Spring 2019 Graduate Course Offerings

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. JEFF TREEM
CMS 386N.2
WEDNESDAYS 3:30-6:30 pm in CMA 7.120
CLASS SIZE = 12
 
DESCRIPTION:
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 analytic induction, grounded theory, sensemaking, and ethnography. 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.   
 
TEXTBOOKS:
Tracy, S. J. (2013). Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact. ISBN-10: 140519202X | ISBN-13: 978-1405192026
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students.
 

ADVOCACY

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. JOHN DALY
CMS 386P (meets with MAN 383)
TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS 12:30-2 pm in GSB 2.124
CLASS SIZE = 10
 
 
DESCRIPTION:
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.
 
TEXTBOOK:
Daly, J.A. (2011). Advocacy; Championing Ideas and Influencing Others
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
The CMS part of the course is restricted to Communication Studies graduate students. The Business School portion is restricted to Business graduate students.
 

DARK SIDE OF INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. RENÉ DAILEY
CMS 386P.6
TUESDAYS 3:30—6:30  in TBD
CLASS SIZE = 12
 
 
DESCRIPTION:
This course is designed to provide an overview of topics related to the “dark side” of communication in interpersonal relationships. In addition to addressing undesired features of interpersonal relationships, this course will also cover seemingly productive communication patterns that are actually dysfunctional as well as seemingly destructive patterns that are actually functional. Specifically, the course will cover topics such as topic avoidance and secrets, conflict, relational transgressions, invoking negative emotions, and aggression and abuse.
 
TEXTBOOKS:
Spitzberg, B. H., & Cupach, W. R. (Eds.) (2007). The dark side of interpersonal communication (2nd edition). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. ISBN-10: 080585780X
Cupach, W. R., & Spitzberg, B. H. (Eds.) (2011). The dark side of close relationships (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge. ISBN-10: 0415804582
Additional readings will be in a course packet.
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students.
 

 


COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY USE IN ORGANIZATIONS

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. KERI STEPHENS
CMS 392P
Mondays 3:30-6:30 PM in CMA 6.152
CLASS SIZE = 12
 
 
DESCRIPTION:
Our lives are infused with information and communication technologies (ICTs), and the boundaries between work and life are often fuzzy.  This course begins by exploring social media and mobile media used in everyday life. The topics we explore include the quantified self, communication overload, and specific contexts like social and mobile media in disasters.  We also examine how these personal ICTs are used at work.  Here we cover policies, digital divides, multitasking, and work/life boundaries.  Finally we explore how organizations adopt ICTs for their use. We apply theories of organizational change and diffusion to explore topics like big data, and privacy and monitoring.       
 
Students are expected to periodically summarize articles for class, complete a summary of where communication technology articles are published, and conduct a complete research study where you write a major final paper suitable for submission to a conference or a journal.  The final study will be an individual effort (or you may pair up) that can take the form of a survey, experiment, content analysis, qualitative analysis, or a comprehensive research agenda.  MA students may choose to write a detailed research proposal.  These final papers should resemble a conference and journal submission.  
 
TEXTBOOK:
Scholarly Readings from the UT Austin Library
Humphreys, L. (2018).  The Quantified Self: Social Media and the Accounting of Everyday Life. MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262
Stephens, K. K. (2018). Negotiating Control: Organizations and Mobile Communication.  Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780190625511037853
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students
 

ENGAGED COMMUNICATION SCHOLARSHIP

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. JOSH BARBOUR
CMS 390S.12
TUESDAYS 3:30– 6:30 PM in CMA 3.134
CLASS SIZE = 12
 
DESCRIPTION:
This course will explore the theories and methods helpful for engaged research. Topics include (a) practical theory such as action research, communication design, grounded practical theory; (b) organizational change including work on organization communication management, social justice, and technology implementation; and (c) research methods common to consulting, program evaluation, and engaged scholarship such as ethnographic interviewing, survey design, organizational shadowing, natural experiments, and case studies. The course will focus in particular on the practical problems and ethical dilemmas associated with doing research with collaborators including negotiating access, co-designing research projects, co-producing research findings, and designing findings workshops. We will explore these topics with an eye toward orthodox academic careers as well as the paths of aspiring consultants, market and organizational development researchers, technology change managers, data scientists, government and think tank researchers, and pracademics of all sorts.
 
Poster with additional details at www.macromorphic.com/teaching.
 
