Online. On campus. On your terms.


Visiting Scholar In-Residence Course

A unique innovation of the COML program is the ability we have each year to bring one of the top, cutting-edge, distinguished scholars in our discipline to teach a course on campus in their particular area of expertise. This 3-credit elective course includes a 3-day on-campus immersion at Gonzaga and provides our students with an opportunity that is unparalleled.

Dr. Robert Hostetter
February 9-11, 2016

Dr. Robert Hostetter is one of the leading scholars on peace and conflict reconciliation and performance studies. From ethnographic work in Hiroshima, to Nicaragua, to Palestine & Israel, he has been at the heart of peace and reconciliation. Dr. Hostetter is the author of the play “Crossing Borders,” which he will share as we continue to build our capacity for Global Engagement.


Storytelling and Ethnographic Performance: Communication for Social Change.

Class Dates: Feb. 9, 10, 11.
Class Description: This course offers students an opportunity to share professor Hostetter’s collected oral history narratives, which provide the raw material for those interested in using storytelling as a way to understand global conflict and promote reconciliation and peace building.

Using field research from Armenia, Palestine, Israel, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Northern Ireland, students will choose one of these stories, conduct background research, and learn the process of adapting powerful stories into performance pieces designed to transform our world. The transformative nature of storytelling to bring about positive change is central to this course.

Public Lecture

Dialogues for a Just Peace in Israel-Palestine

February 11, 2016 at 7pm
Location: Wolff Auditorium, Jepson Center Building

This presentation explores the role of dialogue for understanding peacemakers and peacebuilding in Israel-Palestine.  Based on dialogues with some seventy non-governmental peacemakers, Dr. Hostetter will analyze the interplay of peacemaker dialogues with prophetic conflict analysis, compelling stories, and courageous strategies for peacebuilding. This presentation will include slides and story excerpts performed by Gonzaga students.

Dr. Robert Hostetter Biography

Robert Hostetter (PhD, Northwestern University), teaches at North Park University in Chicago, where he is chair of the Communication Arts Department, Director of Performance Studies, and Co-director of the Conflict Transformation Studies Program.  For some thirty years, he has worked at the intersection of performance, ethnography, and peacebuilding—teaching courses in conflict transformation, theatre and performance, and dramatic writing. His dramatic work includes a play about the white/Native American conflicts of the 1880s, Cheyenne Jesus Buffalo Dream (1978); and Crossing Borders, a screenplay about mediation efforts in Nicaragua (1988).  In the early 90’s, he served as vice-chair and chair of the Peace and Conflict Communication Commission of the National Communication Commission. In 1998, he was asked to record oral histories of Palestinians who lost homes and villages in 1948.  He adapted some of those stories into the play, The Longing, which was performed twenty times in Chicago, the National Communication Association (Atlanta, 2001), and elsewhere. Since 2003, he has returned to Israel-Palestine five times to record dialogues with Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers.  He is currently completing a book, Dialogues for Peace in Israel-Palestine, and completing a play, Passion: Scenes Adapted from Dialogues with Peacemakers in Israel-Palestine. In May 2014 he and Gonzaga’s Dr. John Caputo co-led a group of North Park University students to Northern Ireland to study “The Troubles” and the ongoing peace process. His continuing work is to link local concerns, such as homelessness in Chicago, with international threats such as climate change and nuclear weapons. He is planning to return to Japan to record dialogues with hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic bombings in 1945, as well as recent survivors of the Fukushima disaster; and to visit the gardens of Kyoto.

BJAllen2013aBrenda J. Allen (Ph.D., Howard University) is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Colorado Denver. She also is a Professor of Communication. Her research and teaching areas are organizational communication, diversity, group communication, and critical pedagogy. Among her numerous publications is a groundbreaking book entitled Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity, 2nd. Ed., (2011, Waveland Press).

Public Lecture

Communication Ethics and Diversity in Higher Education.

gitlinTodd Gitlin, Ph.D.

