Theory Class

Friday, September 22, 2006


I keep forgetting to post a little non-academic blurb, but if you click on my name I have a bit of a silly profile filled out. If you're so inclined, you can also check out my crafty alter-ego blog. If anyone ever wants knitting lessons, I'm the lady to ask!

Hope everyone has a restful/readful weekend,


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hi everybody,

It's late and my brain is pretty fried so I can only manage a few introductory comments for my first post.

I was born and grew up in New York State but lived the last 20 years in California. I am not looking forward to navigating in the snow again!

I'm a gemini and to the extent they are ambivalent, contradictory personalities I think I fit the profile.

I love theater but didn't get much of it in CA. I really hope I can carve time out from this demanding program to travel to Boston and NYC to see some plays.

I'm really excited to be here engaging in the "life of the mind"!

I'll sign on again after I've had some sleep and try to tackle Leda's question.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Introductions and Class Picture

HI all--

I know we did some of this in class but I thought this might be a good space for you all to say a few things about yourself.

Here are a few random non academic things about me:

I was born and grew up in Florida. I hate winter.

I am a runner, or I was until my knees and back started to give out.

I am a Leo--although I don't think I act like one (at least as far as I know :0)

I am/try to be an organic gardener.

I have two stepdaughters and am about to become a grandmother. That feels so weird!

All for now. I have to get to work!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

first class

Hi everyone,

I enjoyed our conversation in class today, and I thought I would use this site to post a couple of ideas I had.

The comment that was made regarding the way in which everyone participates in reproducing stereotypes made me think of something I had read about national identities. I believe it was Michael Billig who discussed the concept of “banal nationalism” and how a national identity is created, not only through overt acts of patriotism, but through everyday activities that we are often not conscious of- like the flying of the flag in front of the post office. The idea is that we are not aware that we see or do certain things everyday, but ultimately they influence our understanding of our environment. I think it is interesting to consider that, just as it is not only the media that reproduces stereotypes, it is also not just the zealous patriot or the government who supports nationalism.

Also, our discussion about communication as a subject rather than an object reminded me of an article I read entitled “What we need is ‘communication’: ‘Communication’ as a cultural category in some American speech” (Katriel & Philipsen). In the article, the authors discuss what they call a “communication ritual” that is performed in American speech. They define communication in this context as a cultural term referring to “close, supportive, flexible speech, which functions as the ‘work’ necessary to self-definition and interpersonal bonding.” Has anyone else read anything or done any research on the meaning of communication in this context?

See you in class tomorrow!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Theory Class

This is the Blog for the COMM 611 class. I hope that we can use this space to ask questions, post discussion questions that you want to put before the class, and perhaps start a class wiki for useful communication vocabulary words.

I'll post more soon.


Here I am again. I am starting a list of some concepts/vocabulary and a few questions that I think are important to our understanding of theory:

Why do you think metaphysical questions are now largely divorced from our discussions of communication--and of communication theory?