LCM students examine the social, ethical and intellectual implications of texts whether written, performed, or electronic. They are trained to become articulate communicators, able to express their creative vision, critical judgments and the results of their own research, through writing, speaking, digital expression, performance and/or other modes of communication.
LCM students are encouraged to become aware of their own basic assumptions, to think creatively and to collaborate successfully as leaders and as part of a team. With an enthusiastic respect for artistic expression, an understanding of the dynamics of communication, and an inquiring, self-aware mind, majors develop professional discipline, a critical awareness of our complex information environment, a sense of social and ethical responsibility, a collaborative attitude, confidence in self-presentation and oral and written communication skills, and, ideally, a creative and courageous imagination.
Students who graduate from the department may apply the skills learned in courses to a variety of work and social environments. Alumni have entered gone on to law school, and to professions involving administration, global communication, politics, and organizational management; elementary, high school, and college teaching; film production, public policy, communications consulting and management, publishing, educational psychology, librarianship; educational media design, real estate development, and the rabbinate (Reform, Conservative and Orthodox). The department has an excellent record of graduate school admissions, including, for example, Harvard School of Education, University of Michigan Law School, UCLA Law School, Cal State MA programs, Brooklyn College MA Program, Jewish Theological Seminary MAED and Rabbinical Programs, USC Screenwriting, USC Public Policy, and the Annenberg School of Communications at USC.
Opportunities for Creative Expression
As part of its commitment to encouraging students' creative expression, the Department offers students opportunities to participate in its experiential courses, such as Acting/Directing, Creative Writing, the Theatre Workshop, and the digital campus newspaper and arts magazine.
Qualified students may apply to the Department Chair for off-campus internships designed to help them develop their particular area of interest in fields such as theatre, film, education, publishing, journalism, law, and librarianship. Students who maintain an average of B+ or better in the Department qualify for nomination to the prestigious Sigma Tau Delta, the international English Honor Society of which the Department is a member.
All students take the following pre-requisites:
- LCM 190 Introduction to Mass Communication [formerly LCM 210]
- LCM 191 Public Speaking [formerly LCM 272]
- LCM 192 Introduction to Narrative Art
The LCM major then includes:
- LCM 203 American Literature
- LCM 277 Communication Ethics
- At least one of the following experiential courses:
- LCM 237 Theatre as Performance (Acting/Directing)
- LCM 286 Digital Journalism
- LCM 286 Cymbals, the literary/arts annual
- LCM 287 College Theatre Company
- LCM 290 Creative Writing
- One course from LCM 250-259, the Jewish Cultural Heritage
- Any two upper division Communication courses
- Any two upper division Literature courses
Concentrations within the Department
Students who wish to concentrate in Communication or Literature may substitute one upper-division courses in their chosen concentration for one upper division course in Literature or Communication.
In consultation with the department chair, students may develop minors in LCM. Students may also combine an LCM major with a major in Behavioral Sciences, Business, Jewish Studies, or Political Science.
LOWER DIVISION COURSES
(Note: Students who wish to take upper division LCM courses to meet Advanced Core Seminar requirements, must take LCM 190 and, beginning in 2010-11, LCM 192 before they can be admitted to any upper division LCM course.)
themes of love and war in Israeli culture from its earliest days to the present.
LCM 190 INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION - 3 CREDITS
This course provides students with the theoretical foundation for the study of mass media and mass communication. Students explore the historical rise of the mass media, the differences between media technologies, and their cultural, economic, and political significance. The sequence of development of the present-day mass media will include an examination of print media (book, library, newspaper); of film as a mass medium, of broadcasting and recorded music, and of new electronic media (satellite communication, computers, the process of digitalization and the Internet). We will review theories of audience analysis and mass culture and will focus on the media's power, roles, social functions and effects. This course is a pre-requisite for the major.
LCM 191 PUBLIC SPEAKING - 3 CREDITS
Required of all LCM majors, this course introduces students to techniques, styles, and methods of organizing and delivering speeches for various situations. Specifically, students enhance their speaking ability by practicing the selection, organization and delivery of speech materials for five speeches throughout the course. There will be an emphasis on the speech-as-performance. Students will deliver an introductory speech, an informative speech, a persuasive speech, a special occasion speech, and a theatrical speech. This course is a pre-requisite for the major.
