Graduate Special Topics Courses (594)

A course labeled “Special Topics in Communication” (Comm 594) is usually a one-time offering of a new or special topics class that has been created by a faculty member. The content of each specific Comm 594 course generally does not appear in the UCSB Course Catalog or in GOLD's listing; please check this page or the quarterly listing of classes for details of what is offered each quarter. 

To sign up for a 594 in GOLD, select "COMM 594 - SPECIAL TOPICS", indicate the number of units (generally 4), and then select the instructor (indicated in the course description on this site) from the drop down menu.

Fall 2016 

Stress and Communication (T. Afifi)  Thursdays, 12:30 - 3:20PM  SSMS 4143

Course Description:  This course acquaints students with the research and theories relevant to the study of stress and communication.  Specifically, it will explore how people communicate when they are stressed and the physiological implications of this stress for personal and relational health.  It will also examine how biosocial markers influence people’s communication.  This course is ultimately geared toward students becoming well versed in some of the research on stress and coping in interpersonal relationships, particularly within the family context.  This will include (1) a few of the seminal or “cornerstone” pieces in stress, communication patterns, and coping, (2) “state of the art” research, including biosocial research, and (3) a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches that are essential to this area of study.  In order to achieve these aims, scholarly work from within and outside the discipline is analyzed.


Spring 2017


Course Description:  Communication 594 (Media & Stereotyping) is designed to provide an intellectual environment for the discussion of social scientific research that has contributed to our understanding of the media’s role in processes related to and outcomes associated with stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.  We will emphasize media research in the field of communication but also consider important works from social psychology the examination of these topics.  Although issues of race and ethnicity are the central focus of the course, gender, sexuality, obesity, and other domains of stereotyping also will be addressed.