

COMM 1A. Media Technologies, People, and Society

(Same as COMM 211.) (Graduate students register for 211.) Open to non-majors. Introduction to the concepts and contexts of communication. A topics-structured orientation emphasizing the field and the scholarly endeavors represented in the department. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, not given this year

COMM 1B. Media, Culture, and Society

The institutions and practices of mass media, including television, film, radio, and digital media, and their role in shaping culture and social life. The media's shifting relationships to politics, commerce, and identity. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Win (Turner, F)

COMM 104. Reporting, Writing, and Understanding the News

Techniques of news reporting and writing. The value and role of news in democratic societies. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Aut (Gangadharan, S), Win (Frankel, G), Spr (Gangadharan, S)

COMM 106. Communication Research Methods

(Same as COMM 206.) (Graduate students register for 206.) Conceptual and practical concerns underlying commonly used quantitative approaches, including experimental, survey, content analysis, and field research in communication. Pre- or corequisite: STATS 60 or consent of instructor. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Win (Staff)

COMM 107. The First Amendment in the Digital Age

(Same as COMM 207.) (Graduate students register for 207.) Interdisciplinary. Legal, institutional, sociological, and technological framework for free expression in democracy. History, values, and principles of the First Amendment. The challenge of new technology to old doctrine. Impact of the Internet on issues of free speech, such as political criticism, fair use, defamation, low value speech, professional privilege, and public forum in an era of private networks. How do new social networking technologies produce the expertise and accountability promoted by the First Amendment?

5 units, not given this year

COMM 108. Media Processes and Effects

(Same as COMM 208.) (Graduate students register for 208.) The process of communication theory construction including a survey of social science paradigms and major theories of communication. Recommended: 1 or PSYCH 1. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Aut (Bailenson, J)

COMM 116. Journalism Law

(Same as COMM 216.) (Undergraduates register for 116.) Laws and regulation impacting journalists. Topics include libel, privacy, news gathering, protection sources, fair trial and free press, theories of the First Amendment, and broadcast regulation. Prerequisite: Journalism M.A. student or advanced Communication major.

5 units, Aut (Wheaton, J)

COMM 117. Digital Journalism

(Same as COMM 217.) Seminar and practicum. The implications of new media for journalists. Professional and social issues related to the web as a case of new media deployment, as a story, as a research and reporting tool, and as a publishing channel. Prerequisite: Journalism M.A. student or consent of instructor.

5 units, Win (Rheingold, H)

COMM 118Q. Theories of Film Practice

(S,Sem) Stanford Introductory Seminar. Preference to sophomores. How theory connects with practice in the production of film and television. Film and television from the perspectives of practitioners who have theorized about their work in directing, editing, screenwriting, cinematography, and sound, and social scientists whose research has explored similar issues empirically.

4 units, Win (Breitrose, H)

COMM 120. Digital Media in Society

(Same as COMM 220.) (Graduate students register for 220.) Contemporary debates concerning the social and cultural impact of digital media. Topics include the historical origins of digital media, cultural contexts of their development and use, and influence of digital media on conceptions of self, community, and state. GER:DB-SocSci, WIM

5 units, Spr (Turner, F)

COMM 124. Political Communication and Political Behavior

(Same as COMM 224.) Research seminar. The political behavior of ordinary citizens and its roots in political communication, including public opinion, political participation, voting behavior, and political psychology. Deliberation and its effects.

5 units, Aut (Luskin, R)

COMM 125. Perspectives on American Journalism

(Same as COMM 225.) (Graduate students register for 225.) Issues, ideas, and concepts in the development of American journalism, emphasizing the role of the press in society, the meaning and nature of news, and professional norms that influence conduct in and outside the newsroom. Prerequisite: 1 or junior standing. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Aut (Glasser, T)

COMM 126. Advanced Topics in Human Virtual Representation

(Same as COMM 226, COMM 326.) (Undergraduates register for 126; master's students for 226; doctoral students for 326.) Topics include the theoretical construct of person identity, the evolution of that construct given the advent of virtual environments, and methodological approaches to understanding virtual human representation. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

1-5 units, Win (Bailenson, J)

COMM 131. Media Ethics and Responsibility

(Same as COMM 231.) The development of professionalism among American journalists, emphasizing the emergence of objectivity as a professional and the epistemological norm. An applied ethics course where questions of power, freedom, and truth autonomy are treated normatively so as to foster critical thinking about the origins and implications of commonly accepted standards of responsible journalism. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Win (Glasser, T)

COMM 136. Democracy and the Communication of Consent

(Same as COMM 236, POLISCI 134.) Focus is on competing theories of democracy and the forms of communication they presuppose, combining normative and empirical issues, and historical and contemporary sources. Topics include representation, public opinion, mass media, small group processes, direct democracy, the role of information, and the prospects for deliberative democracy. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, not given this year

COMM 140. Digital Media Entrepreneurship

(Same as COMM 240.) Primarily for graduate journalism and computer science students. Silicon Valley's new media culture, digital storytelling skills and techniques, web-based skills, and entrepreneurial ventures. Guest speakers.

