This page contains data on the courses that I teach. For course schedules
and other information, see the Registrar's section of UT
Austin Web Central.
Madeline M. Maxwell's
CMS-CSD 314L Language
and Communication (UG)
This undergraduate course is designed to introduce some ideas about the
role of language in communication and methods scholars have used in their
investigations. Students learn to think analytically about language and
communication. There is also ample opportunity to (in the words of David
Crystal, the author of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language) "celebrate
the existence of human language." Students do field projects and take-home
essay examinations covering issues in the complexity of human languages,
languages in contact, how language relates to status and relationships,
some of the range of human problems that have a communication cause or
solution, some of the language rights that are often threatened by language
prejudice and discrimination as well as by linguistic and ethnic/national
competition or the need for special treatment, and the role of language
modality. Some of the reading is on the World Wide Web.
CMS 354 Conflict Resolution
Conflict and communication are pervasive in human social life. There are
differences in disputes involving participants with different backgrounds
and goals in different situations, but there are similarities and identifiable
underlying dimensions in conflict talk. Some relevant dimensions may be
gender, role, ethnicity, nationality, and even family background. The purpose
of this upper division undergraduate class is to explore a framework for
systematic analysis of conflict and communication and to learn some of
the effects of communication on conflict and of conflict on communication.
Activities for learning include reading about conflict and communication,
analyzing conflicts, and experiencing and evaluating communication behaviors
that are said to be effective in conflict talk.
CMS 371K Internship in
Conflict Resolution (UG)
This internship is an opportunity for students to get hands-on training
in mediation and other intervention techniques. Through the Conflict Resolution
Center, they offer services to the campus community. They then participate
in research on the interactions that take place in the mediations. Graduate
students who register (with permission) for CMS 380E and participate in
the training will have additional assignments. Students may repeat this
course once, with instructor permission.
CMS 384K Reading the Ethnography
of Communication (G)
How does one draw ethnographic ideas from interactional data? In this class
we will study a number of ethnographic studies to develop criteria for
critiquing ethnographic work, with a focus on discourse analysis. Various
authors have used different methods of discourse analysis in ethnographies
of communication. Our emphasis will be on these discourse methods, i.e.,
on using close transcription of talk in interaction, to support ethnographic
claims. Students complete 5 homework assignments, 2 article critiques,
1 essay, & 1 critique of a book-length study.
CMS 384K Writing the
Ethnography of Communication (G)
To do ethnography has meant to write ethnography, to make not only insightful
observations but to provide the warrants that connect their observations
with their interpretations. The purpose of this graduate class is to engage
in fieldwork in the ethnography of communication, including participant
observation and interviewing, with an emphasis on writing notes, interpreting
data and providing warrants in strong arguments. There will be readings
related to the fieldwork, but this is not primarily a course in the literature.
For that purpose, take Reading the Ethnography of Communication, taught
in alternate fall semesters. Students will do some fieldwork together,
comparing observations and perspectives and then select a topic to pursue
for the rest of the semester. This fieldwork may result in a piece of ethnographic
writing or (more likely) a proposal for a research project.
CMS 386P Language, Culture,
and Communication (G)
This graduate course examines the relationships between language (meaning
systems, symbolic structure) and cultural forms of thought, action and
imagination. Particular attention is paid to developing an approach to
communication that combines the formal properties of language with the
dynamics of social interaction. We use this class to read some of the theory
that students have missed or want to pursue in greater depth. Last time
we read Bourdieu, Hanks, Goffman, Bruner, Hymes, and some other key authors.
CMS 384K Contemporary
Ethnography of Communication (G)
We will visit ethnographies of communication, the blending of conversation
analysis and ethnography, film ethnography, fictional ethnography, autoethnography,
and critical ethnography. The notion “culture” is being claimed by many
different positions both within and outside the academy. What role does
ethnography play in the “culture wars” and the critical theory movement?
While there are many "types" of ethnographies, recent innovation involves
the inclusion of discourse interaction. How does one draw ethnographic
ideas from interactional data? Various authors have used different methods
of discourse analysis in ethnographies of communication. Our emphasis will
be on these discourse methods, i.e., on using close transcription of talk
in interaction, to support ethnographic claims. Students will also engage
in fieldwork and complete a mini-ethnography of their own.
CMS 386P Seminar in Conflict Talk (G)
2 August 00
The College of Communication
The Department of Communication
University of Texas at Austin
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