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Join us at Laurier

Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


We offer six courses each year. CS600 and CS601 are required courses. You must also register for CS695 or CS699 while working on your major research paper or thesis.

You are allowed to take up to 1.0 credit from other graduate programs with approval from the graduate coordinator. In the past, Communication Studies MA students have taken graduate courses in programs such as Cultural Analysis and Social Theory, English and Film Studies, and Political Science.

2018/19 Course Offerings

CS600: Graduate Seminar in Communication Studies (0.5 credit)

This team-taught course introduces students to the core concerns, theoretical concepts and research approaches in communication studies. Particular attention will be paid to the areas of research specialization of faculty. This mandatory course is designed to enable students to do the preparatory work necessary to their research projects.

CS601: Communication Studies Research Methods (0.5 credit)

This course will provide students with advanced training in the methods of research employed in the field of communication studies. Students study reactive or interactive research methods (participant observation, experimental designs, surveys and interviewing) and unobtrusive or non-reactive methodological designs (discourse analysis, semiotics, content analysis, and rhetorical and historical approaches). Students are encouraged to develop their major research paper or thesis research proposal as the final assignment for this course.

CS603: Critical Discourse Studies (0.5 credit)

This course introduces students to discourse analysis as a method of critical inquiry by laying out the processes of doing discourse-focused research. Possible approaches include genealogical/dispositif analysis (Foucauldian), Critical Discourse Analysis and/or the Essex School of discourse analysis. The course gives students a toolkit for analyzing spoken and written text, images, material artefacts and music. Organized into four stages, the course: 1) introduces the basic principles of the approach(es); 2) introduces survey data collection methods and choosing appropriate data; 3) provides guidance to doing the actual work of analysis; and 4) assists students in refining their approach and applying it to their own research.

CS604: Network Cultures (0.5 credit)

This course investigates cultural practices, institutional contexts, and social implications of contemporary networked media, such as the internet, social media, mobile media and similar assemblages. The course engages theoretical perspectives from fields such as cultural studies, critical internet studies, medium theory, and political economy. Specific topics may include but are not limited to algorithmic culture, big data, digital creativity, digital media industries, hacking, internet infrastructures, remix culture, and social media and politics.  

CS615: Global Cultures: Hybrids, Homogeneities, and Flows (0.5 credit)

What do wasabi peas, salsa music, the Lonely Planet and Ciao Bella all have in common? This course explores these and other cultural forms, and discusses the various forms and flows of global cultural communication. The global diffusion of radio, television, the Internet, satellite and digital technologies has made instantaneous communication possible, rendering many border controls over these transnational flows ineffective. Through these communication networks, new cultural forms and cultural expressions have emerged; and new cultural identities and power relations are being negotiated and contested transnationally. This course examines global cultures in relation to the information and communication technologies (ICTs) and practices that have enabled and constrained cultural forms and flows.

CS640: Platform Studies (0.5 credit)

The study of platforms is on the rise. While platform studies originally emerged from hardware studies as an integrated attempt to study the hardware, software, code, marketing and use of computational technologies—especially, early on, video game consoles—its use has been broadened to include the study of software platforms, such as social media sites, and the particular affordances they offer for users, including their algorithmic decision making, terms of service, background code environments and their embeddedness in neoliberal capitalism (selling user data, acting as space to display advertisements, etc.). This holistic approach to studying technology encompasses everything from minute details (such as how buttons or LEDs might be configured on a MINITEL console, or XBOX360 game controller; the way that privacy settings are displayed to users on Facebook; the packaging of an Apple product) to the broad and situated socio-political context of corporations (such as the gender make up of development teams at Nintendo, or the political investments of members of the Board of Directors at Twitter). This course will unpack the politics of platforms through an intensive study of key texts in the field, tracking significant debates and discussions, as well as new developments.

Contact Us:

Alexandra Boutros, Graduate Coordinator

E: aboutros@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x2917

General Inquiries

E: shoang@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x2806

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