Faculty Integration Ideas for the Classroom:

Sandy L. Alspach , Ph.D.  (Professor of Communication)

  • In COMM 299 Communication Theories, we will equate “theory” to “myth” as we
    explore how theorists have tried to describe, explain and predict human
    communication behavior.  Two particular theorists will guide this exploration:
    Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic theory and Walter Fisher’s narrative paradigm.  Both
    theorists identify storytelling (or myth-making) as fundamental to human
    communication and relationships.In COMM 365 Intercultural Communication, students begin the course by exploring the myth and myths of America; especially  the metaphors used to describe American diversity and the theories that describe the “mythic culture” of America.  Classroom discussion will include sharing American myths and folktales students know.  Then they will include a question on their Interview Guides for their other Culture partner asking Partner to share a “myth” they remember hearing from their country.  In the final interpretation of the project, students will be asked to compare myths and analyze how myth-making both creates and passes “culture” to others.

    In COMM 366 Diversity and Communication, students begin the course with a similar
    assignment to COMM 365 Intercultural Communication, except there is more
    emphasis on their family’s ancestral contribution to the “myth” of America.
    Students will include the “myth” question in their Culture and Relationships
    Communication project working with a partner they have identified as “different”
    from themselves.  In the final Interpretation of the project, students will be
    asked to examine how myths evolve and change as American culture changes and to
    analyze how myth-making facilitates and/or inhibits cultural change and
    communication.