LCM 192 INTRODUCTION TO NARRATIVE ART - 3 CREDITS
"Once upon a time...," those words immediately prepare the listener or reader to enter the world of a fairytale, just as "And they lived happily ever after," prepares us to leave it. How many other kinds of stories – whether short stories, novels, or films implicitly begin and end that same way? This course examines how stories are told – by the ancient rabbis, as much as by a 21st century filmmaker. What makes a powerful story? How are plots structured? What kinds of narrative strategies have been employed? Students will read aggadic tales from the Jewish tradition, fairy tales, short stories, a novel, a play, and watch both a television program and a film. This course is a prerequisite for the LCM majors.
UPPER DIVISION LITERATURE
LCM 201, 202 SPECIAL TOPICS IN LCM - 3 CREDITS
These courses may focus on a particular theme, period, medium, or issue related to literature, communication and/or theatre, film, or the electronic media. The topic will vary and the courses may be taken more than once for credit.
LCM 203 AMERICAN LITERATURE - 3 CREDITS
This course is an examination of the major issues of American life and culture, as expressed in poetry, fiction, essays and speeches from the days before the European settlement of the continent to the early years of the twentieth century. The course focuses on the recurrent issues and myths that, embedded in American literature from its earliest days, are still affecting the culture today. This course also qualifies as an Advanced Core Seminar.
LCM 206 WILLIAM BLAKE: "Exuberance is beauty." - 3 CREDITS
In this course we will be experiencing and examining the prophetic art of William Blake (1759-1827) in the intellectual, social, and political context of his tumultuous times – the French Revolution and its aftermath – when, initially, "all the oppressors of the world" were told to "tremble"; when "bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven," but subsequently "Laws [were] overturned; tribunals subverted; industry without vigor; commerce expiring...." Students will be encouraged to respond creatively to Blake's visual/poetic/prophetic works and his challenging thought by designing and producing works of their own. [Formerly LCM 272] This course meets an Advanced Core Seminar requirement.
LCM 207 MONSTERS - 3 CREDITS
Moving from ancient texts to contemporary films, this course investigates what constitutes the "monsters" imagined by both Jewish and general culture. We will probe the characteristics particular monsters embody and engender, whether from a mythological, religious, political, psychological or sociological perspective. Included in the course are monsters who emerge through direct human action (the Golem, Frankenstein, the Terminator); monsters imagined as having a distinct "spiritual existence" (demons, Satan); monsters who take possession of the human form (vampires, Mr. Hyde, Kafka's "cockroach"). This course qualifies as an Advanced Core Seminar.
LCM 211 SPECIAL TOPICS IN LITERATURE - 3 CREDITS
These courses may focus on a theme, a genre, an author, or an era.
LCM 212 STUDIES IN POETRY AND THE NOVEL: SPECIAL TOPICS - 3 CREDITS
This course might focus on a literary movement (such as Modernism), on a particular author or series of authors, or on a particular era (World War II in Literature, for example). The focus may vary from year to year, and the course may be repeated for credit.
The Jewish Literary Heritage
LCM 250 ANCIENT TEXTS, MODERN MEANINGS - 3 CREDITS
This course examines a variety of thought-provoking ancient Jewish texts – Biblical and Talmudic stories and legal materials in translation – to understand their meaning and probe their implications for today, as well as to use them as inspiration for the writing of memoir, poetry, short stories, plays, or "modern midrash." This course also serves as an Advanced Core Seminar for either LCM or Jewish Studies.
LCM 252 ISRAELI WOMEN WRITERS OF THE 20TH CENTURY - 3 CREDITS
Beginning with the poetry and prose of early pre-state women writers, this course focuses on the historical development of modern Hebrew literature. The course includes short stories and poetry b y Esther Raab, Rachel Bluwstein, Leah Goldberg, Deborah Barron, Amalia Kahana Carmon, Dalia Ravikovich, Yona Wallach, and Savyon Liebrecht.
