Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Undergraduate Ethics Courses 2009-2010

1. Courses Identified as Ethics Courses by Title


JR 290 Journalism Law and Ethics 4 credits
Examines the American legal system and its relationship to the press. Gain an understanding of journalists’ rights and ethical responsibilities. Study case law that sets legal limits for journalists. Examine ethical decision-making in gray areas. Understand basic structure and processes of federal and state courts. Prerequisite: JR 101.

JR 485/PB 491: Special Topics: Professional Ethics in Journalism and Magazine Publishing 4 credits 
Designed to help students make sound ethical decisions, particularly in journalism or publishing. Through discussions, reading, role-playing and case studies, instructors foster  learning to think critically, to analyze sometimes conflicting ethical choices and to reach decisions based on rational analysis and not merely gut instinct. The readings establish a historical and philosophical foundation in ethical decision-making. Topics include codes of ethics, the responsibility of truth telling in reporting and presenting stories, and the ethical thickets presented by a variety of thorny issues in professional life as a journalist, editor, or publisher.

Philosophy (Communication Studies)

**PH 105 Introduction to Ethics 4 credits
Introduction to important theories on nature of the good in human conduct. Theories belong to Western philosophical tradition and include works of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and others. Fulfills Ethics and Values Perspective of General Education requirement. (Semester varies)

**PH 110 Ethics and Justice 4 credits
Considers ethical theories and theories of justice, especially those related to questions of economic, criminal, political, and social justice. Fulfills Ethics and Values Perspective of the General Education requirement. (Semester varies)

**PH 200 Contemporary Ethics 4 credits
Contemporary ethical issues of abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and affirmative action examined in light of major theories of ethics and morals from the history of Western philosophy. Fulfills Ethics and Values Perspective of General Education requirements. (Semester varies)

**PH 203 Special Topics in Ethics or Value Theory 4 credits
Topics announced prior to each term may include: Art and Politics, Media Ethics, Feminist Ethics, Political Philosophy, or Judaism. Course may be repeated for credit if topics vary. Fulfills Ethics and Values Perspective of General Education requirements. (Semester varies)

**PH 204 Environmental Ethics 4 credits
Considers philosophical ethics in relation to environmental issues. Topics include: religious beliefs as a foundation for environmental commitments, duties and obligations toward other species, “deep ecology,” ecofeminism, economic imperatives versus environmental concerns, and disproportionate burden of environmental problems borne by certain groups. Fulfills Ethics and Values Perspective of General Education requirements. (Semester varies)

**PH 210 Narrative Ethics 4 credits
Overview of classical and modern approaches to ethical theory using examples from fiction and film to show how ethical theories can be applied. Connect abstract theory with “real life” through storytelling and story analysis to understand and evaluate moral issues. Fulfills Ethics and Values Perspective of General Education requirements. (Semester varies)

Publishing (Writing, Literature, and Publishing)

PB 491/JR 485 (same as JR485/PB491 above) Special Topics: Professional Ethics in Journalism and Magazine Publishing 4 credits 
Designed to help students make sound ethical decisions, particularly in journalism or publishing. Through discussions, reading, role-playing and case studies, instructors foster learning to think critically, to analyze sometimes conflicting ethical choices and to reach decisions based on rational analysis and not merely gut instinct. The readings establish a historical and philosophical foundation in ethical decision-making. Topics include codes of ethics, the responsibility of truth telling in reporting and presenting stories, and the ethical thickets presented by a variety of thorny issues in professional life as a journalist, editor, or publisher.

Visual and Media Arts

VM 417 Communication Ethics 4 credits
Provides a study of the philosophical roots and modern applications of moral reasoning in various communication media, including print, digital, television and video, photography, film, radio, speech, and telecommunications. Includes topics such as confidentiality, privacy, deception, free speech, obscenity, justice, equality, defamation of reputation, abuse of power, digital manipulation, fairness, truth in advertising, and conflict of interest. Prerequisite: VM 200. (Semester varies)

VM 519 Communication Ethics and Cultural Diversity 4 credits
Inspects ethical issues, including racial and ethnic prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping, from a philosophical and case study approach. Topics such as privacy, piracy, censorship, offensiveness, deception, ethnocentricity, pornography, racism, confidentiality, fairness, and hate speech are investigated in a variety of communication media—computer technology, photography, video, speech, audio, film, and print—both in international and U.S. domains. Prerequisite: VM 200. Fulfills the General Education U.S. Diversity requirement. (Semester varies)

2. Courses With Course Descriptions Identifying Ethics Content:

Business (Marketing Communication)

MB 200 Principles of Business 4 credits
Students analyze information related to business trends, strategies, opportunities, and operations and critically assess alternatives. Through lecture, discussion, case videos, and in-class assignments, students consider external and internal factors driving contemporary business decisions. Topics include: pricing, supply and demand, the management of people, processes, resources, and organization; the globalization of business; the use of information system to support business efforts; and basic concepts from marketing, sales, business ethics, law, accounting, and finance.

