Listed below are the special topics courses offered during spring 2021 at the School of Communication. Please consult CaneLink, the instructor of record, and/or your adviser for more information.

CCA – Special Topics in Cinematic Arts

  • CCA 394 section GJ – Film History Seminar: This course offers an opportunity to explore world cinema in depth, closely looking at three significant cinematic movements or schools in relation to their diverse historical, social, cultural and political contexts. This spring will focus on Italian Neo-Realism, the French New Wave, and classical Hollywood cinema.
  • CCA 394 section CDE – Business of TV: A practical and relevant course in scripted programming for a rapidly changing television industry. Got scripts? What’s next? Gain an understanding of the business to enter it successfully. Increase knowledge about how series are developed and deals are made. Learn about current trends in production and distribution. For questions or to view the syllabus, contact Prof. Betsy Mateu at
  • CCA 404 + JMM 592 section TU – Writing Film Criticism: Don’t miss this opportunity to take a writing class with award-winning writer Rene Rodriguez, who covered the film beat for the Miami Herald for over two decades. Want an inside view on writing for newspapers? Interested in cultural and arts criticism? CCA 404/JMM 592 is for you. Films will be screened weekly during class time at the Bill Cosford cinema.
  • CCA 594/795 section TU – Intermediate Animation: This course presents intermediate techniques used for animation; conceptualization, storyboarding, shot language, editing styles, narrative structure, creating characters, and bringing animated characters to life. Students will write and develop, draw and animate original short films.
  • CCA 594/795 + JMM 592/692 section GJ – Advanced Documentary Field Production: In this workshop-style class, students work in small groups to complete a short documentary film focused on bringing about social change. Classes consist of hands-on sessions, discussions, case studies, and guest lectures by experts and experienced practitioners from around the world.
  • CCA 594/795 + HIS 511/611 + GSS 350 section G – Cinema of India: Colonial & Post-Colonial Narratives: This course studies themes in colonial and post-colonial India through the lens of Indian cinema – Bollywood and the regional film industry. We will situate and frame the semester’s readings and film viewing around specific themes, with contextual framing of the history of Bollywood and regional cinema, their respective influence and limits in framing, valorizing or critiquing societal and cultural norms. The themes will relate to filmmaking in the colonial context and its relationship to nation-in-the making and nationalism, as well as post-colonial positioning and representations in Hindi and other regional language cinema toward issues of gender, sexuality, class, and caste identities.

CIM – Special Topics in Interactive Media

  • CIM 389 + CCA 394 + JMM 592/692 + STC 290 section R – The Creation of a Museum: The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora: In this studio course, students will form small teams and come up with concepts for a new museum: The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora. Students will be provided a design brief outlining exhibit design and communication objectives identified by the Miami MoCAAD. Over the course of the semester, students will research, brainstorm, design, and test innovative solutions for these core objectives, including proposing ideas, communication and exhibit strategies. Projects that satisfy the partner’s needs may result in on-going work for full implementation and exposure for students’ ideas.
  • CIM 489/689 + JUS 401 + REL 406 + ARC 586/686 section TU – Religion, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Realities: Throughout human history, religion has been a significant factor in the formation of human community and the communication of prosocial values and practices.  Digital culture has created new modes of communication–both aural and visual–that may affect and change how religion works and its impact on society.  This course will examine the various impacts that emerging technologies have on religion’s structure and practice in the contemporary world.

COM – Special Topics in Communication

  • COM 609 section OP1 – Psychology of Computer-Mediated Communication: This course explores recent research on computer-mediated communication. From a media effects perspective, it focuses on how interactive media technologies have been applied to facilitate information transmission and how effective they are. Information transmitted within the computer-mediated environment can be of many types such as journalistic stories, advertisements, and consumer reviews. Students in this course will be exposed to related research published in academic journals across different domains including mass communication, marketing, social psychology, and information science. A variety of research topics will be surveyed and discussed such as conceptualizing and measuring interactivity, psychology of web-based customization, and online identity construction.
  • COM 609 section TU – Academic Writing: This course subject matter varies according to announced special topic. This particular section focuses on producing publishable manuscripts based on research projects. Students participate in at least two research projects, culminating in manuscripts suitable for publication in professional journals.

