CCTP-505 Introduction to Communication, Culture and Technology: Interdisciplinary Problems and Methods
Fall for 2016-2017
This course introduces students to some of the main approaches and issues that animate the Communication, Culture & Technology program. Students will explore interdisciplinary approaches to solving intellectual problems in communications, cultural, media, and technology studies. Students will also consider issues in the movement from theoretical work to intellectual and interpretive practice in order to address the question of: What does an interdisciplinary practice of communication, culture and technology studies look like?

After an introductory section suggesting frameworks for interdisciplinary practice (the problems, questions, methods and answers framework), various members of the CCT Faculty will give lectures and hold discussions of their interdisciplinary fields and approaches to a problem within those fields.

It should be clear at the outset that these lectures are not comprehensive. Rather, students will explore vital CCT problems using a consistent set of questions from divergent disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological perspectives. In this sense, the students will learn approaches to think critically about problems, rather than a set body of knowledge, theory, or method.

Learning Goals

The learning goals in this course address three areas important for student development during the first year of graduate study: intellectual scholarship, social presence, and career trajectory.

Intellectual Goals

The intellectual goals of the course are straightforward, yet also incredibly complex matters that academics and other practitioners have been thinking through for generations. Therefore, students should not expect to progress to a complete understanding of these issues, but rather develop a beginning lens for use throughout their CCT experience.

1) Interdisciplinary Problem Solving: A signature of the CCT program is a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach to studying the intersections of communication, culture and technology studies. To that end, students will engage with some key problems and bring explicit disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives to those problems throughout the course.

2) Theory to Practice: Throughout the CCT program, students are challenged to study theoretical frameworks and apply them to communication, culture and technology environments. Developing the ability to move from theory to practice and back to theory strengthens analytical skills across domains. As such, students will move between theory and practice in individual reflective writing and a group project.

Social Goals

1) Teamwork, group interaction, and collaboration are increasingly important in today’s networked economy. Students will practice teamwork skills in many elements of the course: in the lecture discussions, in the recitations, and in the group project.

2) Conversations across the various clusters of CCT are an important function of this course, helping students to grow in appreciation for the multidisciplinary nature of the program. For this reason, students will consider course material from both social science and humanities perspectives and participate in heterogeneous discussion groups.

3) Students should begin to grow into their potential as graduate students, that is, emerging scholars and researchers with abilities and skill sets which are more intellectually, socially, and professionally independent than those possessed by undergraduates. To this end, students in the course will consider matters of graduate standards and workload as well as skills building in areas such as critical/analytic reading and writing.

Career Goals

1) A central difficulty for many students in the transition to graduate school is understanding the ways in which graduate programs are structured around the independence of the student and his or her own interests. For this reason, many students have trouble taking ownership of their program and understanding the need for self-direction. Students’ engagement with two versions of the statement of purpose, the portfolios, and the reflective writing provide opportunities for students to articulate for themselves how CCT will fit into their educational and other career goals.

2) A related issue for many students is learning to think across multiple disciplines and to convert theoretical learning into meaningful practices of research, writing, and action. The simulation and game experience and reflection, the portfolios, and the explicitly interdisciplinary focus of the course help students in these areas.

Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

Course syllabi
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Fall '16: Bode L., Turner J. (file download)
Fall '16: Bode L, Turner J (description, file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
More information
Look for this course in the schedule of classes.

The academic department web site for this program may provide other details about this course.