MB 400 Business Policy and Strategy 4 credits
Serves as the business minor’s capstone course by introducing new levels of complexity to broad concepts learned in previous classes. Uses case studies, trade articles, and time-honored academic frameworks, as well as in-class lectures, group exercises, and discussions to challenge students to apply how legal frameworks, business and government regulations, organizational structures, diverse workforces, and customer and stakeholder expectations influence the way contemporary companies conduct business. Prerequisites: MB 300 and MB 310. (Semester varies)

Communication (Communication Stuides)

CC 262 Professional Communication 4 credits
Study and practice of rhetorical argument, proof, ethics, style, and delivery in performance and analysis of speeches. Projects include use of professional communication situations and video/audio aids and new technology to enhance rhetorical effectiveness in message preparation, development, and delivery.

CC 320 Communication Theory for Leading Change 4 credits
Investigation of classical and contemporary theories of political communication with emphasis on utility of theory in mass- and multi-mediated communication contexts. Discussion of application of theory to these domains including examination of how conceptions of the citizen, democracy, aesthetics, morality, and culture are established and maintained vis-à-vis different modes of communication. Prerequisites: CC 200 or CC 201 and CC 263 or CC 266.

CC 323 Discussion Facilitation: Conversations on Race 1 non-tuition credit.
Training for participation in and co-facilitation of Campus Conversations on Race (CCOR). CC 323 A (0 credits) involves training to lead workshops. CC 323 B (1 credit) involves leading workshops and may be repeated once for a total of 2 credits. Recommended prerequisite or co-requisite: CC 266.

CC 345 Public Affairs Matrix: Media, Politics, and Advocacy 4 credits
Advanced study of interplay of media, politics, policy, and advocacy. Through historical and contemporary case studies and research examine variety of constituencies affecting politics and public policy and role the media play in political, public policy, and advocacy debates. Propaganda definition and role in affecting public opinion. Relationship between communicator, media, and key constituencies with focus on ethical, effective use of public affairs. Prerequisites: CC 200 and CC 263. (Semester varies)

CC 357 Leadership 4 credits
Theory and practice of effective ethical leadership in contemporary political and organizational settings; theories for organizing and motivating people; cross- cultural applications; and issues of diversity and communication skills for leadership. Prerequisites: CC 200 or CC 201 and CC 263 or CC 266 and junior standing.

CC 475 Capstone in Leadership, Politics, and Social Advocacy 4 credits
Advanced theory, research, and practice in political communication. Develop and enhance portfolios of political communication materials including development of two communication campaigns. Prerequisites: senior standing and completion of CC 303.

Honors  (Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies)

**HS 201 and 202  Sophomore Honors Seminar II (Honor students only) Sophomore Honors Seminar 8 credits
Engages critical thinking and research about philosophical, cultural, and scientific methods of generating knowledge and their ethical implications. Different areas of inquiry examined each year. Recent topics include environmental ethics, evolution, astronomy, and epistemology. Fulfills the General Education Ethics and Values Perspective and the Scientific Perspective.

Interdisciplinary (Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies)

IN 148 Politics, Film, and Literature in Latin America 4 credits
Course covers Latin American writers and filmmakers from Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, and Brazil who counteract the forces of censorship and political repression within their countries to create their own versions of national literatures and film industries. Their works deal with the topics of revolution, gender, and the place of intellectuals and creative minds in construction of history not dominated by censorship. Course also presents a history of development of literacy and film genres that engage issues of local and national concerns at specific times of crises in the 17th (colonialism) and 20th (post-colonialism) centuries. Fulfills General Education Global Diversity requirement.

IN 225 Media for Social Change 4 credits
Students will use this course to hone their specialties as artists and communicators to collectively build a new voice using combined skills to contribute to specific social change objectives. The goal of the course will be to engage students in studying specific social issues and conducting research to design effective media projects for social good. Students will learn how to identify and address health problems and social issues in tangible ways through projects that might include finding specific audiences with whom students will attempt to communicate specific behavioral, informational or attitudinal messages.

IN 401 The Media and the Holocaust 4 credits
Mainstream and alternative media’s responses to information about the Holocaust and its aftermath through film, radio, television, and print media. Speak with Holocaust eyewitnesses and survivors. Pursue individual areas of interest with research projects. Consider what the media should be doing today to prevent continuing genocide.


