COMM 45091/55095 Communication and Terrorism

Course Name:  COMM 45091/55095 Communication and Terrorism 

Description:  This course examines many facets of terrorism, including its historic roots and its social, political, ethnic, geographic, moral and spiritual causes. Students will be challenged to understand basic definitions of terrorism and think beyond conventional assumptions about terrorist organizations, especially assumptions derived from mass media, popular culture and Western biases. We will examine two central premises:  first, that communication – spoken/written, traditional/nontraditional, public/private, visual/symbolic  – is a both a tool and the goal of organized terrorism; and second, that terrorist organizations use brand-positioning strategies we often associate with commercial entities. Students will be required to think deeply, critically and objectively about the narratives, messages, images and symbolism used by past and present-day terrorist movements, including those that occurred in Italy and Europe. 

Instructors:  Paul Haridakis and Stephanie Danes Smith

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites:  None

Open to all students