Communication and Theatre at Bluffton College


The Communication and Theatre Department recognizes that we live in an age of unprecedented change in human communication. Such change brings much possibility and some risk for humanity and its constituent human communities.

The Communication and Theatre Department takes as its task the education and training of Bluffton College students towards rigorous understanding, thoughtful production and ethical critique of human communication in this promising yet daunting context. Therefore, the Communication and Theatre Department seeks to develop in students the awareness of the ancient origins of rhetorical and theatre, knowledge of classical to contemporary theories of human communication, understanding rhetorical criticism and critical approaches to communication processes and insight into our current and changing communication context. Because of the practical nature of human communication, we are committed to providing our students with skill in crafting informative, persuasive, celebrative and sermonic texts for public presentation to a variety of audiences; proficiency in the critique and production of communication across media including print, radio, television, film and computer; and familiarity with the history, principles and basic techniques of theatre production. Finally, we intend to cultivate in our students an appreciation of the ethical complexities inherent in any communicative exchange, commitment to compassionate listening, clarity in critical thinking; and attention to the inextricable connection between religious faith and human communication.

Major (46 hours minimum)
The Communication and Theatre Department offers a major in Communication that provides a broad foundation for students interested in graduate study or specialized vocations.
Required: (29 hours)

COM 185 Public Speaking (3)
COM 195 Interpersonal Communication (3)
COM 240 Mass Media (3)
THE 257 Oral Interpretation (3)
COM 275 Organizational Communication (3)
COM 305 Writing for the Media (3)
LAS 210 Reason and Argument (2)
COM 320 Classical Theories (3)
COM 325 Contemporary Theories (3)
COM 430 Advanced Studies in Communication (3) or COM 435 Advanced Studies in Rhetoric (3) or COM 440 Advanced Studies in Media (3)

Activity credits: (2 hours)

COM 110 Theatre Activity (.5)
COM 111 Student Newspaper Activity (.5)
COM 112 Radio Activity (.5)
COM 114 Yearbook Activity (.5)

Electives: (A minimum of 15 hours from the following list)

COM 220 Communication & Conflict Transformation (3)
COM 230 Studies in Cinema (3)
COM 300 Women, Men and Language (3)
COM 315 Argumentation and Debate (3)
COM 322 Public Relations (3)
COM 335 Video Production (3)
COM 340 Religious Communication (3)
COM 350 Professional Media (3)
COM 390 Independent Study in Communication (1-3)
COM 425 Internship in Communication (2-3)
COM 430 Advanced Studies in Communication (3)
COM 435 Advanced Studies in Rhetoric (3)
COM 440 Advanced Studies in Media (3)
ART 230 Introduction to Graphic Design (3)
ART 240 Photography (3)
ENG 205 Expository Writing (3)
Up to 6 hours of THE courses

Minors
Communication
(19 hours)
The Communication minor enables a student to explore an interest in communication while majoring in another academic discipline. The minor is made up of the following courses:

Required:

COM 185 Public Speaking (3)
COM 195 Interpersonal Communication (3)
COM 240 Mass Media (4)
COM 275 Organizational Communication (3)
COM 305 Writing for the Media (3)

Activity credits: (1 hour)

COM 110 Theatre Activity (.5) or
COM 111 Student Newspaper Activity (.5) or
COM 112 Radio Activity (.5) or
COM 114 Yearbook Activity (.5)

Electives: (4 hours)

Any COM course

Theatre (19 hours)
The Theatre minor enables a student to explore an interest in dramatic arts while majoring in another academic discipline. The minor is made up of the following courses:

Required:

COM 110 Theatre Activity (1) (one activity per quarter)
THE 257 Oral Interpretation (3)
THE 301 Play Production (3)
THE 302 Play Direction (3)
ENG 367 Shakespeare (3)

Electives: 6 hours selected from the following:

THE 223 Creative Drama (3)
THE 258 Acting (3)
THE 326 History of Theatre (3)
THE 390 Independent Study (3)
FCS 273 History of Costume and Culture (3)

Courses
Communication courses
Activity credit
(.5 each)
A maximum of two hours of graduation credit for non-majors and up to 4 hours for majors; a maximum of two hours may be taken in any given area. Student must be enrolled in the activity during the semester for which the credit is received. Enrollment by permission of instructor.

Activity credits count as elective credit toward graduation requirements for majors. Supervising faculty determine the requirements needed to receive the activity credit based on individual student need and prior participation of the student. Credit/no credit.

