I teach both core and elective undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Core courses focus on communication theory; elective course topics include intergroup communication, verbal communication, and culture and communication.
Undergraduate, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
COMG 301: Introduction to Communicological Theories
This course introduces Communicology, the study of human communication processes, and to a range of well-known communication theories. We begin the course by talking about the creation and development of the Communication discipline, and where Communicology fits in it. We then discuss the components of theory, theory development, and theory critique. Lastly, we undertake a survey of theoretical approaches in the Communication discipline. In this course, we explore the relationship between research and theory, and discuss theory critique, construction, and extension. Through activities, this class brings theory “down to earth,” emphasizing connections between communication theory and daily life.
COMG 371: Message Processing
This course is designed to address two related, fundamental questions: How does communication work? And what happens when we communicate? The goal of this course is to help students come to see communication as a process of creating shared understanding at one or more levels. To accomplish this, we will define and discuss key components of human communication processes, including messages, media systems, communicative codes, theory of mind, mindreading, inference-making and common ground, and examine how they work in contemporary models and theories. We will also discuss theories about the origins of human communication and related social-cognitive skills, and their links to cooperation more generally. Finally, we will discuss how a message processing perspective—that is, viewing communication as a process of creating shared understanding—can shed new light on widely studied phenomena such as miscommunication, deception, interpersonal adjustment (i.e., accommodation) and communication competence. Through the topics covered in this course, students will come to see human communication as a deeply social and collaborative activity, and gain a better understanding of how it can succeed and fail.
COMG 385: Culture and Communication
This course provides and introduction to theories and research on intercultural communication and cultural influences on communication, with a focus on applications relevant to everyday life. In the course, we discuss prominent theories and areas of research in the area of culture and communication, including (social) identity, perception, verbal and nonverbal communication, culture shock, prejudice, stereotyping, and acculturation. The focus of the course is on the implications of this theory and research for students’ experiences.
COMG 452: Intergroup Communication
This course surveys communication research taking an intergroup perspective, a relatively new but rapidly growing approach to studying human communication. Grounded in social identity theory, an intergroup perspective considers people not only as individuals, but also as members of social groups (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, region, etc.), and investigates the ways in which these social group memberships influence and are influenced by communication. We discuss how the way that we communicate can signal social identity, be used to categorize and evaluate people, and activate stereotypes in interaction. We also consider how the activation of certain social categories and stereotypes can influence how we communicate with others, and how this can both facilitate and complicate interaction between members of different social groups. In this course, we discuss research across a diverse range of domains, including language attitudes (accent/language choice), intergenerational communication, communication in health care contexts, police-civilian interaction and computer-mediated communication.
COMG 471: Verbal Communication
This course focuses on the use of language in communication and explores how we use language to regulate our social world. We start the course by looking at what language is and where the study of it fits in the discipline of Communication. We then discuss how language can vary, people’s attitudes and ideologies about language, and what the social consequences of using different forms of language can be. Next, we examine biases in language use (which are often unconscious), and discuss how the language we use can both reflect and shape our cognition. Finally, we discuss how language can be considered a cooperative activity, how we adjust our communication for others, and how this can go awry. We conclude with a review and discussion of how we use language to regulate our social world.
Graduate, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
COMG 601: Theories in Communicology
This course provides a graduate-level introduction to theory and provides a survey of prominent theories in the discipline. We begin the course with an overview of the field of communication, highlighting its fragmentation and situating communicology within the broader discipline. We then discuss foundational concepts in theory and theory construction, including metatheoretical considerations, the function of theory, the logic of theory building, and criteria for evaluating and critiquing theories. In the second part of the course, we will undertake a survey of theories in this discipline. This will initially consist of introducing different approaches to understanding human communication processes, including evolutionary and cognitive science perspectives. We will then seminal theories in communication, stressing the major foci of the Department of Communicology: message processing, interpersonal communication, and persuasion and social influence.
COMG 752: Intergroup Communication
This course provides a graduate-level introduction and survey of communication research taking an intergroup perspective. Grounded in social identity theory—which the course introduces—an intergroup perspective considers people not only as individuals, but also as members of social groups (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, etc.), and investigates the ways in which these social group memberships relate to the way that we communicate with each other. We discuss how the way that we communicate can signal social identity, be used to categorize and evaluate people, and activate stereotypes in interaction. We also consider how the activation of certain social categories and stereotypes can influence how we communicate with others, and how this can both facilitate and complicate interaction between members of different social groups. Through the lens of communication accommodation theory (a theory firmly rooted in the intergroup tradition), we examine how we use communication to regulate and manage our social world, and explore how these processes can go awry.
Undergraduate, University of California, Santa Barbara [Instructor of Record]