Spring 2023 Course Descriptions

**Descriptions of the below Spring 2023 Graduate Courses 

(Cyber)Bullying and Communication – Nik Palomares (nicholas.palomares@austin.utexas.edu)    


Qualitative Research Methods – Samantha Shorey (sshorey@utexas.edu)

08430 - W 3:30 - 6:30 PM - CMA 6.152        

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, and ethnography. We will read exemplars of qualitative research that illustrate diverse theoretical traditions as well as examine key issues such as gaining access to research sites, forms of interactions with research subjects, and research ethics.

Advocacy – John Daly (daly@austin.utexas.edu

08440 - TTH 12:30 - 2:00 PM - RRH 3.310

DESCRIPTION: This course introduces you to how people successful “market” their ideas particularly within organizations. No matter how good your ideas are, unless you can also effectively sell those notions to decision-makers, those ideas don’t matter. Good ideas, in short, don’t sell themselves. In this class we focus on crucial skills that help you not only understand how people influence you but also help you successfully pitch your ideas to others. You’ll be exposed to research answering questions like:
  • How do you clearly and memorably communicate your ideas? 
  • How do you build and maintain affinity and credibility as an advocate? 
  • How do you become a more effective story-teller when persuading others? 
  • How do you know when it is the right time to pitch an idea? 
  • How do you build alliances to get better buy-in for your ideas? 
  • How do you “pre-sell” ideas? 
  • How do you successfully influence change in organizations? 
  • How do you effectively persuade others to adopt your ideas? 
  • How do you make yourself more impactful in meetings?

The class is designed for anyone who will face the challenge of convincing others to invest in their ideas. Advocacy matters in every profession and at every level of an organization. Creative entrepreneurs must successfully pitch their innovations, managers must, on a daily basis, effectively persuade team members and garner buy-in from leadership to adopt their ideas, sales and marketing folks constantly advocate for their products and services.

Family Communication – Anita Vangelisti (vangelisti@austin.utexas.edu)

08450 - T 6:30 - 9:30 PM - DMC 4.204

DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on current research and theory on Family Communication. Readings will cover such topics as the development of families, various types of families that comprise modern society, family members, and several current issues that affect families. The goal of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to learn about family communication both in an abstract way (via readings and class discussions) and in a more concrete, "hands-on" fashion (by collecting data and conducting your own study).

Communication and Immigration – Roselia Mendez Murillo (Roselia.mendezmurillo@austin.utexas.edu)

08455 - TH 3:30 - 6:30 PM - CMA 6.152

DESCRIPTION: This graduate seminar will introduce us to different frameworks, research, and practices that can help us understand the important role that communication plays in creating inequities among immigrants in the United States, as well as the ways in which immigrants use various communication strategies to mitigate the barriers they experience. Immigration, and Communication is a diverse area of research that can incorporate different levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, community, organizational, societal) of analysis, methodologies, and a wide range of communication channels and contexts. In this seminar, we will pay particular attention to the ways in which communication can contribute to creating disparities and inequities among various immigrant communities (undocumented and documented), and at the same time, help mitigate immigrants’ disparities and inequities. We will also discuss what responsibilities we may have as researchers to conduct studies that can help us understand and improve immigrants’ social mobility through, for example, community engagement and public engagement. Furthermore, we will consider how immigration and communication research and practices can enhance our own research interests, theorizing, and practices, regardless of whether we primarily identify as an immigration communication scholar. This course will explore a range of topics including but not limited to immigration and inequities, acculturation, language brokering, immigration narratives, family ethnic socialization, immigrant family separation and reunification, and undocumented immigration and mixed-status families.


Embodied Interaction (Jürgen Streeck, jstreeck@austin.utexas.edu)

08470 - M 6:30 - 9:30 PM - DMC 4.204

DESCRIPTION: This course is an introduction to the research conducted in the field known as ‘embodied interaction’ or ‘multimodal communication’, its methodology and research practice, and the theoretical developments resulting from it. Practitioners of this research seek to understand the inter-corporeal foundations of communicative understanding and co-operative action and the ways in which different communication modalities (speech, gaze, gesture, posture, touch, etc.) are coordinated moment by moment. We will give special attention to gesture and recent research on touch.

You will work on small, video-based research projects and try out a variety of methods of data analysis (sequence analysis, context analysis, micro-ethnography). We discuss recent work on the cultural evolution of human language and communication; on cultural diversity in embodied interaction; on phenomenological conceptions of embodiment; and on the role of the senses in human and cross-species communication.

Referenced Material: M.H. Goodwin & A. Cekaite (2018). Embodied Family Choreography: Practices of Control, Care, and Mundane Creativity. London: Routledge

Rhetoric of Expertise – Johanna Hartelius (j.hartelius@austin.utexas.edu)

08475 - M 3:30 - 6:30 PM - DMC 4.204

DESCRIPTION: If “expertise is knowledge living its rhetorical life,” then the purpose of this course is to examine the conditions and implications of that life in the contemporary moment. That is, to study how power and social relationships are constituted through discourses of expertise. In terms of theories and methods, the course has its center of gravity in rhetoric and critical scholarship; however, the course welcomes various student backgrounds and research foci, and is designed to facilitate productive discussion. For the major research assignment, each student may choose to employ the method/approach of her/his field or academic specialty as long as the final project relates to expertise/experts and communication. 

Measurement Workshop: Scale Development and Instrument Design – Dawna Ballard (diballard@utexas.edu)

08480 - T 3:30 - 6:30 PM - CMA 6.152

DESCRIPTION: This is a hands-on course that provides in-depth instruction on issues related to scale development and questionnaire design, ranging from establishing validity to increasing response rate. In addition to examining the relevant theoretical and practical literature on this topic, students will engage these issues, in part, through developing their own instrument.  Therefore, this class is well-suited both for individuals already engaged in a specific line of research and poised to develop appropriate measurement instruments as well as those new to an area of scholarship who expect to need such tools in the future.

Organizational Comm Theory - Macro – Josh Barbour (barbourjosh@utexas.edu)

08490 - W 6:30 - 9:30 PM - CMA 6.152

DESCRIPTION: The course will explore theory and research related to macro-level organizational communication phenomena and the expression of macro-level forces in organizational microprocesses (i.e., macromorphic communication). Topics include organizational rhetoric, interorganizational relationships, diffusion of organizational innovations, and institutional theory of organizational communication (e.g., institutional messages, institutional work, institutional entrepreneurship). The course will consist of three subsections: interorganizational communication, macromorphic organizational communication, and the organization as the producer of communication. We will engage research on the communicative study of the local influence and appropriation of broad societal discourses, interorganizational collaboration, collective action, and interprofessional communication. We will study important themes and contexts such as entrepreneurship, healthcare organizations, global public health, disaster preparation and response, information policy and regulation, corporate social responsibility and irresponsibility, and environmental protection.