Dr. Linda Seward
Speech and Theatre Department
Middle Tennessee State University 37132

Study Abroad


Course descriptions:


Intercultural Communication, COMM 3560:  People used to think if you just learned another language you could go to a country and communicate without problems.  We now know it is much more complex than that.  In this course we examine theories and concepts that help you understand how to communicate more effectively with people from cultures around the world.  For a quick review, just skim some of the points under “Cultural Tips”.


Theories of Persuasive Communication, COMM 4320: Everyday you get up and are subjected to hundreds of persuasive messages: ads try to get you to buy products or services; friends try to convince you to go to a party; professors try to persuade you to read assignments.  There’s nothing wrong with this, but sometimes we end up buying products we don’t need or even want or go to parties we’d really rather skip.  In this course we examine theories and concepts that help us understand the persuasive process.  Why are we persuaded by some ads but not others?  What techniques do people use conversationally to try to persuade others to agree with them?  This course will examine both mass media and interpersonal aspects of persuasion.


Gender Communication, COMM 3225: As soon as you were born, people started dressing you in pink or blue clothes and, according to research, how they interacted with you was influenced by whether you were a girl or a boy.  Gender is such an integral part of who we are that we often overlook how it affects our lives.  In this highly interactive course we examine how verbal and nonverbal communication – both interpersonally and in the media – influence our views of gender.  Students apply gender communication theory to their life experiences and learn to analyze different approaches to the study of gender communication.


Interpersonal Communication, COMM 2300:  Have you ever walked away from a conversation and wondered what went wrong?  Somehow you didn’t seem to communicate effectively with the other person – and you couldn’t figure out why!  In this course you learn how to analyze the components of communication in order to increase your understanding – and your abilities – when communicating with others.  Topics include: how your self-concept was formed by communication and how it affects your communication with others, effective approaches to conflict, understanding nonverbal communication and what you need to understand to communicate effectively in a diverse workplace.


Communication in the Middle East, COMM 3570:  (Note: qualifies for the Film Studies Minor and the Middle East Studies Minor)

   Here’s a quick quiz: Why is Iraq an Arab culture but Iran isn’t?  Why do most Muslim women cover their hair – and some cover their face?  Why would the opening lines in the movie “The Departed” be particularly offensive to Arabs? 

    In this discussion based course we examine the values, norms and communication patterns of Middle Eastern cultures so you can increase your understanding of a part of the world that is often misunderstood.  Films compliment readings as we explore life in the Middle East.