Communication 500 Communication Theory Development Autumn 2009 Instructor: Professor Gerry Philipsen The purpose of the course is to help you develop the capacity to think, talk, research, and write, theoretically, about communication. The major activities of the course are (1) reading theories of communication, (2) talking about theories of communication, and (3) writing theoretically about communication. Schedule 10/1 Student speeches of aspiration 10/06 Reports and discussion – Communication Theory papers volumes 1-4 10/08 Reports and discussion – Communication Theory papers volumes 5-8 10/13 10/15 Reports and discussion – Communication Theory papers volumes 9-12 Reports and discussion – Communication Theory papers volumes 13-16 10/20 10/22 Reports and discussion – Communication Theory papers volumes 17-19 Specific theory type – reports 1 and 2 10/27 Specific theory type – reports 3 and 4 10/29 Specific theory type – reports 5 and 6 11/03 11/05 Specific theory type – reports 7 and 8 Key theory paper–student presentations 11/10 11/12 Position papers on communication theory—student presentations– Midterm notebook due University holiday 11/17 11/19 Forum Forum 11/24 11/26 Forum No class today 12/01 12/03 Paraphrast presentations of student in-progress paper drafts Paraphrast presentations of student in-progress paper drafts 12/08 12/10 Student presentations of final paper draft Students presentations of final paper draft 12/17 Final paper due by 5 pm today Readings Everyone should purchase (or have available to share) a copy of: Donal Carbaugh and Patrice Buzzanell, Editors, Distinctive Qualities of Communication Research. New York: Routledge, 2010. Beyond the Carbaugh and Buzzanell volume, you will be responsible for finding and studying a wide variety of published work on communication theory. Assignments 1. Write a one-page, single-spaced, typed paper in which you say something about your intellectual and scholarly aspirations as a graduate student. In class on October 1, present an eight-minute oral version of what you have to say. 2. Notebook of readings and comments. This is due November 10th. It should consist of 20 entries of one page each. Each of these pages is a separate report and commentary or commentary. The first 19 should be about a particular article, chapter, or book pertaining to communication theory. The 20th should be your position paper on theory in the study and practice of communication. 3. For the three class sessions from 11/17 through 11/24 you will be responsible to work collaboratively with two or three other students in the class to plan and present something for the class. One possibility is to arrange for a visit to class by a member of the Department of Communication faculty who will talk, or be interviewed, about their own theoretical work. There are other possibilities as well. 4. On 12/01 and 12/03 you are responsible to give a presentation about the paper-inprogress being written for the course by another student in the course. Your role will be paraphrast, that is, someone charged to present the views of another in your own words. 5. On 12/08 and 12/10 each student is expected to make an oral presentation version of their final paper-in-progress. 6. The final paper, due 12/17, is an original essay, suitable in content and form for publication in the journal Communication Theory. Your grade will be based mainly on the notebook that is due November 9th and the final essay. Your participation in class is taken for granted and could weigh into your grade, positively, in the case of a close call. The notebook (due November 9) should consist of twenty one-page entries, typed single-spaced. It should have the following entries: 1-10. Each should be a report and comment on one paper published in Communication Theory, distributed over the 19 decades as indicated in the schedule above. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. A theory authored by a member of the faculty of the Department of Communication A theory authored by a doctoral graduate of the Department A theory authored by someone whose life and work has been centered in Africa, Asia, or Latin America A theory that is intrinsically tied to a mode of communication other than natural language, e.g., gesture, drawing, music, body motion A theory that was published before 1900 A theory that was first published in a language other than English A theory that you think has been almost forgotten, neglected, or underappreciated A theory that grew out of a practical concern The one theoretical statement you will try to persuade the other members of the class to read Your position paper on Theory (with or without a capital “t”) There is a vast literature on communication and communication theory. Here are some books that I recommend to help you acquire a working coverage of communication theory per se: Robert T. Craig and Heidi L. Muller, Editors, Theorizing Communication: Reading across Traditions. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2007. This reader is an excellent place to start for a sampling of major approaches to communication theory, with readings by original authors. Em Griffin, A First Look at Communication Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007, 9th edition. This is a through-written book by an author who provides an overall approach to communication theory and then his own chapter-length treatment of 31 of the most prominent communication theories, including two chapters based on theories written by doctoral graduates of the communication program at the University of Washington. Ruth Finnegan, Communicating: The Multiple Modes of Human Interconnection. London: Routledge, 2002. These three make a decent first cut at an independent-reading version of surveying communication theory. Many could be added, and we will talk about the available literature throughout the quarter.