Madeline M. Maxwell's 
Course Information

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
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 (UG)
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)

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2 August 00
The College of Communication
The Department of Communication Studies
University of Texas at Austin
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