COS – Special Topics in Communication Studies

  • COS 391/691 section RS – Communication in Romantic Relationships: Research and theory organized around the inextricable link between communication processes (including message production and reception) and the development of romantic/intimate relationships emerged under the rubric “relational communication” in the early to mid-1980’s. Since that time a huge corpus of research and theory has accumulated in the communication journals, especially Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, and Personal and Social Relationships. This research has been summarized in major scholarly or reference texts such as The Handbook of Interpersonal Communication and Communication Competence. Owing to the breadth of topics addressed in this literature, a comprehensive treatment is beyond the scope of a single course. In this course, class sessions are organized around questions posed by the students. Specifically, students will initially submit two to three questions, which will be addressed through class discussion informed by reading assignments bearing on the questions. By mid-term, students pose an additional set of questions that arise from previous reading and class discussion.
  • COS 391 + JUS 401 + REL 406 section QE69 – Persuasion, Propaganda and Genocide: This course examines how governments, and the cultures and societies that support them, create discourses that make it plausible for citizens to harm, degrade, and murder other citizens. We will take both a comparative and methodological approach to understanding how to answer this basic question.  We will explore contemporary theories and modes of persuasion and propaganda and apply them to selected historical and contemporary cases of genocide.  We also will attempt to identify approaches to preventing mass atrocities.
  • COS 591/691 + RSM 520/620 + ECS 403 section Q – Climate and Society: Climate change is rapidly becoming climate emergency as sea level rise threatens coastal communities across the globe. Most climate adaptation initiatives are based on broad scale analysis that tilts toward capital-intensive engineered solutions. In this course, we will turn this process around, and examine climate adaptation from a hyperlocal perspective. The course will consist of an interdisciplinary examination of the gradients of vulnerability and risk which include the topographic to built- environment conditions, access to resources, and, arguably most importantly, social and cultural dimensions that distinguish locations and provide key determinants. Building upon this ‘hyperlocal’ view of vulnerability, the course will also examine mechanisms of input from community members on climate adaptation. Policy makers and not-for-profits addressing critical issues of equity and agency in climate adaptation have been drawn to methods for engaging people across multiple income, age, cultural, linguistic, and gender groups through so called community-based participatory research (CBPR). This course will enable students to learn and put into practice a CBPR approach involving integrated risk assessment, photovoice, and design thinking, three methods that when combined are intended to yield greater civic understanding.

JMM – Special Topics in Journalism and Media Management

  • JMM 306 + ATM 306/632 + MPO 632 section J1 – Broadcast Meteorology: This course will be taught by an experience broadcast meteorologist and will introduce the students to the elements of forecasting and weather reporting for broadcast television.
  • JMM 592 section N – After Effects: Students will learn to create basic animations, special effects, and motion graphics using Adobe After Effects through project-based instruction relevant to both beginners and experienced users.
  • JMM 592/692 section GJ2 – iPhone Photo Illustrations: Students will improve photography skills using smartphones. Students will learn to break or bend many basic rules of photography while taking and editing images for artistic impact. Emphasis will be placed on creativity. The workload includes both taking and editing images.
  • JMM 592/692 section P2 – Hate, The Media & Free Speech: This class explores issues of tolerance, intolerance, understanding and acceptance of people who may be different from you, and will cover how the press addresses these issues and how the government deals with them. Key topics include campus speech issues, and religious, cultural, political, racial and ethnic issues relating to intolerance. The course emphasizes keeping an open mind and employing “critical thinking” skills. Bohrer is an experienced and well known media attorney in Florida.
  • JMM 592/692 / CCA 594/795 section Q – Podcast Storytelling: Climate Risks and Resilience: Podcast Storytelling is a course offered jointly by the Departments of Cinematic Arts and Journalism and Media Management. Students create and produce narratives related to environmental issues that affect the South Florida community and our planet. Projects in the course are produced both individually and team-based and will be published on blogs/websites created during the semester. Students will learn the technical aspects of creating a podcast as well as how to be best organize and structure the content for audio consumption.
  • JMM 592 + AMS 321 + HIS 301 section FG – Miami Engagement History, Media and Social Change: This seminar-style course examines the history, theory, and practice of civic engagement, community history, and social change in the United States, looking at four overlapping areas of interest: the meanings of civic engagement; the roles of history in shaping place and community; the role of the media; and grass-roots activism and its role in reinvigorating and reshaping public spheres.
  • JMM 592/692 + AMS 325 section O2 – Children & Media: This class explores the impact or influence the various media on children. For example, students will consider whether violent video games really create violent adolescents and adults? How does the media affect health issues in young people, such as eating disorders? How do the various social media platforms help and hurt children? How do advertising, marketing, educational, and entertainment programming directed at children affect them? Bohrer is an experienced media attorney and well known children’s advocate in Florida.
  • JMM 592/692 + ECO 698 section P4 – Media Sustainability: This course examines the intersection of corporate sustainability reporting (CSR) and the evolution of modern media within the United States. Applying the business concept of ESG to the traditional press, digital journalism and communication services sector, students learn how interactive tools can activate and improve stakeholder (audience) engagement.
  • JMM 592 + STC 490 + INS 524/608 section Y/Y1 – Strategic Decision Making + Entrepreneurship in the Global Internet Economy: This is an International Business Course for non-business students. By examining actual business decisions that entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and even government leaders, have made, students learn the key business concepts, including the panoply of available business models.

Spring Intersession Special Topics Courses

  • COS 391 section U80/B80 +  COS 691 section G80 – Debriefing the Circus: The 2020 Presidential Campaign: The 2016 and 2020 presidential election campaigns changed the nature of campaigns, departed from traditional norms, and contributed to intensified fragmentation. Changes have been driven by the evolution of political communication professionals and by technology, as well as the candidates themselves. The primary aim of this course is to enable civil discussion about the political process and to understand what just happened. Class meetings will occur: January 4-8, 11-15, 19-22 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. and January 23 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Available for undergraduate, BGS, and graduate credit.