Honors | Intro to Communication & Culture (CMCL)
C205 | 1952 | Robert Terrill


DIS F 10:10-11:00am
LEC MW 12:20-1:10pm
CC LS 203

Introductory courses in communication often promise to help students
overcome communication problems and improve their communication
skills. These courses generally advise students to clarify the way
that they transmit their messages, through such strategies as
listening actively, removing barriers, keeping it simple, being
yourself, building trust, asking for feedback, speaking clearly, and
so on.  The goal of such courses is to help students learn how to
transfer information accurately from their mind into the mind of
another person, so that, ideally, each person ends up with as close
as possible to an identical copy of the information.

This course is different. Rather than approaching communication as a
problem, this course approaches communication as an opportunity.
Rather than imagining an ideal world in which all of the errors,
mistakes, and misunderstandings that are caused by communication can
be eliminated, in this course we focus on the actual world, and
explore the degree to which it depends upon communication. Rather
than providing a list of strategies designed to minimize the
negative effects that communication might have on messages, this
course provides a set of resources designed to help us better
understand communication itself.

The purpose of this course is three-fold. First, it is intended to
introduce you to the unique perspective provided by the combined
interests and talents of the Communication & Culture faculty. Our
department brings together scholars with interests in Rhetoric and
Public Culture, Performance and Ethnographic Studies, and Film and
Media, and this course emphasizes some of the ways that these fields
of study are interrelated. Second, this course is intended to
prepare you for the work that will be expected in higher-level
courses in the department by beginning to acquaint you with some of
the habits of thought and methods of study that will characterize
those courses.  Finally, and most importantly, I believe strongly
that citizens who learn to understand communication in the way
presented in this course are infinitely better equipped for
contemporary life than those who think of communication as merely a
way to transmit information.