5 units, Spr (Grimes, A)

COMM 147. Modern History and Future of Journalism

(Same as COMM 247.) The birth and evolution of local and national television news. The modern history of newspapers. Can they survive in the era of online journalism?

5 units, Spr (Brinkley, J)

COMM 150. Political Information

(Same as COMM 250.) Political information held by ordinary citizens: how it can best be measured, how it is acquired, who has how much of it, and how and to what extent it flavors the public's attitudes and behaviors. Policy and electoral preferences, attitude extremity,persuadability.

5 units, Win (Luskin, R)

COMM 158. Free Expression and Intellectual Property in the Digital Age

(Same as COMM 258.) How intellectual property law fosters and hinders free speech. When does an author or inventor have a right to re-use someone else's creative expression? Are appropriation of other people's art, music sampling, and reverse engineering a theft of property or the basis of innovation? How technologies such as as wikis, virtual worlds, youtube, and search engines challenge the balance between constitutional protection of intellectual property and the First Amendment. Fundamentals of trade secret, patent, copyright, and trademark law and policy. No prior legal knowledge required.

5 units, not given this year

COMM 160. The Press and the Political Process

(Same as COMM 260, POLISCI 323R.) The role of mass media and other channels of communication in political and electoral processes. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Win (Iyengar, S)

COMM 162. Analysis of Political Campaigns

(Same as COMM 262, POLISCI 323S.) Seminar. The evolution of American political campaigns, and the replacement of the political party by the mass media as intermediary between candidates and voters. Academic literature on media strategies, the relationship between candidates and the press, the effects of campaigns on voter behavior, and inconsistencies between media campaigns and democratic norms. Do media-based campaigns enable voters to live up to their civic responsibility? Has the need for well-financed campaigns increased the influence of elites over nominations? Have citizens become disengaged? GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Aut (Iyengar, S)

COMM 166. Virtual People

(Same as COMM 266.) The concept of virtual people or digital human representations; methods of constructing and using virtual people; methodological approaches to interactions with and among virtual people; and current applications. Viewpoints including popular culture, literature, film, engineering, behavioral science, computer science, and communication.

5 units, Spr (Bailenson, J)

COMM 167. Advanced Seminar in Virtual Reality Research

Restricted to students with previous research experience in virtual reality. Experimental methods and other issues.

1-3 units, Aut (Bailenson, J)

COMM 168. Experimental Research in Advanced User Interfaces

(Same as COMM 268, COMM 368, ME 468.) (Undergraduates register for 168; master's students for 268; doctoral students for 368.) Project-based course involves small groups designing and implementing an experiment concerning voice and agent user interfaces. Each group is involved in a different, publishable research project. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

1-5 units, Win (Nass, C), Spr (Nass, C)

COMM 169. Computers and Interfaces

(Same as COMM 269.) (Graduate students register for 269.) Interdisciplinary. User responses to interfaces and design implications of those responses. Theories from different disciplines illustrate responses to textual, voice-based, pictorial, metaphoric, conversational, adaptive, agent-based, intelligent, and anthropomorphic interfaces. Group design project applying theory to the design of products or services for developing countries. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Win (Nass, C)

COMM 170. Communication and Children I

(Same as COMM 270.) (Graduate students register for 270.) Developmental approach to how children come to use and process mass media, what information they obtain, and how their behavior is influenced by the media. Prerequisite: 1, PSYCH 1, or SOC 1. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Win (Roberts, D)

COMM 172. Media Psychology

(Same as COMM 272.) (Graduate students register for 272.) The literature related to psychological processing and the effects of media. Topics: unconscious processing; picture perception; attention and memory; emotion; the physiology of processing media; person perception; pornography; consumer behavior; advanced film and television systems; and differences among reading, watching, and listening. GER:DB-SocSci

5 units, Aut (Reeves, B)

COMM 177D. Specialized Writing and Reporting: Magazine Journalism

(Same as COMM 277D.) (Graduate students register for 277D.) How to report, write, edit, and read magazine articles, emphasizing long-form narrative. Tools and templates of story telling such as scenes, characters, dialogue, and narrative arc. How the best magazine stories defy or subvert conventional wisdom and bring fresh light to the human experience through reporting, writing, and moral passion. Prerequisite: 104 or consent of instructor.

