The MA program offers five research areas, which operate as guiding frameworks for intellectual inquiry across the Department. These areas of study are overlapping and interrelated. Students, under the guidance of their academic advisor, are encouraged to explore one or more of these areas in depth over the course of the degree program.
Global and Transcultural Communication
Courses examine the varied challenges posed by globalization on citizenship, diasporas, ethnic and cultural minorities, human rights, media economies of scale, the circulation and influence of cultural products, intellectual and cultural property, the structuring and stratification of information flows and social policy.
Interaction and Social Processes
Courses examine face-to-face and virtual communication dynamics, interaction rituals, identity transactions, verbal and nonverbal practices in socially and technologically constructed contexts.
Visual Culture and Cultural Studies
Courses examine the role of cultural production and visual practice in the fashioning of urbanism, consumer desire, spatial experience, gender/sexual identities, race and ethnicity, trans-cultural and historical image flows, the aesthetics of everyday life and the performance of political power.
Technology and Society
Courses examine the social history and cultural consequences of technological development, instrumental rationality, machine/body interfaces, and the ethical and social policy outcomes of the technological remediation of social life.
Persuasion and Politics
Courses examine theories of rhetoric and persuasion, the role of strategic discourse and mass media in shaping public spheres, with a thematic focus on propaganda, legislative debate, legal argument, rhetorics of science and technology, social movements, public dissent and censorship, political campaign communication, public relations and public administration.