Dr. Katy Wiss
Office: Berkshire 213b
Office Hours: MW 8-10, F9-10
Telephone/Voice Mail: 203-837-8260
Mailbox: Berkshire 120b
Course Web Page
"It takes insight, courage and responsibility to engage in the mindful production of reality. This the basis of a meaningful existence." (O’Brien and Kollock)
Focus: To improve your awareness and understanding of the communication of yourself and others. To enhance your critical reasoning and thinking skills. Skills and knowledge are acquired through reading, class discussions, skill activities, writing, and observation.
Questions that are the central to the course.
Office Hours: I set aside several hours each week to meet with students to discuss their academic progress and concerns about the class. Please feel free to make an appointment, drop in, or call during these hours. It is the best time to reach me.
Quizzes. After every chapter, we will have an in-class quiz. Dates for quizzes will be announced no later than one class period before the quiz. The quizzes will be multiple choice, short answer, matching or true-false. Quizzes cannot be made up.
Papers. I will ask you to write one paper on each of the plays we read for class. In the paper, you will use the theories and concepts we discuss in class to analyze the communication in the play. I will provide suggestions and details closer to the time of the assignment. 3-5 pages. All papers must be typed with one-inch margins. Your work must be clear, well edited and proofread. Please staple your paper together before you come to class. Do not submit work in any type of folder. Papers are graded primarily on content, but this cannot be separated from clarity and manner of expression. Late papers loose one full letter grade for each day they are late.
Attendance: Your active attendance and participation in class is required. Most class periods will involve discussion or communication activities. Do not come to class late or leave early. There is no such thing as an excused absence. Commit yourself to a responsible attendance policy that will ensure the grade you desire. If you miss class, for any reason, please get the notes or assignments from another student. I will be happy to discuss the notes or assignments with you if you have questions.
Readings/Topics: The following is an outline of the sequence of topics we will cover in this course. Depending on class interest, we will spend more or less time on a given subject. However, we will cover the material in this order. We will not cover every chapter in the textbook.
UNIT 1: OVERVIEW OF INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION
Chapter One: Essential Characteristics of Communication
Models of Interpersonal
Communication and Competence
Chapter Two: Approaches to Interpersonal Communication
The Systems Perspective
Public and Private Relational Trajectories
UNIT II: SENDING AND RECEIVING MESSAGES
Chapter Three: Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal Codes: Proxemics, Appearance, Gaze, Face, Kinesics, Voice, and Touch
Chapter Four: Language
The Verbal Code: Structure
The Verbal Code: Functions
Chapter Five: Relational Messages
Types of Relational Messages
Pragmatic Communication Patterns
Additional Reading: Edward Albee: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
UNIT III: INTERPERSONAL PROCESSES
Chapter Seven: The Nature of Social Roles
Chapter Eight: How We Use Communication to Establish Self
Multiple Selves and Schemata
Communicator Style and Self-Monitoring
UNIT IV: RELATIONAL CONTEXTS
Chapter 11: Initial Interactions
Romantic Relationship Development
Additional Reading: Marsha Norman: "Night, Mother
Chapter Thirteen: Cross-Cultural Communication
American World Views
Prejudice and Social Construction
Communication in the Colonial and Jacksonian Periods
Communication Now and in the Future