Please consider the following Special Topics course offerings from the School of Communication.
Summer registration begins on April 12, 2021. Fall registration begins on April 19, 2021.
Please consult CaneLink, the instructor of record, and/or your academic adviser for more information.



  • CCA 394 section TU1 – Cinema of the 1980s: Teen Horror Movies

Critics and historians often point to the 1980s as the decade when the industry lost interest in riskier, artful movies and began to chase the almighty blockbuster. But subtler trends emerged in that decade that still impact the way studios and filmmaking approach the medium today.  This course will focus on the teen horror movie — which enjoyed a Golden Age in the 1980s — to explore one of the most influential and socially disruptive decades in Hollywood history. Taught by award-winning critic Rene Rodriguez.

  • CCA 394 section TU2 – Introduction to Animation

Learn the basics of 2D animation while learning how to use Adobe Illustrator and AfterEffects. Emphasis will focus on conceptualization in the pre-production phase, preparing a screenplay for the screening, storyboarding, and previsualization. This course will take students through various aspects of animation, including: developing characters, concepts, rigging, environments, titles, artistic styles, masking, and keyframing. The production of several 2-dimensional animations will be created.

  • CCA 394/HIS 338/INS 310/JUS 338/REL 405 section FG – The Holocaust Reflected in the Movies

By viewing and discussing specially selected films, we shall explore the origins and the development of the persecution and attempted annihilation of the European Jewry during World War II. We shall analyze the links between history, memory and trauma; the role of testimony and witnessing; the representation of violence and evil by the perpetrators; the lives of the victims; the role of the bystanders and the motivations of the rescuers. We shall examine how various international filmmakers such as Benigni, Chaplin, Spielberg, Torok, construed the past in order to ponder its historical validity.

  • CCA 594/795 + BIL 285/675 section GJ – Science Doc: Music and the Brain

Students learn the history and cutting-edge research surrounding Music and the Brain and how it relates to emotion in humans. In addition to learning the neuroscience that underlies perception of sound and dynamics, students will create narrative audio soundscapes using their own recorded audio as well as music and sound effects. Create story arcs with sound!

  • CCA 594/795 section JK – Professional Development

Each week, a preeminent speaker will present to the class their career point of view and how it connects to the wider industry context. Through in-depth exposure, students will become familiar with a wide range of challenging and creatively satisfying possible career paths. Students will enhance their communication and networking skills, gain mentoring from experts in the field, and advance their understanding of how the entertainment industry functions through and enhanced communication skills.

  • CCA 795 section FG – Contemporary Representations of the Environment

This course gives students a broad introduction to ways in which screen media are used today to represent both the natural world and also environmental issues such as climate change, animal extinction, and natural resource use. From feature fiction films (e.g., Wall-e, Avatar), documentary films, and television news coverage, to more niche formats like Google Earth’s global mapping and in-dash monitors that depict miles-per-gallon, screen technology has long been and is increasingly used to mediate our relationship with surrounding ecosystems. Students will look at mainstream television channels (e.g., Discover, National Geographic, and the Weather Channel) alongside the digital campaigns of agencies and institutions directly aimed at conservation efforts. Students will also consider the rising power of social media in disseminating environmental representations and news.


  • COM 406/609 section GJ – Communication for Social Justice
    Communication engages theory, research, and praxis (practice) in ways that help recognize inequities and guide intervention toward resolution. In this course, we will focus on the ways in which communication scholarship contributes to social justice, building on historical foundations of development communication (and the application of DEVCOM in the developing world), integrating critical analyses, and exploring contemporary global concerns. The spirit of the course is dialogic, expecting student participation and contribution; taught by Karin Wilkins and Jyotika Ramaprasad on Mondays from 3.30-6.15 p.m.


  • 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.



  • JMM 592 section R – 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 GJ – 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 + CCA 594/795 section Q – Podcasting
    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 592/692 + ECO 698 section P2 – Sustainable Media: Intro to Multi-Dimensional Reporting
    This course examines sustainable development issues, corporate sustainability, and applications of sustainability to the media and business environments.



  • STC 493/629 section GJ – Women in PR
    This course offers insight on the significant roles that women have had in the evolution of PR and rich perspectives on women’s contributions to PR throughout the years and across the globe.