JR 101 Discovering Journalism 4 credits
Explores the role of news in U.S. history, from its beginnings in the American Revolution to today’s world of “all news all the time.” Gain tools to analyze and understand how print, broadcast, and online news organizations have evolved. Examine parallels between issues raised by the explosion of online news and earlier periods in journalistic evolution. Explore issues confronting the contemporary journalist by learning how news has evolved. Study the First Amendment and address ethical dilemmas faced by those practicing journalism.

JR 102 The Newsgathering Process 4 credits
Establishes foundational skills to write, report, and deliver the news using a sound, focused idea and specific authoritative information. Examine how to identify, focus, and find news; to ferret out and make sense of online and library records; and to select sources and measure reliability and authoritativeness. Learn how to interview, write leads, and structure stories for print, broadcast, and online news, emphasizing journalistic standards such as accuracy and fairness. Prerequisite: JR 101 for freshmen. (Co-requisite for transfers.

JR 200 Images of News 4 credits
Develops a framework for understanding the power of images and sound in conveying news. Study the history, aesthetics, content, and context of visual storytelling. Rotate through introductory labs on such tools as still photography, audio recording, videography, and HTML. Develop team-based multimedia stories to report news using different media. Examine ethical challenges in a digital age when image and sound manipulation can distort reality and compromise journalistic integrity. Prerequisite: JR 102. Recommended: Take JR 200 concurrently with JR 204 or JR 205.

JR 404 News Editing and Design 4 credits
Develop and practice the craft of editing: refining news copy and choosing how and where it will run in a newspaper or on a website. Learn to edit stories for content, structure, word usage, and story flow. Write headlines and design pages. Explore issues of style, bias, stereotyping, fairness, and taste. Learn appropriate software needed to design pages. Prerequisite: JR 304.

JR 462 Photojournalism 4 credits
Explores photography as a journalistic storytelling medium by learning how to communicate news visually in a variety of situations. Develops skills such as shooting pictures on deadline, writing concise and compelling cutlines, and editing for impact. Through historical and contemporary examples, learn about the power of photojournalism to document, inform, entertain, persuade, and provoke emotion. Examine the ethical and legal challenges of photojournalism. Prerequisite: JR 204 or JR 205. (Semester varies)

JR 555 Reporting Issues of Diversity 4 credits
Develops knowledge and critical thinking skills to function and thrive as a journalist in America’s culturally diverse society. Analyzes media coverage of a wide spectrum of underrepresented groups, and challenge personal and societal stereotypes. Learn from guest speakers, readings, and videos about the realities of different groups as well the job of journalists trying to cover them. Fulfills the General Education U.S. Diversity requirement. Prerequisite: JR 204 or JR 205. (Spring semester)

JR 574 The Press and Propaganda 4 credits
Examines the history of propaganda and its relationship to journalism. Look at propaganda during war, in political campaigns, and in coverage of business and entertainment. (Semester varies)

Marketing (Marketing Communication)

MK 356 Media Relations 4 credits
Exposes students to a broad range of media management concepts and practices including basic marketing and management communication documents, sources, interviews, spin, crisis communication, ethics, international media relations, interactive media strategies, and analyses of current media-related issues. Prerequisites: MK 257 and MK 259. (Semester varies)

MK 472 Entrepreneurship I 8 credits
Introduces and immerses students in the process of creating and launching a new venture. Students learn the history and process of entrepreneurship as they explore creative problem solving, innovative thinking, and ethics. Relevant marketing and public relations strategies presented in addition to basic financial, business, and human resource issues. Experts in the business world provide additional mentoring and practical knowledge. Prerequisite: junior standing. (Fall semester)

Philosophy (Communication Studies)

PH 112 Religion in Eastern Cultures 4 credits
The origin and development of Hinduism in India; Buddhism in India, China, and Japan; Taoism and Confucianism in China; and Shintoism in Japan. Reading of original texts, development of doctrine in each religious tradition, and literary, artistic, and cultural impact of each religion on Eastern civilizations. Fulfills General Education Global Diversity requirement. (Semester varies)

Political Science (Communication Studies)

**PL 328 Political Thought 4 credits
Analyzes the evolution of political theory from early Greece to the present. Study the formation of the Western political tradition and the relationship of political theory to the development of absolutism, constitutional monarchy, liberal democracy, and socialism. Understand the issues of idealism and realism in political thought, individual rights versus the needs of the collective, and the relation of these considerations to the emergence of totalitarian political ideologies. Fulfills Ethics and Values Perspective of the General Education requirements. (Semester varies)

