Fall 14-15 Special Topic Courses - Graduate level

Below you will find descriptions of the courses we are offering this upcoming Fall 14-15:

On-Campus Courses:


Course Title Day Time Instructor

COM 686-001

International Communication




COM 690-002

Nonprofit Communication




COM 690-003 Political Economy of Media W 1800-2050 Kutzik
COM 777-001 Social Network Analysis N 1800-2050 Koku 
COM 801-001 Virtual Identities R 1830-2120 Luvaas

Online Courses (Restricted to Online Students only):

Course Course Title Day Time Instructor
COM 690-900

Logistic & Production



COM 686-001

International Communication

COM 686-001 (12315)

 Fall 2014

R 1830-2120

Instructor: Dr. Alexander Nikolaev


The course will explain the significance of international communication in the contemporary world.  The range of issues that we will consider varies from the historical context and theoretical concepts to economic and structural aspects of international communication.  In each area, however, we will be trying to identify the key developments and large issues at stake, and to build a framework for analysis, rather than merely acquire information.  A great deal of attention will be paid to the role of culture in international communication and especially such elements of culture as language, education, religion, family, gender-related issues, social power structure, ethics and etiquette.

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COM 690-002

Nonprofit Communication

COM 690-002 (15925)

Fall 2014-15

R 1830-2120

Instructor: Dr. Lawrence Souder


All nonprofit organizations must develop and maintain effective communication strategies in order to survive in a competitive economy. Nonprofits have unique needs and limitations in their long-term goals and short-term operations that relate to communication. This course introduces students to the ways nonprofits communicate with both their constituents and their benefactors and the ways researchers have examined these practices. Students will explore these two perspectives on nonprofit communication through a combination of scholarly readings, dialogues with local representatives in the nonprofit sector, and direct contact and work for a local nonprofit organization (as coordinated by Drexel Edits, a center for the support of nonprofit communication). This course articulates with the content and goals of other courses in the Department of Culture and Communication, specifically COM280 (Public Relations), COM220 (Qualitative Research Methods), COM282 (Public Relations Writing), COM286 (Public Relations Strategies and Tactics), COM675 (Grant Writing for the Arts and Humanities), and COM680 (Public Relations Writing and Strategies).


Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • define nonprofit
  • explain how nonprofits are governed (responsible citizenship*)
  • identify the various stakeholders in a nonprofit’s community (ethical reasoning*)
  • describe the various communication genres used by nonprofits (communication*)
  • assess the communication needs of a nonprofit (self-directed learning*)
  • write and edit samples of communication genres used by a nonprofit (technology use*)

*Relevance to Drexel Student Learning Priorities

COM 690-003

Political Economy of Media

COM 690-003 (15926)

 Fall 2014-15

W 1800-2050

Instructor: Dr. David Kutzik


The political economy of media links media and communications systems to the workings of economic and political power with a focus on the specific roles media and communication play within a capitalist economic system.  This course will provide a critical introduction to several approaches within political economy ranging from neo-liberalism to Marxism.  It will then proceed to analyze select features of news media and social media in terms of their relation to commercial business interests, political power and the framing of public discourse.  Special attention will be paid to case examples which will be examined in detail as well as a series of overarching themes.  These will include but not be limited to themes of “manufacturing consent”, “corporate consolidation of media” and “net neutrality” with an emphasis to their function within democratic public political discourse and their connection with corporate ownership and interests.

COM 777-001

Social Network Analysis

COM 777-001 (16729)

Fall 2014-15

M 1800-2050

Instructor:Dr. Emmanuel Koku


This seminar introduces social network analysis to graduate students, emphasizing its theoretical, substantive, and methodological foundations. The main objective of this course is to allow students to acquire a sufficient grasp of both the classical and the contemporary network literature to enable them pursue independent advanced study, and ultimately, to contribute original research results to their disciplines. The course covers key network concepts and principles; examines data collection, measurement, and computer analysis techniques; and investigates applications in social sciences, communication, information science, public health, organizational studies, and related disciplines.

COM 800-001

Virtual Identities

COM 801-001 (15763)

Fall 2014-15

R 1830-2120

Instructor: Dr. Brent Luvaas


Social and cultural theorists have been arguing for decades that the mass media is not merely a source of entertainment or information, but also an “imaginative resource” through which we construct alternative notions of self and society and experiment with new kinds of subject positions to occupy and live through. What, then, are we to make of interactive and user-generated media like social networking websites, microblogs, and massive multi-player games? Are these new media forms expanding the possibilities of self and self-expression as never before, as many of their advocates are apt to claim? Or are they creating new kinds of social and structural constraints, new modes of power and governmentality that dictate and delimit as much as they open up and liberate? How do we make sense of the new technology-enabled regimes through which we build and express our identities in the digital era? And what theoretical frameworks are available to us to make sense of them?

In this PhD-level seminar, we will be wrestling with these and other related questions, attempting to develop a more nuanced understanding of the types of self, identity, and subjectivity facilitated by new media. Through a survey of contemporary social thought on the subject of “the subject,” as well as recent work on virtual subjectivity, we will explore the very meaning of “being digital,” its cultural implications, its structural limitations, and its ontological consequences

COM 690-900

Production and Logistics in Special Events

COM 690-900 (15762)

Fall 2014-15


Instructor: Dr. Frank Kelley


This course is designed to address the specific challenges, problems, and rewards in producing major events. You should have some experience in this field to fully reap the benefits of this course.  The industry is composed of Meetings, Events, Expositions, and Conventions (MEEC).

The field of Special Events had grown dramatically of the last few years. Once considered part of the Hospitality Group, Special Events have taken the own identity in Corporate Communications.  Major product announcements, international Meetings, expositions, events, and conventions are all part of the industry. 

This book provides a comprehensive view of production and logistics in MEEC.  We will address such topics as Preparing the site and tear down, event design and environment, signage, food and beverage production, optimizing speakers, entertainment and performers.