COM 441: Social Media and Community Engagement / Beautiful Social

Instructor: Aimee Knight

Time: TR 12:30 – 1:45pm


Not-for-profit and community-based organizations rely on strategic digital communication to create positive social change. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of communication theories and practices while conducting research projects with local organizations through the Beautiful Social Research Collaborative. Those who complete this course will know how to apply a variety of social media theories and practices to help organizations achieve their communication goals. Students in the course will actively participate as a member of a project team to complete projects with clients in the Greater Philadelphia area. *INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL REQUIRED – Please fill out the above Google Form

COM 473: Privacy and Surveillance in the Digital Era

Instructor: David Parry

Time: TR 9:30 – 10:45am

Based on your cell phone history researchers can predict where you will be 24 hours from now. You can download and install software onto a computer to monitor and capture everything a user does. Nearly everything you buy is recorded in a database. Corporations track every page view and click. Your email is easily read by third parties. Target knows when a customer is pregnant. Even the post office scans and digitally images every piece of mail it sends. It is impossible to not leave a digital trace, and all of these traces are being collected. In this class we will look at how our digital lives intersect with and effect our privacy. Is privacy dead in the age of constant surveillance? Should we even care? And who benefits from all this data collection? We will look to answer these questions both on a technological level, what is possible, and a critical level, what does this mean for democracy and society. We will also seek to put this knowledge into practice, understanding and using what tools and techniques citizens can employ to regain privacy both in their lives as individuals and citizens.

COM 473: Digital Video / Internet in the TV Era

Instructor: Ian Murphy

Time: TR 3:30 – 4:45pm

This class examines the convergence in recent years of the online video and television industries. We will explore how this convergence continues to influence the production, distribution, and consumption of audiovisual content on the internet. Students will identify emergent strategies that legacy television networks, online streaming companies, social media firms, and independent producers use for creating, financing, distributing, and marketing video across a variety of platforms and devices. In addition, students will experience first-hand the process of developing online video by creating a show: choosing a platform and network for distribution, pitching an idea, writing a script, shooting a “pilot” episode, and creating a trailer and marketing campaign. In the process, students will think critically about the kinds of stories that can be told through video, while also analyzing some of the technological, industrial, economic, and regulatory mechanisms that assert control over the production and circulation of video via the internet.

COM 473: Other Nets

Instructor: Lynete Mukhongo

Time: MWF 11:15am – 12:05pm

This course will examine the internet outside the United States (US) context, focusing on digital cultures in different countries. It will seek to question the concept of a World Wide Web by discussing internet fragmentation, deliberative enclaves and polarization of online discourses, with specific emphasis on Internet Governance in a post-truth world, drawing examples from the case of Brexit. It will further delve into the effect of geopolitical and sociotechnical factors on the Internet in different countries and regions of the world and detail how internet users are reimagining the internet through mobile technologies, varied media formats and crowdsourcing technologies. Examples will be drawn from the European Union, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

In the course of the class, we will use Excel to generate maps and charts from data on Internet Governance in different countries. Students are therefore expected to have basic knowledge of Excel (or be willing to learn how to use basic Excel). For the final project, Students will then export the data generated in the course of the semester from Excel into Google Maps. The Students will use color coding, embed images, videos and URL links in the Google maps in order to create an interactive media-rich data visualization of Internet access, penetration, and censorship in countries across the globe.

COM 473: Making Media, Creating Change: Examining US Feminist Media Activism

Instructor: Prof Rosemary Clark-Parsons

Time: MW 3:35 – 4:50pm

From the SlutWalk movement to the Women’s March on Washington, from #YesAllWomen to #MeToo, over the past several years, we have witnessed a revitalization of feminist activism and social movements in the United States. Media, including social media platforms, blogs, online news outlets, advertisements, and even popular music, have played a major role in feminism’s reemergence across the U.S. political scene, granting feminists an unprecedented degree of visibility. Motivated by feminism’s media moment, this course explores, through the lens of multiple disciplines, the perspectives of a diverse range of activist-practitioners, and the dynamics and outcomes of a variety of case studies, how feminist activists have harnessed media tools and platforms for social change. We will define “media” broadly, and consider not only the relationship between movements and mainstream news media, but also social media, street protests, DIY print media projects, and more. And while we will focus on U.S. feminist movements from the 1960s through today, the activists and campaigns we will study have had global reach and influence. Most importantly, in the spirit of feminist pedagogy, we will combine theory and practice through a hands-on, community-based, activist approach to learning. Drawing on lessons from the past and present and insights from theories of media and social change, we will apply what we learn in class through collaborations with campus and community partner organizations outside of class. You and a group of your classmates will work with a community partner to design and launch a media campaign that addresses a real-world problem, raises awareness about a local issue, or amplifies activist work in the campus community. Ultimately, our goal is to synthesize scholarly analyses with practitioners’ expertise and identify best practices for feminist media activism in our current political context.



ART 104, 107

HIS 386

MTF 191, 294

PHL 262

POL 324, 331

REL 327

SOC 206, 207

THE 371