TEXTBOOK:
None.
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students
 

HISTORY OF COMMUNICATIVE INQUIRY

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. JOSH GUNN
CMS 390P
THURSDAYS 3:30 - 6:30 pm in CMA 7.120
CLASS SIZE = 12
 
DESCRIPTION:
This course investigates the conceptual and disciplinary history of "the object" of a given academic field.  Conceptually, seminarians will examine the various ways in which subjects have conceived of the object, from the "reason" of philosophers to what counts as knowledge in the humanities and social sciences.  After considering the various ways in which the object has been conceived in anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and art history, seminarians will then investigate two case studies: the objects of "speech" and "communication" in relationship to the history of the communication studies, and the deliberate jettisoning of the object by what has been called "cultural studies."  After completing the course, students in communication studies will have a much stronger historical and conceptual understanding of their field and its longstanding commitment to public education.
 
TEXTBOOKS:
To Be Determined
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students.
 

CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATION

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. SHARON JARVIS
CMS 390N.3
SPRING 2019
MONDAYS 3:30 – 6:30 PM in CMA 7.120
CLASS SIZE = 12
 
DESCRIPTION:
This seminar provides an introduction to research in the area of political campaign communication. We will read prominent works on this topic and consider a variety of questions, including: How do communication scholars and political scientists study and understand campaigns? What theoretical generalizations can we make about voters, candidates, and campaign texts? Do theory and practice converge?  Do our readings inform the outcomes of recent campaigns? What are holes in this literature?  How can we work to fill them?
 
COURSE OVERVIEW:
This syllabus features a mixture of qualitative and quantitative approaches to political campaigns written by communication scholars and political scientists. Please know that it is not imperative that you have a specific type of training to take this course (statistical, rhetorical), nor is it necessary to be a political junkie. What is important, though, is that students are curious about how individuals come to know candidates (and their political worlds) through communication and that students select topics related to political campaign communication that they are passionate about for the course’s research project.
 
Class meetings will three hours with a break about two hours into class. During the first two hours of class we will discuss the questions and observations from your short weekly papers, as well as listen to book reports. The third hour of class is dedicated to the development and execution of students’ research projects. For spring 2019, students will have access to closed and open-ended items from four national surveys (conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2018) from funded projects Dr. Jarvis has supervised.
 
Weekly topics for the semester include the following:  the American voter, strategists, candidates, debates, advertisements, the media (traditional approaches), the media (infotainment), the media (internet), new paths (mobilization), new paths (student research projects).
 
COURSE ASSIGNMENTS:
1.  Participation (20%--100 points).  All required readings should be completed by the date indicated on the syllabus. Students will write weekly short (1-2 pages) papers that review the readings and raise 3-5 questions for class discussion. This seminar does not have a mid-term or final exam; commitment to the class will be monitored by weekly written responses and class discussion.
2.  Research Report (15%--75 points). Students will read and report on a book (or a set of articles) connected to their research interests during the semester.  Please estimate 20 minutes for your presentation and 10-20 minutes for class discussion.
3.  Seminar Paper/Project (65%--325 points). The chief assignment for the course is a piece of original research based on messages in political campaigns (approximately 20-25 pages in length) that extends knowledge of campaign communications beyond the assigned readings. Students will turn in their research in several stages and will also have the opportunity to review and comment on the work of classmates. 
 
TEXTBOOK:
We will read from a reading packet.
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students.
 

CONFLICT COMMUNICATION

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. MADELINE MAXWELL
CMS 389C.1
Thursdays 3:30-6:30 in CMA 6.172
Class Size:  12
 
DESCRIPTION:
Interpersonal conflict depends on interpersonal communication.  Duh.  So does any other conflict that is manifested through individuals.  This course focuses on communication that takes place between individuals.  Most of the time we will be concerned with face-to-face, but we will also pay some attention to other forms of communication.  Most of our concern will be with conflict involving people who are important to each other over time or situations that are important to individuals.  Of course, these relationships and situations are complicated and difficult.  We will also observe how we can understand the influence of the contexts in which a conflict takes place—romantic, family, work, or friends.  We also know that backgrounds and social structures greatly affect perspective, orientation toward meaning and sharing and managing conflict, and that will be part of our study.  We will have a bias toward what we can learn about pragmatic effectiveness in managing conflict and enhancing experience.
 
ASSIGNMENTS:
The major (60%) evaluation for grading will depend on the development of a research paper, using appropriate methods for an actual study. Twenty-five per cent will depend on class participation, and fifteen per cent is assigned to an essay on theory. Class participation will include discussion, leadership of discussion on reading, and role playing exercises.
 
TEXTBOOK:
1) Journal articles, 2) Littlejohn, Stephen & Domenici, Kathy. 2007. Communication, conflict and the management of difference. Waveland Press. 3) Nichols, John.  1974.  The Millagro Beanfield War.  Owl Books. 3) Fadiman, Ann. 2012. The Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down.   Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 5) Carkeet, David.  1990. The Full Catastrophe.  Overlook Press.
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students.