Courses

Below are the some of courses that I teach or have taught. In most cases, I can teach them as either traditional (in-class) offerings, hybrid courses, or as fully online courses.

Communication Justice, Rights and Law explores the “universal” right of freedom of expression established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is a course about VOICE — having one yourself and deciding your theory about when voices of others should be protected or punished. The course examines all five major areas of libel laws that have traditionally been used to marginalize certain voices, most especially voices from racial/ethnic, gender, or sexual minorities. Those five are: blasphemous libel, seditious libel, group libel, individual libel and obscene libel laws. These days, case studies for the course focus a great deal on contemporary issues such as free speech and religious terrorism, hate speech, violent speech, teen sexting, and adult gender/sexual expressions.

Narrative Spaces/ Narrative Writing: Stories, including non-fiction ones, tell us who we are and who we want to be. Narrative journalists write not only about specific characters but about the communicative spaces within which those characters pursue particular types of ritual plots. This course approaches narrative not only as a writing genre, but as the construction of “master narratives” that occur in the spaces we imagine ourselves occupying, whether human-created architectures or particular natural environments.  

Moses delivers the Law

Sex, God and Free Speech explores sexual justice, examining the question of VOICE, in particular whether and when individuals have the right to speak and do what others consider “unspeakable.” Often their speech and actions are denounced as contrary to the “word of God” and thus “blasphemous” or “obscene.”  Using the legal device of “blasphemous libel” and “moral/obscene libel,” two closely connected concepts, entire groups can then be marginalized by the cultures within which they live. Notions of both libels also often spark conflicts between particular religious or sexual groups.

Norman Lindsay, The Procession
Norman Lindsay, The Procession

Sexual Storytelling: Stories about our anatomy, our sexual and gender orientations, and our sexual behaviors can promote either justice or injustice. One step in promoting sexual justice  is to understand how the details of the stories shape both our erotic and political acts and desires. In this course, we try to consciously address sexual and gender injustice by empowering the imagination through the reinvention of sexual stories — whether that be in fiction, non-fiction, real-life spaces or, nowadays, in that cyber-world we inhabit merging fiction, real-life and our relationships to a new geography.

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