COM 110 Theatre Activity
Participation in technical and/or performance roles in Bluffton College productions.

COM 111 Student Newspaper (The Witmarsum) Activity
Participation on the student newspaper staff in both technical and reporting capacities.

COM 112 Radio Activity
Participation in the production, directing and performance of a radio show on WBCR.

COM 114 Yearbook Activity
Participation in the publication of the Ista yearbook in photography, reporting and graphic design capacities using yearbook resources.

COM 185 Public Speaking (3)
Engages students in the theoretical issues and practical problems of speech preparation and delivery within the context of an introduction to the discipline of communication. The course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to become better public speakers and audiences members by increasing their awareness of the technical qualities of a good speech and by exercising this knowledge during informative, deliberative and ceremonial public speaking occasions.

COM 195 Interpersonal Communication (3)
Explores the principles and practice of effective communication between individuals and in small groups. The course will examine such topics as communication apprehension, self-disclosure, listening, conflict and nonverbal communication and provide an opportunity to develop specific communication skills.

COM 220 Communication & Conflict Transformation (3)
Provides an understanding in theory and practice of dialogue, mediation and conflict transformation. Students will learn strategies and skills for understanding and coping with interpersonal, organizational and group conflict which they will practice in role plays and in reflective analysis. The last segment of the course will focus on congregational conflict.

COM 230 Studies in Cinema (3)
Surveys will explore the history, elements, common themes and the art of watching films. The course examines the role cinema plays in our culture and how our culture shapes cinema; explores ethical and spiritual considerations in relation to a variety of film genres; and offers different kinds of film analysis for study.

COM 240 Mass Media (3)
The course offers an investigation of the history, technologies and cultural implications of all forms of mass media in American society. This course is designed to develop in students an appreciation for the cultural significance of mass media, an understanding of key theoretical issues in media studies and awareness of key approaches of reading mass media texts.

COM 275 Organizational Communication (3)
Assists students in developing those communication skills needed to succeed in the contemporary organizational environment. In addition to examining the dynamics and ethics of professional communication in business and nonprofit organizations, students will learn how to work on cross-functional teams, lead public meetings, conduct personal interviews and prepare a variety of public presentations such as letters, reports and speeches. Throughout the course, attention will be given to such contemporary organizational issues as institutional power, cultural diversity and professional identity.

COM 300 Women, Men and Language (3)
Inquires into the relationship between communication and gender by studying communication theory and theories of gender construction, by taking a historical perspective on simularites and differences between women's and men's communication behaviors and by investigating varying contexts and their impact on gender and communication. This course seeks to develop in students an appreciation for differences in communication among women and men, some of the causes of those differences and strategies for the peaceful and just engagement of those differences.

COM 305 Writing for the Media (3)
Emphasis news gathering and writing for print and broadcast media. In addition to learning journalistic research and writing techniques students become acquainted with practical aspects of publishing including an introduction to desktop publishing. Philosophical and ethical issues are addressed in the course. Lab experiences include field trips, guest lectures, writing for The Witmarsum, and learning the use of Adobe PageMaker.

COM 315 Argumentation and Debate (3)
Gives students a foundation in argumentation theory and practice. The focus of the class is on principles and practice of public debate, with particular attention to academic debate formats. The course provides students with critical thinking skills through the process of crafting and challenging public policy arguments. Prerequisite:
COM 185..

COM 320 Classical Theories of Rhetoric (3)
Introduces students to the ancient foundations of the discipline of communication. In it students will explore rhetoric in ancient Athens as a social and political practice that both reinforced and contested the longstanding privilege of Athenian aristocracy. They will also study Plato's philosophical critique of what he considered to be rhetoric's essential immortality as well as the first philosophical treatise on rhetoric by his student, Aristotle. Students will then take a look at Isocrate's revision of rhetoric as a force for unity and the common good. Finally, students will engage St. Augustine's argument that rhetoric ought to be used by Christians to make the case most persuasively for faith. Throughout the course students will inquire into the revelance of these important divergent views on the uses and moral status of rhetoric today.

COM 322 Public Relations (3)
Introduces strategic issues and effective practices of communication between organizations and their constituencies. Includes the study of public opinion research, media relations, public communications campaigns, consumer identity and representational ethics. Students gain practical experience in writing news releases, conducting surveys and designing integrated campaigns. Prerequisite:
COM 185.

