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