LCM 253 CONTEMPORARY ISRAELI WOMEN WRITERS - 3 CREDITS
This course introduces students to the powerful fiction and poetry produced by established and new Israeli women writers at the end of the 20th century. We will study how the writers envisioned the history of Israel, from the earliest days of the second aliyah to the present; how they probe issues related to homeland, the meaning of exile, the legacy of the Shoah; sexuality, relationships, war, and religious questioning. We will also pay attention to the challenges of translating from Hebrew to English. The course will combine lecture and discussion -- students must come to class having read and thought about the material scheduled for that class session. LCM 254 THE AMERICAN JEWISH EXPERIENCE IN LITERATURE - 3 CREDITS
This course explores stories, poems, plays, films, memoirs, and novels that give expression to the complex character of the Jewish experience in America. We will concentrate on the era of massive Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe and the post World War II period, with some discussion of the contemporary moment. Students will be exposed to the themes, tensions, and achievements of the American Jewish cultural experience, while also enhancing their critical thinking and reading, public presentation, and writing skills. They will examine their own family's immigrant experience (whether recent or not, Jewish or not) and consider the dynamics of minority identity, the notion of people" as distinct from "religion," and the nature of differences resulting from gender and class. This course qualifies as an Advanced Core Seminar in either LCM or Jewish Studies.
LCM 257 SPECIAL TOPICS IN ISRAELI LITERATURE - 3 CREDITS
This course may focus on an era, a genre, an author, or a particular theme.
LCM 258, 259 SPECIAL TOPICS IN JEWISH LITERATURE - 3 CREDITS
These courses may focus on an author, an era, a literary movement, or a particular theme. The topic may vary from year to year, and the course may be repeated for credit.
UPPER DIVISION COURSES IN THEATRE
LCM 220 ACTING AND DIRECTING - 3 CREDITS
This hands-on, experiential class explores some of the most well-known and celebrated acting and directing methodologies, in order to see how these art forms have evolved and how they reflect their own historical moment: the times, aesthetics and dramatic sensibilities of the performers and the public of a particular era.
Acting and Directing are performing arts – so, in order to truly understand how they have evolved, we will engage the different methodologies by getting on our feet and actively experimenting with scene and monologue work.
Whether students are first-time actors or have years of experience, love to be onstage or off, are drawn to the stage or the screen, this class offers an opportunity to be creatively challenged.
LCM 221 HISTORY OF THEATRE I: FROM ANCIENT GREECE TO EARLY MODERN - 3 CREDITS
In order to grasp the world of live theatre today, we must first look to the past. What are the sources, traditions, styles and forms from which contemporary theatre draws? What are the themes and motifs of early modern drama? What is and was the relationship between theatre and the community and how does the content and form of the theatre of the past translate into the theatre of today? These questions will be at the root of our exploration of early/modern world theatre. This class will focus on what makes these early works vital to the evolution of modern theatre. Each week we will explore how these plays embodied the world in which they were created and ask if they remain relevant today.
From the dramas of ancient Greece to the suicide plays of Japan and the early abstract plays of Europe- this class will explore the dynamic, dramatic, diverse world that laid the foundation for what we think of as theatre today.
LCM 222 HISTORY OF THEATRE II: A HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR- THE CHANGING FACE OF MODERN THEATRE.- 3 CREDITS
"The theatre, for all its artifices, depicts life in a sense more truly than history, because the medium has a kindred movement to that of real life, though an artificial setting and form." -George Santaya
This class provides an overview of seminal pieces of theatre written and performed in the early 20th through the mid 21st century. Each week, we will explore how different playwrights embraced a specific style or topic emblematic of the current trends and issues present in the country in which they were creating.
We will ask what they were saying about the politics and culture of their respective countries and how those around them informed that perspective. By looking at their work, we will examine how these modern writers reworked their inherited forms and created something distinctly contemporary. We will also ask what, if any, are the defining features of these works- what links them together? What makes these plays distinct and new; how do they deal with the age-old motifs of love, loss, family, journey and redemption in a way that is distinctly modern? Lastly, we will evaluate the role of theatre within contemporary society; how did it move from entertainment to education, becoming political and social commentary and a means of revolution? Is it still a relevant, and resonant, form of social action today? By examining these questions through text, the exploration of theatrical movements and the viewing of live theatre, our class will look at what defined contemporary themes and trends in at that time, and how they laid they laid the foundation for the work yet to come.
