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.

Winter 2018 

Seminar in Scholarly Writing - Professor W.J. Potter

The objective of the course is to help you become a better writer of scholarly manuscripts. To help you reach this objective, you will learn how (1) to develop your critical “eye” for recognizing quality (and problems) in the scholarly work of others, (2) to use particular formulas that guide scholarly writing, and (3) to develop your skills of analysis, evaluation, induction, deduction, classification, synthesis, abstraction, and persuasive expression. Students who enroll in the seminar should have at least a rough draft of a project (convention paper, proposal, thesis, etc.) and the willingness to work on improving this draft throughout the quarter. 



Spring 2018

Foundations of Computer Mediated Communication - Professor Joe Walther

This course examines landmark theories from a variety of disciplines, all or most of which preceded digital communication, that provide the theoretical dynamics that inform, embody, or are altered by computer-mediated communication and online social interaction. By studying modern benchmarks in psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, management, nonverbal interaction, and communication (etc.), the objectives of the course are (1) to cultivate participants’ background social scientific foundation with which to ground the study of contemporary electronic media in historical and theoretical contexts, (2) to enhance their research by improving their ability to recognize and capitalize on existing theories, (3) and to sharpen their conceptual analysis of the ways in which contemporary media differ, in specific ways, from traditional communication.