Spring 2020

CMCL-C 610, Identity and Difference

Course Dates: 1/13/2020 - 5/8/2020

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Course Description

This course explores how identities are produced, maintained, and transformed in the process of communication. Students will survey approaches to understand culture, cultural identity, cultural representation, and cultural difference. They will apply various perspectives to identity components, such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, language, social class, and bodily difference, and discuss how these components can overlap and conflict with each other and how the intersections of these and other identities can shape political discourse and rhetoric, media/information consumption, attitude formation, and other contexts of human interaction. Students will develop pragmatic strategies of inclusive and/or ethical communication.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

Learning Materials

Allen, B (2010). Difference matters: Communicating social identity. Waveland. ISBN: 978-1577666738

Gonzalez, A., & Chen, Y. (2015). Our voices: Essays in culture, ethnicity and communication. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0190255237 – the previous edition is ok too.

Students will also be required to read selected articles and book excerpts.


Reading journals or weekly activities - 30%
Facilitated discussions- 20%
Applications - 20%
Course project- 30%