PL 332 Civil Rights 4 credits
Review and develop an understanding of the United States Constitution, congressional legislation, and Supreme Court cases affecting and controlling minority rights from 1776 to the present. Fulfills the Historical Perspective and the General Education U.S. Diversity requirements. (Semester varies)

PL 333 The First Amendment 4 credits
Study in depth the U.S. Constitution and federal laws as they relate to communication. Develop an understanding of the First Amendment, the Federal Communication Commission, and political speech. Fulfills the Historical Perspective of the General Education requirements. (Semester varies

Science (Communication Disorders)

SC 205 Environment and Humankind 4 credits
Covers issues pertaining to human population growth; preservation of biodiversity of both terrestrial and aquatic species and ecosystems; and topics such as global climate change; water, air, and soil pollution; and chemical impacts on human health. Emphasis placed on collecting and analyzing evidence regarding environmental issues and the impact of scientific and technological developments on society.

SC 209 Global Environmental Change 4 credits
Engages students in in-depth study of ecological principles and environmental issues having scientific, economic, and social dimensions of global significance. Subject areas include global warming and the greenhouse effect, water supply, ozone depletion, loss of habitat, biodiversity loss, and population growth. Recent research into biogeography, species extinction, natural resource management, and ecosystem dynamics are included. Includes field research requirements and participation in a three-day field study. (Semester varies)

Sociology (Communication Studies)

SO 300 Community, Identity, and Social Advocacy 4 credits
Theory and practice of effective, ethical communication on behalf of constituent groups. Needs assessment, resource identification, development (including grant writing), public advocacy, and program review. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. (Semester varies)

SO 360 Deviance and Social Control 4 credits
Examine various forms of social control, use of power constructing normative boundaries that differentiate normal and deviant perspectives. Media roles within popular culture, and overviews of differing academic perspectives include specific grand theories evidenced through sociological imagination; varieties of violent forms; sexual configurations; mental disorders; substance usages; white-collar dysfunctions; governmental-economic forms. Ethical dimensions of choice change through personal self-critique or examination of career roles in chosen media specialties. Fulfills Social and Psychological Perspective of General Education requirements. (Semester varies)

Theatre (Performing Arts)

TH 479 Topics in the Business of Theatre 4 credits
Various topics related to the business of theater for future working professionals. Different sections will approach issues relevant to specific career paths, i.e., acting, design, stage management, etc., such as: the finding of appropriate audition material, and audition and casting process in theater, film, and television; the requirements for admission to professional trade unions, AEA, and exploration of service organizations; issues of titles, licenses, and/ or permits; preparing a professional resume and/ or portfolio, job strategies using online sources for entry-level work; entrepreneurial opportunities and interaction with allied businesses and fundraising for nonprofit companies; and other topics as appropriate to individual sections. Prerequisites: Performing Arts majors only and junior standing. (Semester varies)

Visual and Media Arts

VM 200 Media Criticism and Theory 4 credits
Explores theoretical and critical approaches to the study of photography, film, television and video, audio, and digital culture. Theories and methods examine issues relating to production and authorship in the media arts, audience reception and effects, political ideology, ethics, aesthetics, cultural diversity, and schools of thought within the liberal arts. Extensive critical writing and reading in media criticism and theory. Prerequisites: VM 101 and VM 120.

VM 356 Marketing and Promotion for Radio and Audio 4 credits
Explores the techniques, methods, goals, and ethics of successful promotions, including the components of an effective promotions team. Includes the planning, coordination, and implementation of a promotion campaign. Prerequisite: VM 250. (Spring semester)

VM 370 Business Concepts for Modern Media 4 credits
Focuses on strategic thinking, planning, organization, and implementation of media projects from conception (pre-production) through release/ distribution/exhibition (theatrical, non-theatrical, digital, web). Includes acquiring fundamental skills and a working knowledge of business math, business plans, intellectual property and copyright basics, grant writing and resources, and current trends in advertising, marketing, and press package materials. Prerequisite: VM 230 or VM 240 or VM 241 or VM 250 or VM 260.

VM 377 Documentary Production Workshop 4 credits
Develops skills necessary to produce documentary productions in video or film. Covers production processes from story development through all the production phases. Practical considerations of production are balanced with theoretical debates on the legal and ethical responsibilities of those who document others. Prerequisite: VM 230 or VM 240. (Spring semester)

VM 402 Seminar in Media Arts Topics 4 credits
Examines various topics in media arts in seminar format, with emphasis on students’ oral and written presentation of material. May be repeated for credit if topics differ. Prerequisites: VM 200 and senior standing. NOTE:  Special section on Media Ethics and Cultural Diversity offered each semester.