LCM 223 EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN: ADAPTATION IN CONTEMPORARY THEATRE - 3 CREDITS
"...My own work begins with the belief that human beings are, as Aristotle said, social creatures—that we are the product of history and of culture, that we often express our histories and cultures in ways even we are not conscious of, that the culture speaks through us, grabs us and throws us to the ground, cries out, silences us." -Luis Alfaro
Many theatre artists are turning to classic myths, stories and plays to help uncover and explore contemporary themes and motifs. Why go backwards to explore the present? In this course, we will explore this question by looking at contemporary adaptations of older works. From Greek myth to the retelling of a classic Ibsen play to infusing hip hop into ancient text, we will reflect on adaptation as not only a textual process, but also a social and political process. The class will be hands on; culminating in a final adaptation project, in which we will select, and adapt, or own piece of text that will examine contemporary themes, ideas and motifs. This course meets the Advanced Core Seminar requirement.
LCM 224 A and 224 B SHAKESPEARE ON THE STAGE AND PAGE (- 3 CREDITS each)
William Shakespeare had "box office magic." Not only were his plays "hits" during his lifetime, they have remained enormously popular for four centuries. This course will introduce students to the world of Shakespeare by focusing on a select number of his plays as texts designed for performance. By making his plays come alive, we will challenge the idea that his work is too elevated, too difficult to relate to or understand. We will examine specific plays from across the genres, exploring them from literary, historical, and cultural perspectives, and also the point of view of actors, directors, and producers. As part of our quest to place these plays within a performative context, we will view excerpts of films of several of the plays and will create performance-based projects on a play of your choosing. This is a two-semester course; it is preferred that students take both courses, but they may take either as well. Meets an Advanced Core Seminar requirement.
LCM 227 THEATRE AND POLITICS - 3 CREDITS
The course examines the intersection of theatre, politics and society. The course may alternate between the study of theatre during specific moments of great political and social change, answering the core question, "how does theatre reflect the politics of the world, then and now?." In alternate years, it will examine Politics as Theatre, asking how the political gesture and the theatrical gesture may intersect. Would JFK's inaugural speech have been as effective if he had worn an old-fashioned hat? What if Palin had remained a dowdy dresser? LCM 229 STUDIES IN THEATRE: SPECIAL TOPICS - 3 CREDITS
This course may focus on a particular play, playwright, period or theme; the topic may vary from year to year. The course may be repeated for credit.
LCM 287 COLLEGE THEATRE COMPANY - 4 CREDITS
This class will focus on creating, producing and staging a theatrical production. Working on a specific play, we will focus on all aspects of constructing a piece of theatre; generating ideas, working with a playwright, exploring different acting techniques, producing, staging and marketing the production.
Each student will have a specific role in the production, but also participate as a member of the team in the producing and publicizing of the show. This course may be repeated for elective credit.
UPPER DIVISION COURSES IN COMMUNICATION
LCM 270 LEADERSHIP - 3 CREDITS
Open to all students of the college – an understanding of how effective leadership functions and a training to undertake positions of leadership.
LCM 271 POP CULTURE (Formerly CAA 202) - 3 CREDITS
This class will address issues pertaining to the production and consumption of popular culture, with particular emphasis on visual culture and images. We will raise critical questions, including: What and who defines popular culture? Who is popular culture produced for? Who is popular culture produced by? Who is receiving popular culture? How is popular culture used to different ends by different groups? We will also explore questions of social constructs: Who is doing the constructing? Who is defining taste and style? How does it get propagated? These questions will lead us to examine contextual issues of authority and the global economy.
Because we are studying in Los Angeles, some of the course will focus on using various theories and methodologies to examine the cultural aspects of the city. We will assume the role of field researchers and take a few field trips to sites such as modern museums and urban development spaces.
LCM 272 PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATION - 3 CREDITS
The ability to move an audience to an intended action is a vital skill. This course will train students to be effective, influential, memorable, and successful communicators. You will be introduced to the theoretical and historical background and to the study and art of communication, and will apply and practice rhetorical strategies through a series of weekly class exercises.