5 units, Aut (Frankel, G)

COMM 177F. Specialized Writing and Reporting: Literary Journalism

(Same as COMM 277F.) (Undergraduates register for 177F.) Using the tools of literature to tell the true stories of journalism. Characterization, narrative plotting, scene-setting, point of view, tone and style, and the techniques of reporting for literary journalism, interviewing, and story structure. Prerequisite: 104 or consent of instructor.

5 units, not given this year

COMM 177G. Specialized Writing and Reporting: Follow the Money, Reporting on Business and Finance

(Same as COMM 277G.) How to write news and feature stories about companies and personalities in the business world. Prerequisite: 104 or consent of instructor.

5 units, Win (Grimes, A)

COMM 177K. Specialized Writing and Reporting: Human Rights Journalism

(Same as COMM 277K.) The evolution of human rights law and enforcement, and the role of journalists in uncovering, pursuing, and publicizing political violence, detention, and torture. Case studies from S. Africa, Latin America, Israel and Palestine, N. Ireland, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan and Darfur. Human rights issues in the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11. Students conduct research and write journalistic reports on foreign and domestic issues. Prerequisite: 104 or consent of instructor.

5 units, Spr (Staff)

COMM 177R. Specialized Writing and Reporting: Covering Silicon Valley

(Same as COMM 277R.) (Undergraduates register for 177R.) Techniques to write and report about Silicon Valley technologies. Visits from professional writers. Prerequisite: 104 or consent of instructor.

5 units, Win (Markoff, J; Zachary, G)

COMM 177S. Specialized Writing and Reporting: Sports Journalism

(Same as COMM 277S.) Workshop. The history of sports writing from the 20s to present. Reporting, interviewing, deadline writing, and how to conceptualize and develop stories. Students write features and news stories for publication in a new sports section in The Cardinal Inquirer, an online publication of the graduate program in journalism. Prerequisite: 104 or consent of instructor.

5 units, Win (Pomerantz, G)

COMM 177Y. Specialized Writing and Reporting: Foreign Correspondence in the Middle East

(Same as COMM 277Y.) What's involved in working as a journalist in one of the most important and dangerous parts of the world.

5 units, Aut (Brinkley, J)

COMM 182. Virtual Communities and Social Media

(Same as COMM 282.) Taught by the originator of the terms virtual community and smart mobs. How the concept of community has changed from agricultural to industrial to networked societies. Much class discussion takes place in social cyberspaces.

5 units, Aut (Rheingold, H)

COMM 190. Senior Project

Research project. Prerequisite: senior standing.

5 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

COMM 195. Honors Thesis

Qualifies students to conduct communication research. Student must apply for department honors thesis program during Spring Quarter of junior year.

5 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

COMM 199. Individual Work

For students with high academic standing. May be repeated for credit.

1-5 units, Aut (Staff), Win (Staff), Spr (Staff), Sum (Staff)

COMM 212. Models of Democracy

(Same as CLASSHIS 137, CLASSHIS 237, COMM 312, POLISCI 237, POLISCI 337.) Ancient and modern varieties of democracy; debates about their normative and practical strengths and the pathologies to which each is subject. Focus is on participation, deliberation, representation, and elite competition, as values and political processes. Formal institutions, political rhetoric, technological change, and philosophical critique. Models tested by reference to long-term historical natural experiments such as Athens and Rome, recent large-scale political experiments such as the British Columbia Citizens' Assembly, and controlled experiments.

3-5 units, Spr (Fishkin, J; Ober, J; Luskin, R)

COMM 236G. Democracy, Justice, and Deliberation

(Same as COMM 336G.) Decision processes that make a normative claim to resolve questions of public choice, at any of these levels of choice: first principles, constitutions, public policies, or particular outcomes. Topics include democratic theory, the theory of justice and issues of deliberation in small groups, public consultations, conventions, juries, and thought experiments popular in contemporary political theory. Readings include Madison, de Tocqueville, Mill, Marx, Rawls, Nozick, Ackerman, and Schudson. Preference to graduate students. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

1-5 units, not given this year

COMM 244. Democracy, Press, and Public Opinion

(Same as COMM 344.) The democratic tradition provides conflicting visions of what a democracy is or might be, offering different views of the role of the press and citizens in engaging public issues. Focus is on democratic theory with empirical work on public opinion and the role of the media. Topics include campaigns, the effects of new technology, competing strategies of public consultation, public journalism, and possibilities for citizen deliberation. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

1-4 units, not given this year

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