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Special Topic Courses

COMS 4800 B- Special Topic:  Victims, Vigilantes and Villains
Fall term, Fridays 1435-1725 – E. Hiltz

Vigilantes, victims and villains are popular figures in film, television, literature, news, and elsewhere. This course uses the binary of victim/villain critically to discuss historical and contemporary constructions of identity in diverse media texts.

COMS 4800 C- Special Topic:  Communication, Music & Regulation
Winter term, Wednesdays 1805-2055 – C. Allison

Examining music from a communications perspective.  Socio-political, technological and economic conditions related to music; relationships between industry actors; evolution of production and consumption models; regulation, commoditization and promotion of music. Discussion of texts about music, communication and regulation; listening to music from 1500s to 2018.

COMS 4800 D- Special Topic:  Piracy
Winter term, Thursdays 1805-2055 – D. Jackson

This course explores piracy from the invention of the press and book trade through to contemporary problems rooted in current digital practices and neoliberal economies. Together, we will explore questions about the imagination, originality, common and private property, creative markets, and authorship. We will then develop a critique about how these ideas have been transformed by digitization and cognitive capitalism by exploring current intellectual property management and their effect on cultural producers and the creative industries.

COMS 4800 E- Special Topic:  Platform Media
Winter term, Tuesdays, 0835-1125 – M. Audette-Longo

This course examines platform media, focusing on aesthetics, political economy, and user experience (UX). Drawing from the fields of media studies, software studies, and critical theory, students will understand and evaluate the place and power of platforms in today’s social and digital media milieus.

COMS 4800 F- Special Topic: Media and Crime
Winter term, Fridays, 1135-1425 – E. Hiltz

This course explores historical and contemporary mediations of crime and justice. Crime and Media discusses connections between criminal events, social norms, media production, and criminal justice. Key topics include: Definitions of crime and violence, crime news and scandal, crime waves, investigatory discourse, and media witnessing.

COMS 4800 K- Special Topic: Space and Satellites
Winter term, Mondays, 1435-1725 – C. Dornan

Orbital satellites are essential elements of the global communications infrastructure.  This course will chart a history of satellite communication from the launch of Sputnik in 1957 to the present and what may come, assessing how orbital technologies of communication and surveillance have altered social practice on the ground, and examining how space communication has been inscribed in popular culture.