LCM 274 CHILDREN AND MEDIA - 3 CREDITS
This course explores the links between children/adolescents and the media. Specifically, we will examine the media's effects on children's social and personality development, body image, self-concept, and self-esteem. We will look at examples of how television, movies, the internet, magazines, music videos and video games shape and socialize children's understanding of gender roles, ethnic groups, role models, authority figures, sex, and dating. We will discuss the implications of children's media use; we will also analyze the ethical questions that are raised whenever children are targeted by the media. Meets an Advanced Core Seminar requirement.
LCM 275 NEWS AND PUBLIC OPINION - 3 CREDITS
In this course, students will learn how public opinion is formed, measured, used, and understood. We will focus on the role of interest, knowledge, partisanship and media use in opinion formation and change. We will discuss current political and cultural topics and discuss public opinion theories such as priming, framing, and agenda-setting.
LCM 276, 278 SPECIAL TOPICS IN COMMUNICATION - 3 CREDITS
The focus of these courses may vary from year to year.
LCM 277 COMMUNICATION ETHICS - 3 CREDITS
This course will explore the ethical implications/effects of the communication industry on individuals and society. We will discuss relevant theories addressing such topics as: violent and sexual imagery; the effects of stereotypes, and effects of persuasive messages on our knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. We will analyze current events and trends in mass communication to become aware of ethical challenges, to define values, and to resolve dilemmas. Meets an Advanced Core Seminar requirement.
LCM 280: CREATIVE WRITING: FICTION - 3 CREDITS
What makes a powerful story? Why are stories so important? In this hands-on writers' workshop, we will focus on the five elements of significant storytelling: nuances of language, character development, plot structure, theme, and narrative voice. We will look carefully at well-crafted short stories to see how those elements operate, and, through numerous exercises, students will work throughout the semester on developing their own fiction-writing skills. Students will produce an original full-length short story by the end of the term.
LCM 281 CREATIVE WRITING: POETRY - 3 CREDITS
Have you ever found yourself asking, "What does this poem mean?" This course is for you! Students will focus on reading and analyzing the elements of poetry in a wide variety of genres and eras and then incorporate those elements to write their own unique poetry. We will discuss not only what poems say, but also how they speak. The course does not limit poetry to that of traditional verse; we will also examine spoken word and song lyrics. By creatively analyzing various forms of poetry, students will begin to recognize and incorporate poetic elements into their prose, write their own poetry and appreciate the poetic elements of media and communication that they may have previously taken for granted.
LCM 282: SPECIAL TOPICS IN CREATIVE WRITING - 3 CREDITS
LCM 285 digital journalism- 3 CREDITS
This course involves the production of the digital Casiano Chronicle, Students learn the elements of electronic journalism and the use of contemporary media in news-writing, feature-writing, editorial-writing, interviewing, blogging, recording, etc. The course may be counted once for the major, but may be repeated for elective credit. With special permission from the instructor, it may be taken for less than 3 credits.
LCM 286 the casiano magazine
An expanded version of LCM 285, this course includes the production of a digital creative arts magazine along with feature and news-writing. Producing the magazine includes working on creative writing (poetry, fiction); non-fiction essays and digital design.
LCM 287 COLLEGE THEATRE COMPANY - 4 CREDITS
This class will focus on creating, producing and staging a theatrical production. Working on a specific play, we will focus on all aspects of constructing a piece of theatre; generating ideas, working with a playwright, exploring different acting techniques, producing, staging and marketing the production. Each student will have a specific role in the production, but also participate as a member of the team in the producing and publicizing of the show. THIS COURSE MAY BE REPEATED FOR ELECTIVE CREDIT.
LCM 288 ADVANCED SEMINAR TOPICS IN LITERATURE, COMMUNICATION & MEDIA - 3 CREDITS
This seminar, available to students who have completed at least four upper division LCM courses, may focus on a particular medium, theme, genre, or technology.
LCM 290 LCM INTERNSHIP - 1- 3 CREDITS
With the approval of the department chair, students may plan internships in a wide variety of fields, depending upon their particular interest.
LCM 297 HONORS THESIS - 1- 3 CREDITS
Open to students whose achievements in the department have been outstanding and who wish to work on a particular project during the fall or spring semester of their senior year. Projects may be critical /essays, performances, or creative projects. By permission of the department chair.
LCM 299 INDEPENDENT STUDY - 1- 3 CREDITS