VM 403 Studies in Digital Media and Culture 4 credits
Examines the dramatic shift in meaning and processes of contemporary communication by investigating the social, artistic, economic, and political implications of using digital ways of working. Topics include the Internet and the web, cyberspace and censorship, games, digital film and video, multimedia and interactivity, virtual reality, person- machine interfaces, and globalization considerations. Prerequisite: VM 200.

VM 411 History of Documentary 4 credits
Examines the history and theory of documentary media production, with attention to the economic, technological, ethical, and aesthetic concerns of documentarians. Prerequisite: VM 200. (Fall semester)

VM 418 Transnational Asian Cinemas 4 credits
Asian “national” cinemas are examined and problematized in the contexts of media and economic globalization, including: the politics of transnational film practices; issues surrounding filmic representation and diasporic identities; the construction and negotiation of national, gender, and genre differences; local-regional-global dynamics; and questions of the postcolonial in Asian contexts. Fulfills the General Education Global Diversity requirement. Prerequisite: VM 200. (Semester varies)

VM 427 Writing the Adaptation 4 credits
Focuses on the process of analyzing material from another medium (e.g., novels, plays, comic books) and translating into a screenplay. Students write one original first act of a public domain property, as well as one analytical paper. Prerequisites: VM 221 and junior standing. (Semester varies)

VM 507 Cheap Thrills: The Politics and Poetics of Low Culture 4 credits
Surveys the history of “low culture” in the United States with a focus on film. The unique aesthetics of B movies and exploitation films are examined in light of their intersection with sideshow, burlesque, comic books, and other forms. Theories of culture and formation of taste, issues of censorship, and fandom are explored to uncover the social and political implications of producing and consuming low culture. Prerequisite: VM 200. (Semester varies)

VM 509 Post-Colonial Film 4 credits
“Investigates the historical, socioeconomic, and ideological contexts of film production, distribution, and exhibition of post-colonial films that explore and challenge Hollywood and Western notions of identity, narrative, history, and oral traditions. Cinemas considered include those from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Fulfills the General Education Global Diversity requirement. Prerequisite: VM 200. (Semester varies)

VM 511 Black American Independent Cinema I 4 credits
Examines the depiction by and of African Americans in cinema through the 1950s. Special emphasis on the historical, cultural, political, social, and economic influences that have shaped and/or determined the cinematic depictions about and by African Americans. Students emerge from the class with a richly contextualized understanding of the representation of African Americans. Fulfills the General Education U.S. Diversity requirement. Prerequisite: VM 200. (Semester varies)

VM 512 Black American Independent Cinema II 4 credits
Examines the depiction by and of African Americans, beginning with “blaxploitation” films of the 1970s, the concomitant impact of racial turbulence, and the emergence of a new African-American independent filmmaking tradition. Landmark films and filmmakers whose work explores and challenges Hollywood and Western notions of identity, narrative, history, and oral traditions will be presented, including works by women, the “L.A. Rebellion” filmmakers, and contemporary Hollywood productions about and/or by African Americans. Fulfills the General Education U.S. Diversity requirement. Prerequisite: VM 200. (Semester varies)

VM 555 Recording Industry as a Business 4 credits
Explores the ways sound entertainment and information products are developed, produced, and marketed. Examines market analysis principles and legal requirements and structure, including licensing agreements, contracts, and copyright; along with the examination of revenue issues such as royalties, record sales, product endorsements; and cost-centered issues such as promotion, advertising, and touring. Prerequisites: VM 101 and VM 120. (Fall semester)

Writing, Literature, and Publishing

PB 380 Magazine Publishing Overview 4 credits
Students acquire an understanding of the magazine field from the perspective of writers and editors. Course looks at the similarities and differences between general interest magazines and more focused magazines, and how magazines compete with each other and with other media for audiences and revenues. Topics include how magazines carve out niches, the relationship between the business and editorial departments, and the editorial operations of magazines. The course also looks at the history of the magazine industry. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. The primary focus is on software skills. Course assumes the student has basic Macintosh skills.

PB 401 Advanced Seminar Workshop in Column Writing 4 credits
Magazine publishing course covering the process of researching, writing, and revising magazine columns with an understanding of the importance of audience. The course draws on both the published writing of seasoned columnists from a variety of genres as well as weekly columns written by students. Prerequisite: PB 307 or PB 380 or JR 460. May be substituted for one 400-level WR (writing) workshop.

**Course fulfills Emerson College Ethics and Values Perspectives requirement