Spring 2018 Graduate Course Descriptions

(All courses are subject to change)




CMS 386N.2
Thursdays 3:30 to 6:30 pm in CMA 7.120
Through presentation of scholarly readings and immersion into one’s own in-depth research project, this course explores a variety of qualitative research approaches, taking into account issues of epistemology (ways of knowing), methodology (ways of examining), and representation (ways of writing and reporting). We will examine interpretive theory, and several intellectual traditions that constitute this field of research including ethnography, sensemaking, analytic induction, and grounded theory. We will read exemplars of qualitative research that illustrate these particular theoretical traditions as well as examine key issues such as gaining access to research sites, forms of interactions with research subjects, and research ethics. Students will carry out their own research project, engaging in 20+ hours of field research. Through this project, students will have the opportunity to collectively enact and reflect upon the central phases of qualitative research such as: planning, negotiating access, observing, interviewing, creating field texts, analyzing field texts, writing, and explicating the contribution of their work. The goal is that students will emerge from the class with first-hand qualitative research experience and a significant understanding of qualitative methods that can serve as a basis for an ongoing research program.   
Tracy, S. J. (2013). Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact. ISBN-10: 140519202X | ISBN-13: 978-1405192026
Restricted to CMS graduate students.


CMS 386P/MAN 383
TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS 12:30-2 pm in GSB 2.124
This course focuses on research and theory related to the very practical issue of how one "sells" ideas and themselves. Integrating topics in persuasion and marketing, the course reviews relevant theories and research on strategic influence.
Daly, J.A. (2011). Advocacy; Championing Ideas and Influencing Others
The CMS part of the course is restricted to Communication Studies graduate students. The Business School portion is restricted to Business graduate students.


CMS 386R
Mondays  4 to 7 pm in CMA 7.120
The course will focus on current research and theory in the area of Personal Relationships. Readings will cover such topics as the development of romantic relationships, relationships across the lifespan, the influence of individual differences on personal relationships, relationship processes, and threats to close relationships. Special emphasis will be placed on theory development and methodology for studying personal relationships.
Reading Packet (available at Paradigm).
Restricted to CMS graduate students.


CMS 390N.7
Tuesdays 3:30 to 6:30 PM in CMA 7.120
This seminar asks a basic question: What makes political language distinctive and what makes it political in the first place? Has such language changed over the years in the U.S.?  Does political style differ in important ways from culture to culture?  Do the mass media affect how politicians talk?  Does reporting on politics change the way reporters report?  Is the language of the policy sphere different from the language of the public sphere?  Will the next U.S. president become president because of nakedly rhetorical factors or will money and might determine everything? To answer such questions, we will read eclectically in the area of political style.  Some of what we will read will be philosophical, other of it will be empirical.  We will lend an ear to scholars in a variety of disciplines--communication, journalism, political science, psychology, anthropology, and sociology. 
Course Topics:
Nature of political expression, the language of journalism, partisan rhetorics, strategies of memory, how stories are told, the language of leadership, new media discourses, campaign talk, changing rhetorical styles.
Course Readings:
We will read Mark Thompson’s Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?; Murray Edelman’s Constructing the Political Spectacle; Roderick Hart et al.’s Political Keywords: Using Language that Uses Us; Graeme Turner’s Ordinary People and the Media: The Demotic Turn; John E. Richardson, Analyzing Newspapers: An Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis; Michael Lee’s Creating Conservatism: Postwar Words that Made an American Movement; Roderick Hart et al.’s Political Tone: How Leaders Talk and Why; and Greg Dickinson et al.’s Places of Public Memory: The Rhetoric of Museums and Memorials.  We’ll occasionally read brief excerpts from other notable works in the area as well.
Open to all University of Texas graduate students.


CMS 390P.4
Wednesdays 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm in CMA 7.120
Kenneth Burke is the most important figure in twentieth century rhetorical theory.  Burke began publishing theory, fiction, poetry, and criticism early in the twentieth century, and is still centrally influential in rhetorical studies. He anticipated a great deal of what we call critical studies.  Scholarly production of books and articles exploring and extending his ideas proceeds at a steady pace.  In this course we will read a selection of books by Burke, as well as books and articles by recent scholars that use Burke’s ideas.  Although it may be impossible to systematize Burke, we will take as a central, organizing focus his ideas on symbolic form.
Kenneth BurkeCounter-Statement, Permanence and Change, The Philosophy of Literary Form, A Grammar of Motives, A Rhetoric of Motives.  All from University of California Press.
Open to all University of Texas graduate students.


CMS 390S.10
Wednesdays 3:30 to 6:30 PM in CMA 7.120
This course explores contemporary issues and processes in organizational communication.  The focus is on reading, understanding, and conducting research in organizations.  We begin by reviewing the key constructs, methods, and philosophical positions found in this subdiscipline.  We will then discuss how to approach organizations as research partners and how to negotiate access for data collection.  We examine topics such as: how newcomers are socialized, how supervisor/subordinate communication occurs, interprofessional communication, emotion and work/life, emergency communication, and the impact of technology on work groups and organizational meetings.  We will also explore more macro topics such as the role of communication in major organizational changes and the types of messages organizations craft during crises. The major course project will be tailored to the students in the course.
Major Learning Outcomes:
  1. Provide you a broad understanding of the major concepts and scholars in organizational communication.
  2. Plan and conduct a research study in an organization or craft a research proposal.
  3. Individually demonstrate your ability to read and synthesize scholarly research.
  4. Help you better understand the publishing process as it relates to org. comm.
  5. Help you understand how to negotiate access to organizations as research partners.
  6. Enjoy the classroom environment and have you be an active participant in your learning.
All students will prepare summaries of selected class articles and create individual annotated bibliographies. The final course project will be tailored to students’ needs and will consist of a research proposal or a full-length scholarly research paper.  If you have not had an organizational communication course (or if it has been a while), I will also include suggested background readings from the Miller undergraduate textbook.
Putnam & Mumby, The Sage Handbook of Organizational Communion.  (2013) ISBN-1412987725 or ISBN-13: 978-1412987721
APA Reference Guide, 6th edition (latest version)
If needed an undergraduate organizational communicational textbook
Course is restricted to Communication Studies majors. Other students should contact the instructor to check availability.