COM 325 Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric(3)
Explores theories of rhetoric and methods of rhetorical criticism that have been shaped by the modern and postmodern context. Theories and methods examined in the course include neo-aristotelianism, dramatism, postmodernism, cultural studies and deconstruction. Throughout the course, particular attention is given to the relationship between discourse and social transformation.

COM 335 Video Production (3)
Introduces audio and visual media production techniques. The course develops familiarity with the physical features of light and sounds and provides training in the use of contemporary recording, editing and imaging technologies.

COM 340 Religious Communication (3)
This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of religious communication in its sermonic, liturgical, deliberative and promotional forms. The course surveys homiletic theory and explores the role of religious language in congregational worship, decision-making and public relations. Attention is given to such current communication issues as the impact of electronic media on religious messages, the use of gendered language in religious texts and the tension between intimacy and inclusiveness in public worship contexts. Students in the class prepare sermons, write letters of admonition, plan congregational worship services and business meetings and design church promotional materials.

COM 350 Professional Media (3)
Offers training in strategic message production for professional constituencies through the use of desktop publishing techniques, World Wide Web pages, PowerPoint software and other emerging multimedia technologies. Prerequisite:
COM 185.

COM 390 Independent Study (1-3)
By arrangement.

COM 425 Internship in Communication
Provides an opportunity to apply communication skills either in a for-profit organization or a non profit agency. In consultation with an adviser from the Communication and Theatre Department, the student is assigned an organizational supervisor/evaluator at an appropriate business or agency to work at a level commensurate with the student's knowledge and experience. The student will work with the organizational representatives to develop a plan that accommodates the needs of the organization and recognizes the level of the student. Communicative skills that may be utilized in this experience include: public speaking, interviewing, writing, editing, human resource management, leadership in meetings or developing audio/video tools for the organization.

COM 430 Advanced Studies in Communication (3)
Guides students in advanced study of theories of communication from a social scientific perspective. Students study the strengths and weaknesses of broad perspectives on such approaches as laws, systems and rules to the understanding of human communication. Students also have the opportunity to apply one of these perspectives to a more focused study of an area of human communication including interpersonal communication, small group communication, decision-making processes, nonverbal communication and organizational communication. Finally, students have an opportunity to learn from some of the most recent research in these areas.

COM 435 Advanced Studies in Rhetoric (3)
Provides focused study of episodes in the history of public address. Topics may include Radical Reformation pamphlets, American social protest movements, Cold War rhetoric, American presidential campaigns and other moments of communicative transformation.

COM 440 Advanced Studies in Media (3)
Equips students with the media theory and critical practice to enable active engagement with media culture and individual media texts. In this course students are invited to consider the broader context for recent and rapid changes in media technologies and their significance for society and culture. They also have the opportunity to study the most exciting theories about the relationships among culture, media and human behavior. Finally, they learn how to make sense of the sophisticated and socially significant media texts that are increasingly central features of our daily lives. Prerequisite:
COM 240.

 

Theatre
THE 223 Creative Drama
(3)
Seeks to develop imaginative and creative presentations of material and/or ideas through various classic art forms from the historic theatre. Experimental and experiential techniques such as interpretation, pantomime, improvisation, puppetry, body movement and voice development will be stressed. Classroom assignments will culminate in presentations in area elementary schools. Offered alternate years.

THE 257 Oral Interpretation (3)
Offers practice in the art of reading aloud. The course is designed to develop understanding of literature and the ability to share this insight with listeners. It also gives students an opportunity to plan an oral reading

THE 258 Acting (3)
Introduces the theory and technique of acting. Students participate in the use of the voice and body in short scenes from plays. Offered alternate years.

THE 301 Play Production (3)
Aids the student in preparing a play for performance. The course will deal with script selection and analysis, character analysis, set, lighting, costume and makeup design. The student will select a one-act play on which to apply the various principles necessary for production preparation. Laboratory experience required through technical work on the current campus theatre production.

THE 302 Play Direction (3)
Guides the student through the creative process of preparing a one-act play for performance. Casting, rehearsing and performance, followed by a written evaluation of that experience including audience response. Student directors create a prompt book and direct scripts of choice approved by instructor. One-act plays performed for college audience during "Night of One-Acts."

THE 326 History of Theatre (3)
Surveys stagecraft and acting from the Greek theatre to the present. This includes a study of one or more plays from each major era.

THE 390 Independent Study (1-3)
By arrangement.


Modified 10/5/00