Lebanese International University
School of Arts and Sciences
Communication Arts Department
SYLLABUS Spring, 2010 - 2011
Course Code: COMM200 (A) M.W. 08:00 – 09:15
Course Title: Introduction to Communication Studies (B) T.Th. 08:00 – 09:15
Instructor: H. Choubassi
Office Hours: MW: 11:00 – 12:30 TTh: 11:00 – 14:00
This course introduces students to the central concepts of image theories in communication and the operation of the media industries. It is an introduction to the history, structure, process and social environment of each medium in the communication industry; an overview of the emerging technology in mass media and its social impact. It is a study of the development, principles and effects of prints, PR, advertising, radio, TV, film and computer-generated communication. Particular attention will be given to the Lebanese and Arab communication media tools and their relations to the historical, sociopolitical aspect on the local level.
The purpose of this course is to provide the basic concepts and understandings of the theory of image in mass communication industries, defined as the tools of communication exchange, manipulation and mass deception as determinant of the sociopolitical orientation. The overall goal is to develop an understanding of the process and tools of mass communication industries and their political background. Considering that the basis of mass communication tools are the product of social, political and ideological structures and disciplines; we will be analyzing theories of mass communication in their socio-historical context.
Specifically we will aim to:
*Develop understanding of the mass communication tools process.
*Appreciate the diversity of mass communication institutes from different cultures and different political orientations and opinions.
*Encourage analytical skills in examining mass communication theories.
*Understand how socio-historical changes and technological evolution influences mass communication theories and vice versa.
-In this course, you must be prepared to read works of politics, literature and arts critically, intellectually, and analytically, be able to express these ideas both orally and in written forms.
-Attendance of all class sessions is mandatory as per university rules and regulations.
-Continuous classroom discussions and critique contributes greatly to the learning process of the whole class. Special attention will be paid to discussing mass communication theories.
-Research project resulting in a term paper to be presented at the end of the semester. Your research may be on any approved topic concerning mass communication theories.
-In grading, emphasis is placed on seriousness of purpose, rate of progress, besides the degree of achievement of course objectives.
Exam I 15%
Projects & Presentations 15%
Midterm exam 20%
Final exam 25%
Research paper 15%
Attendance & participation 10%
I: Semiotics (semiology):
Introductory models & basic concepts (F. de Saussure):
-The sign: Signifier/Signified
-Semiotics and culture: Denotation/Connotation
Second and third-order signification (R. Barthes)
*-“Myth Today” by Roland Barthes
Structuralism and Post-Structuralism
II: Mass Media; Modern and Post-Modern
-Global reach of the media
*-“The work of art in the age of Mechanical reproduction” (1938) by Walter Benjamin
The aura of the uncanny:
Post-mortem photography of the Victorian era (Memento Mori)
*"The uncanny" by Sigmund Freud
The uncanny valley of Masahiro Mori
-The media’s social impact
*-“Simulacra and simulations” by Jean Baudrillard
*Screening: “The Matrix” a film by Larry & Andy Wachowski
III: The print Media: (Presentations)
IV: Mass Media influence and effect
*-“The influence and effects of mass media” by Denis McQuail
-Historic press freedoms: a study of the paradoxical press role during the student’s revolution of 1968 in France. (Research and presentation by students)
V: The Visual Electronics, TV, Video and Film
-Television entertainment / News
*-“Welcome to the desert of the real” (2001) by Slavoj Zizek
*-“Wars that Never Take Place: Non-events, 9/11 and Wars on Terrorism" by Binoy Kampmark
- TV, Cable TV, satellite and Live broadcast
-Video as banality
-Photographic and graphic communication
-The film: commercial and artistic
VI: Persuasion and deception
*-“The culture industry: Enlightenment as mass deception” (1944) by Theodor Adorno & Max Horkheimer
VII: Communication Worldwide
-International mass communications
*-“Media professionalism in the third world: The transfer of an ideology” by Peter Golding