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  • FALL 2020: COMN 3990: Capstone: Family Discourses, Power, and Culture

  • Family Discourses, Power, & Culture


    All Texts Required

    • 1. Baxter, L. A. (2016). Remaking "Family" Communicatively. Peter Lang.
    • 2. Rudick, C. K., Zoffel, N. A., & Hendrix, K. G. (2020). Engage and Activate: Navigating College and Beyond.


    A Little Help of Metro Denver

  • Critical Interpersonal & Family Communication

  • Course Overview

    Critical Interpersonal and Family Communication is a graduate-level seminar. This course introduces critical interpersonal and family communication studies, an emergent movement within the larger subfields of interpersonal and family communication. At its heart, critical interpersonal and family communication studies centers issues of power in studies of individuals, relationships, and families. Within the context of this course, students explore critically-oriented interpersonal and family communication theories and methods. Students receive the opportunity to work on a research, teaching, or service-learning project that reflect a critical interpersonal/family approach. Students are challenged to consider critical pedagogies in interpersonal and family communication curriculum and instruction

  • COMN 4700: Identity and Relationships

  • Course Overview

    Identity and Relationships is a graduate-level seminar that examines foundational and contemporary approaches to understanding identity from a communicative perspective. 

  • ASEM 2696: Communication and Adoption

  • Course Overview

    The course objectives for ASEM 2696: Communication and Adoption are:

    • Understand the larger historical and cultural context of adoption in the United States
    • Understand communicative identity management processes for the adoption triad (adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents)
    • Understand how families formed across racial and national boundaries are subject to and cope with messages about normalizing cultural ideologies
    • Understand how adoptees experience issues of trauma, loss, and grief
    • Experience personal narratives for members of the adoption triad (adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents)
    • Understand how issues of sexual orientation intersect with issues of adoptive family communication
    • Understand the public discourse surrounding the ethics of
      transnational, international adoption
  • Relational Dialectics Theory 2.0: Theory & Method

  • Course Overview

    Relational Dialectics Theory 2.0: Theory & Method is a newly developed graduate seminar I am introducing Winter Quarter 2019. This course focuses principally around the second version of Relational Dialectics Theory as formally articulated by Leslie Baxter (2011). This second version (RDT 2.0) updates Baxter and Montgomery's (1996) initial statement of the theory. Relational Dialectics Theory 2.0: Theory & Method also introduces contrapuntal analysis, which is a set of methodological practices developed by Baxter and colleagues during their own RDT-based research. Contrapuntal analysis constitutes a variant of critical discourse analysis. Compatible with Bakhtin’s dialogism, contrapuntal analysis distinguishes itself by concretizing a method to analyze discourses dialogically. Like the earlier iteration of this course (see below), Relational Dialectics Theory 2.0: Theory & Method will introduce aspects of Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogism. The focus, however, will be the aspects of Bakhtin's dialogism undergirding RDT 2.0 as theory and contrapuntal analysis as method. By the end of this course, students can expect to possess working theoretical and methodological knowledge. Students will be presented with several options to gain hands-on-knowledge of contrapuntal analysis, ranging from development of a research proposal to analysis of already-collected texts.

  • Dialogism: Theory & Method

  • Course Overview

    Dialogism: Theory & Method is a graduate-level theory and methods course. The first aim (Learning Objective 1) centers around issues of theory. To meet this first aim, course curriculum introduces key aspects of Bakhtin’s dialogism and of relational dialectics theory. As such, we will read about dialogism from primary texts as well as from Voicing Relationships—Baxter’s text that outlines her recent re-articulated version of RDT (aka 2.0). At its heart, RDT 2.0 takes a critical turn, centers on issues of discursive power and realizing a bidirectional public-private relationship. To assess knowledge of Learning Objective 1, students will write two theory papers across the quarter (Theory Paper One and Theory Paper Two). The second aim (Learning Objective 2) is to provide a hands-on opportunity to conduct a contrapuntal analysis—the critical discourse analytic method laid out in tandem with RDT 2.0. As such, each student will independently collect texts of their own choosing, choosing a semantic object of interest to the student, and then conduct an analysis (discursive and interplay) in the context of this class. To assess knowledge of Learning Objective 2, students will conduct Oral Presentations and Final Analysis Write Ups. The third aim (Learning Objective 3) is to effectively become an inclusive-centered and engaged classroom, committed to learning about and respecting the differences among each of us in this seminar.

  • Advanced Interviewing Analysis

  • Course Overview

    Advanced interviewing analysis is a graduate-level research methods course. I have three overriding objectives in this course.  My first main objective is to provide you information on central ways of analyzing non-numerical data.  The data analytic techniques we will learn can be applied to the analysis of non-numerical data such as interview transcripts (whether these interviews were conducted with individuals, with couples/dyads, or in focus group settings); open-ended questions on a survey; online blog posts, and narratives.  During our quarter together, we will be reading key texts on a number of data analytic procedures, namely grounded theory analysis, thematic analysis, metaphoric analysis, and contrapuntal analysis.  Tracy’s book will provide you a foundational overview of qualitative methods and analytic approaches.  We will then continue our study reading about and learning to conduct a grounded theory analysis using Kathy Charmaz’s constructivist grounded theory approach.  Charmaz, a student of Anselm Strauss and Barney Glaser, developed her constructivist version of grounded theory distinct from Glaser and Strauss’ more objectivist approach to grounded theory.  We start our data analysis with grounded theory for a number of reasons, most importantly because Charmaz’s approach provides key lessons about qualitative data analysis that we will carry across the quarter.  Next, we will read about and practice thematic analysis.  We will study two disparate approaches to thematic analysis:  Owen’s approach to thematic analysis and Braun and Clarke’s method of thematic analysis.  We will then take thematic analysis to the next step.  I will teach you two different ways of augmenting a thematic analysis—metaphoric analysis a la Lakoff & Johnson and Owen and then contrapuntal analysis a la Baxter which builds off Bahktin’s dialogic approach.

    My second main objective of this course is to provide you with a hands-on experience in analyzing interview transcripts according to these disparate ways of analysis.  Thus, across the quarter, you will not only read about how to analyze interview transcripts, but you will also apply this knowledge across the quarter via transcript analysis assignments.

    My third and final main objective of this course is to familiarize you with the concept of validity in qualitative research interviewing projects.


  • COMN 3285: Advanced Relational Communication

  • Course Overview

    Course Description and Objectives Advanced Relational Communication emphasizes the relationship between the self and others at a personal level. We will examine research from a variety of disciplines, including communication, psychology, sociology, family studies, and history, to increase our understanding of relationships from diverse perspectives. The three main perspectives we will investigate show how relationships affect and are affected by their context, the individuals involved, and the relational system. The goals of this course are for students to increase their skill in • Explaining how knowledge about context, individuals, and relational systems increases understanding of communication processes in a variety of relationships between the self and others. • Evaluating critically the information about relationships that we encounter in our everyday lives • Asking and investigating questions about real-life relationships

This portfolio last updated: 28-Jul-2022 8:50 AM