The term “political communication” can be opaque. While it might suggest an emphasis on campaign communication, the concerns of this course are much wider ranging. In addition to analyzing the communication developed and disseminated by political campaigns and candidates, we will also investigate: the intertwined relationships between politics and political communication; the ideologies underlying political orientations, policies, actions, philosophies, and parties; the rhetorical and epistemological nature of symbolic communication in the political process; and especially the centrality of mass media and mediatization in political communication processes and the powerful changes to political communication, by politicians and citizens, made possible by the digital and social media of the 21st century.
Our explorations of these and related topics will be grounded in and informed by foundational theories of rhetoric and mass communication.
Students successfully completing this course will have a deeper understanding of the purposes, powers, and effects of political communication in the 21st century. Students will also develop a grounded critical awareness of their own political and ideological leanings (and biases!) as well as those of their peers; the media, candidates, and political parties in their home countries; and other institutions wielding political power in contemporary society.
Students will be required to keep up with assigned readings and with contemporary political communication in the Czech Republic and/or their home countries in order to submit individual homework assignments, to pass the two exams, and to create and deliver team campaign presentations.
This course will be taught in English.