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Spring 2020 Schedule
RHCS 100-01 Public Speaking (T/R) 9:00-10:15 AM
RHCS 100-02 Public Speaking (T/R) 10:30-11:45 AM
RHCS 102-01 Interpersonal Communication (M/W) 9:00-10:15 AM
RHCS 102-02 Interpersonal Communication (M/W) 10:30-11:45 AM
RHCS 105-01 Media, Culture and Identity (M/W) 1:30-2:45 PM
RHCS 295-01 Technology and Black Lives Matter (M/W) 10:30-11:45 AM
RHCS 352: Media Theory (M/W) 12:00-1:15 PM
RHCS 412-02  ST: Streets, Space & Structures (T/R) 1:30-2:45 PM
RHCS 412-03  ST: Disrupting School to Prison Narratives (M/W) 3:00-4:15 PM
RHCS 412-04  ST: Computer-Mediated Comm. (M) 1:30-4:10 PM
RHCS 490-01  Senior Capstone (T/R) 9:00-10:15 AM
RHCS 490-02  Senior Capstone (T/R) 12:00-1:15 PM

Course Descriptions
RHCS 295-01 “Technology in/and Black Lives Matter”- Dr. Towns
The hastag #BlackLivesMatter first made its rounds in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin. Since then, what began as a hastag has sprawled into both an online and offline movement, led by three black women: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. Not only has the hastag sparked organizing, but it also speaks to the central medium that those organizing around the words Black Lives Matter have been using: The Web. In this course, students will be introduced not only to the historical articulation of the words Black Lives Matter, but also how the contemporary circulation of these words within our media economy holds raced and gendered implications. The course will combine the history of Black radical struggle with the history of Western media technologies, particularly focusing on the materiality of the Web. By the end of the course, students will leave with a better understanding of how conceptions of blackness articulate with media technologies.

RHCS 352 “Media Theory”- Dr. Towns
This course is designed to introduce students to alternative media and communication studies theories that include and exceed questions of representation. What this means is that much of the media and communication studies examines the content of a medium rather than its form and the material implication that medium brings with its introduction. Alternatively, in this class we will question what are the implications of media form on our media content. Another way to say this is we will ask questions about how media are implicated in what it many media theorists have called “man,” i.e., the human. For us, media are not reducible to representations, but reflective of conceptions of humanity. Yet, this is a human that will be constantly up for debate, in ways that media theory has often been silent on. Therefore, we will critically interrogate what this human means in terms of race, gender, class, and sexuality, while also thinking about the relation between said human and media technologies. The course is, thus, broken down into three sections, all dedicated to critical interrogations of man: “Who is man?” “When was man?” And “What is a man”

RHCS 412-02 “Streets, Space and Structures”- Dr. Maurantonio
In recent years, college campuses across the United States have been compelled to confront the question, “What’s in a name?” As the Chronicle of Higher Education summarized, “And what is a university’s responsibility when the name on a statue, building, or program on campus is a painful reminder of hard to a specific racial group?” Joining a national conversation surrounding the meaning of the names of streets, spaces, and structures, the University of Richmond considers a response to calls to rename Ryland and Freeman Halls on campus.

Over the course of the semester, students will engage the debates surrounding building renaming’s by focusing on a particular case study on the University of Richmond campus: Freeman Hall, named after Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Robert E. Lee: Douglas Southall Freeman. A man known to have saluted the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue each day as he passed en route to his office, Freeman is a mythical figure whose name not only commemorates a dorm on UR’s campus but local schools across the region. 

Engaging with a range of primary source documents and contributing to the growing inquiry into Freeman’s life, students will analyze Freeman’s editorials as well as writings about Freeman to better understand and contextualize a man who was both actively constructing his own myth as well as being defined by popular media. In this way, the course aims to explore the many Douglas Southall Freemans in public circulation, reading them within the context of the Lost Cause in popular and public culture.

RHCS 412-03 “Disrupting School to Prison Narratives”- Dr. Gale
This class will examine narratives about the “school-to-prison pipeline” and will simultaneously explore the power of narrative to disrupt that pipeline. Major questions of the class include: How are schools and prisons interconnected, and how are both systems explicitly racialized? How is the school-to-prison pipeline maintained and who benefits from it? What role can self-reflective narrative play in catalyzing new visions and new structures? This is a community-based learning class; a major portion of the class will involve collaborating with young people incarcerated at the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center, for co-learning sessions and to create life narratives that reflect our collective experiences. Enrollment with permission of instructor only; contact Dr. Gale at sgale@richmond.edu.

RHCS 412-04 “Computer-Mediated Communication” – Dr. Rochadiat
Computer-mediated communication (CMC) pertains to human interactions taking place through computer-mediated networks, such as the internet and mobile digital devices. Following the National Science Foundation’s assertion that the internet is “changing the way we communicate”, this course invites students to examine this assertion by exploring the diverse questions and issues arising from internet usage and CMC across various social contexts so as to understand its complexities and implications to the psychological, interpersonal, and socio-cultural aspect of human communication. Conducted through a combination of traditional lectures, extensive readings, dynamic discussions, and hands-on exercises, students are expected to have had some prior exposure to basic interpersonal communication concepts and theories before enrolling. Focusing on the effects of CMC on the self/identity, interpersonal relationships, and intergroup behavior, as well as on emerging social structures produced through mediated communication technology engagement—specifically through a social scientific lens—students will not only understand how CMC functions in their everyday lives, but also develop an appreciation for the role of analytic frameworks and communication research in our sense-making processes that surround the broader question of technology, society, and human interactions.