Spring 2016 EMAC Courses


3284555653_203ddf91c8_z (1)We hope you’ve cleared any holds you may have in Galaxy because it’s time to register for Spring 2016 courses. As always, you can find course listings in Coursebook (coursebook.utdallas.edu), and you can access your registration appointment time in Galaxy. The following course descriptions may help you choose among courses emphasizing specific topics this spring:

  • COMM 3342.001 CHILDREN AND MEDIA (Drogos): This course will examine the role of media in the lives of children. Special attention is given to developmental differences in how children process and respond to the media. Major areas of consideration include children’s responses to media violence, educational media, and play with media. Each topic is examined in terms of major issues, research findings, and theoretical explanations of the findings.
  • COMM 3342.002 and COMM 3342.003 PHOTOJOURNALISM (Lester): This course explores through lectures, guest appearances, and field experiences the creation of words and images to tell stories for publication in print and screen media. The history, theories, ethical considerations, practices, and production techniques for analog and digital displays of journalism-based visual storytelling presentations are the main elements covered by this class. You will not only learn how to tell your own stories but also how to critically analyze work produced by others. Prerequisite: Junior status.
  • EMAC 3328.001 DIGITAL SOCIETY – Health, Disability, and Media (Banner): This course examines how emerging media and cultural representations shape the meaning of health, illness, and disability. We will consider how medical and psychiatric concepts are represented in film, television, the news, social networks, and digital knowledge publics such as Wikipedia, and we will examine how people use the affordances of digital media to define health, illness, and norms for bodies and minds in ways that challenge mainstream concepts. Our primary texts will include films, YouTube videos, social-networking sites, online news publications, cell phone apps, digital media health campaigns, and online memoirs. Throughout the semester we will be storming Wikipedia by joining Wikipedia’s Disability Project and improving Wikipedia’s representations of health and disability.
  • EMAC 6342.501 DIGITAL CULTURE (Lee): Drawing on a journalism ethics perspective, this course will examine a range of emerging media practices and dilemmas that make salient the benefits and confines of digital technology. Topics may include institutional norms and business models on online news, audience behaviors, media effects, and data journalism.
  • EMAC 6374 DIGITAL TEXTUALITY (Knight): One of the definitions of text is “something, such as a literary work or other cultural product, regarded as an object of critical analysis.” (thefreedictionary.com). If we drill down far enough into any form of digital “text,” we arrive at the level of binary code: 1s and 0s. This includes other objects of critical analysis, such as digital images, sound files, animations, videos, etc. This material commonality draws our attention to the fact that any digital object has multiple layers – from the surface representation to the source code, down to those 1s and 0s. In addition to this kind of fundamental multi-mediality, it is very rare to encounter a digital text that is composed on the surface of only one type of media object. In other words, in digital textuality, words almost always co-exist with images, links, sound, and video, all built atop a foundation of code. This course takes these types of multi-mediality as its starting point and asks students to reconceive “digital textuality” as a more broad form of cultural product that can occur in multiple media formats and that explores the unique affordances of different kinds of text objects. Through this production-intensive course, students will explore the theoretical and material connections between analog and digital textuality, centered on text, image, sound, and moving image. Students will apply their theoretical understanding of digital textuality to the production of a portfolio, composed of four separate digital media objects and a short paper, each of which foregrounds certain modes of making meaning. The goal is to examine the shifts in writing and representation in digital environments.  The course situates “writing” within a networked, digital environment and, as such, will focus on the production of “texts” in different media forms.
  • EMAC 6381.001 PERSUASION (Guadagno): The course is a graduate-level, selected survey of theory and research on the social influence and persuasion process. As such, we will concentrate on the interpersonal factors that affect change–for without change we cannot lay claim to influence–in two principal domains: attitudes/beliefs and actions/behavior. In keeping with this division, the course will cover the psychological and communication literatures on persuasion and on compliance resulting from one’s exposure to some form of interpersonal pressure for change. Coverage is broken down further into a number of topics and connected readings. The role of technology-mediated interactions on social influence and persuasion will also be covered in this course. In addition, a serious effort will be made to consider how the material of the class may be applied to the construction of effective information campaigns of various sorts. Accordingly, time will be allotted toward the end of most class periods for students to collaborate in small groups on the development of a pair of information campaigns on topics of their choosing.


Also, undergraduates may use COMM 3352 Media and Culture as a prescribed elective.


Finally, undergraduate students planning to enroll in EMAC 4380 Capstone Project should check their UTD email for the application, which is due November 10. Undergraduates interested in pursuing major honors should consult with their academic advisors to determine their eligibility. Graduate students planning to register for the Advanced Project should contact Ellen Curtis.


Image: From Flickr @rcade