Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Diversity in the Classroom

SOC Leena Jayaswal India Ganges River

Photos from India

Film and Media Arts professor Leena Jayaswal traveled to India and presented her photography in a presentation entitled "Photographing India." Principles of Photography is one of the many diverse classes SOC offers to students.

Film and Media Arts

COMM-330 Principles of Photography
Students learn a variety of photography techniques and diverse photographers throughout a history of photography.

COMM-331/661 Film and Video Production 1 and Comm 334/634 Film and Video Production 2
In this course, students learn a variety of techniques for making films, including first-hand explorations of the pitfalls and challenges of creating visual stories from a diverse range of narrative and documentary perspectives.

COMM-438/638 Techniques/Aesthetics of Editing
Students edit projects in collaboration with Prof. Engel's students who shot films in the Galapagos Island and also worked with Jane Goodall Institute.

COMM-486/686 Advanced Documentary Technique
Students work on environmental, social and health-related documentary projects that take them into Washington, DC's Southeast, where they learn first hand about those who are disadvantaged, ignored and discriminated against.

COMM-511 History of Documentary
In the study of the history of documentary, students learn about the broad international scope of the form, the importance within the documentary genre of giving voice to disenfranchised members of society, the role of documentary in social movements such as civil rights and feminism, and about the ethical challenges of managing power relationships between filmmaker and subject, including indigenous subjects, children and disabled subjects.

COMM-512 Social Documentary
In the study of strategic design for social-issue documentary, students learn about the way in which documentary films can address power relationships in society, particularly around race, class and gender.

COMM-516 The Radical Image
Through a history of international art movements including surrealism, hyperrealism and magic realism, students learn about artists using themes of gender, identity and race.

COMM-523 Photojournalism/Social Documentary
History of photojournalism where photographers have covered diverse topics and intellectual viewpoints

COMM-523 Fine Art Photography
Students will read a variety of photography theory looking at diverse viewpoints on documentary and fine art photography theory.

COMM-544 Foreign Correspondence
In the Foreign Correspondence course, students examine how and why Western media too often ignore the plight of poor, dark-skinned civilians in developing countries to focus more on tribulations of those who look and speak more like we do. The class discusses the use of imagery that is far more graphic when depicting violence in those developing countries than we ever would to depict victims of violence in Western countries or even American service members killed or wounded in any country.

COMM-556 Cross Cultural Film and Video Production
Students work in small production teams and with students at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico and other universities to produce documentaries of culture, social, environmental, or political interest. Students have the opportunity to travel to Mexico, Costa Rica, and other locations as part of international production teams.

COMM-575 Advanced Writing for Documentary
Issues of representation, authenticity, ethics, and bias are woven throughout this course as students deconstruct a wide range of documentary films and write their own scripts.

COMM-701 Film Theory and Practice
This required graduate theory course exposes students to a variety of theories and ways of thinking about cinema and other visual media, and exposes them to a diverse range of international films and issues that include minorities and women.

COMM-711 Teaching Seminar in Media Arts
In preparation for a career in higher education, students learn among other things how to address the learning needs of international students, the disabled, and students with learning disabilities.


COMM-100 Understanding Media
This course examines media representations of gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, as well as ethnic and minority media, and critiques of media and culture from diverse intellectual viewpoints.

COMM-275 Dissident Media: Voices from the Underground
The evolution and impact of alternative media as forces for social change. How dissident groups have used non-establishment media such as suffragist and Socialist journals, African-American and gay presses, counterculture tabloids, Christian-right newsletters, and the "zines" of the 1990s to organize and bring about reform. Also examines the power of communication, the interplay between media and society, and the complex role of politically dissident media in American history.

COMM-280 Contemporary Media in a Global Society
An exploration of the relationship between international communication and foreign policy, with an emphasis on the traditions, practices, legal aspects, government controls, and attitudes in various countries and their impact on freedom of thought and expression.

COMM-510 Women in Journalism
Examines women's historical and contemporary participation in print and broadcast journalism, including pioneering woman journalists of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, African-American women journalists, newswomen of the battlefield, and depictions of women journalists on film and television. Also covers contemporary issues facing women in journalism, and the portrayal of women on the news media. Usually offered every spring

COMM-522 Writing for Convergent Media
The project this year was growing up in the shadow of 9/11, and students surveyed young people nationwide. This means they must have diverse voices, particularly inclusion of Muslim American voices. The surveys were sent to several organizations and the stories themselves were quite diverse as well.

COMM 535.009 Health, Science and Environmental Reporting
This course examines a range of intellectual viewpoints on the role and function of science in society, as well as scientific issues that contain significant religious and socioeconomic dimensions, including stem cell research, controversies over the teaching of evolution and environmental justice.

COMM-548 Global Journalism: Issues and Trends in the Twenty-First Century
The critical issues facing journalists and the news media on a global scale. Examines diversity of international news media and focuses on trends such as the power and influence of global media moguls, the threats of violence and detention that confront journalists around the world, and the role of the news media in the process of political change. Usually offered every spring.

COMM-588 Race, Ethnic, and Community Reporting
This course prepares students to report, write, and produce multimedia stories about increasingly diverse populations involving race and ethnicity at the local level. Students study race in the media, including cultural bias, and approaches to non-mainstream communities, and then apply those concepts by creating multimedia profiles of Washington, D.C., area neighborhoods. Usually offered every term.

GENED-240.001 Media Myth and Power
Media Myth and Power, which draws upon research into media-driven myths, included in my Media Myth and Power seminar sessions on media-driven stereotyping, as characterized by news coverage of the women's liberation movement (and "bra-burning") of the late 60s and 70s , and as characterized by news coverage of the aftermath in New Orleans of Hurricane Katrina's destructive onslaught in 2005.

Public Communication

COMM-209 Communication and Society
In studying the effects of the mass media, students examine racial and ethnic stereotypes in the media and their possible effects on the audience.

COMM-301 Public Relations
Students discuss the different challenges of diversity with regard to ethnicity and gender that have been long standing issues for the public relations field, and they strategize on solutions to help improve the situation.

COMM-346 Public Relations Case Studies
Multicultural public relations case studies with a focus on how the industry can deliver targeted messages to diverse and unique audiences. Multicultural speakers are also featured during this session.

COMM-380 Public Communication Research
Diversity is covered in two ways -- Students learn about the demographics of the U.S. and how the Census Bureau and other entities define/categorize people. Students also learn about the factors involved in doing research among different demographic groups -- participation rates, cultural differences, language issues, etc.

COMM-541 Crisis Communication
A full session is included on reaching special audiences during a crisis which includes, people with physical handicaps, ethnic groups, African American communities and the elderly. Guests have included the director of non-English outreach for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

COMM-642 Public Communication Management
Through lectures, negotiations and role playing, students learn the importance of diversity in organizations as well as how to manage in diverse organizations.

COMM-738 Research for Strategic Communication (NOTE: The course number for this course may be changing to COMM-648)
Diversity is covered in two ways -- Students learn about the demographics of the U.S. and how the Census Bureau and other entities define/categorize people. Students also learn about the factors involved in doing research among different demographic groups -- participation rates, cultural differences, language issues, etc.