Columbia University

Todd Gitlin, an American writer, sociologist, communications scholar, novelist, poet, and not very private intellectual, is the author of fifteen books, including Occupy Nation:  The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall Street (available as both paperback and e-book from HarperCollins).  Before that, he published the novel Undying and (with Liel Leibovitz), The Chosen Peoples:  America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election. Other titles include The Bulldozer and the Big Tent: Blind Republicans, Lame Democrats, and the Recovery of American Ideals; The Intellectuals and the Flag; Letters to a Young Activist; Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives; The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; Inside      Prime Time; The Whole World Is Watching; Uptown: Poor Whites in Chicago (co-author); three novels, Undying, Sacrifice and The Murder of Albert Einstein;  and a book of poetry, Busy Being Born. These books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Chinese, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. He also edited Watching Television and Campfires of the Resistance.

He gave three lectures on media, revolutions, and democracy as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo between March 23 and 29.

He has contributed to many books and published widely in general periodicals (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Boston Globe, Dissent, The New Republic, The Nation, Chronicle of Higher Education, Wilson Quarterly, Harper’s, American Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review, The American Prospect, The Occupied Wall Street Journal, LA Review of Books, Washington Spectator, et al.), online magazines (,,,  and scholarly journals.   He is on the editorial board of Dissent and a contributing writer to Mother Jones.

He has been a columnist at the New York Observer and the San Francisco Examiner. His poems have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Yale Review, and The New Republic.

In 2000, Sacrifice won the Harold U. Ribalow Prize for books on Jewish themes.  The Sixties and The Twilight of Common Dreams were Notable Books in the New York Times Book Review. Inside Prime Time received the nonfiction award of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association; The Sixties was a finalist for that award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

He holds degrees from Harvard University (mathematics), the University of Michigan (political science), and the University of California, Berkeley (sociology). He was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society, in 1963-64, and coordinator of the SDS Peace Research and Education Project in 1964-65, during which time he helped organize the first national demonstration against the Vietnam War and the first American demonstrations against corporate aid to the apartheid regime in South Africa. During 1968-69, he was an editor and writer for the San Francisco Express Times, and through 1970 wrote widely for the underground press.  In 2003-06, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA.

He is now a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University. Earlier, he was for sixteen years a professor of sociology and director of the mass communications program at the University of California, Berkeley, and then for seven years a professor of culture, journalism and sociology at New York University. During 1994-95, he held the chair in American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has been the Bosch Fellow in Public Policy at the American Academy in Berlin, a resident at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy and at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California, a fellow at the Media Studies Center in New York, and a visiting professor  at Yale University, the University of Oslo, the University of Toronto, East China Normal University in Shanghai, the Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis in Tunisia, the American University of Cairo, and the Université de Neuchatel (Switzerland).

He lectures frequently on culture and politics in the United States and abroad (Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Greece, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, Egypt). He has appeared on many National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air as well as PBS, ABC, CBS and CNN. He lives in New York City with his wife, Laurel Cook.

Public Lecture:

Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly

Is your freedom of assembly under threat? 

  • The fundamental right of freedom of assembly in our democratic system is being threatened
  • Almost all state constitutions contain a reference to the goal for the common good as a justification for free assembly.  (In the State of Washington, from example:”SECTION 4 RIGHT OF PETITION AND ASSEMBLAGE. The right of petition and of the people peaceably to assemble for the common good shall never be abridged.”)
  • Social Media has become a forum for public assembly
anndarling3Ann Darling, Ph.D.

University of Utah

A native of New Mexico, Professor Darling earned her BA in Secondary Education and MA in Communication at the University of New Mexico, taught high school in New Mexico for three years and earned her PhD at the University of Washington. She held her first faculty appointment at the University of Illinois before joining the faculty at the University of Utah in 1992.

Since joining the University of Utah, she served as the Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence for six years before becoming chair of the Department of Communication in 2002. In July of 2011 she began Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies in charge of General Education. She has earned a major campus wide teaching award at each institution in which she has taught culminating in being recognized with the University of Utah’s prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award in 2002.

Professor Darling is actively involved in WSCA and NCA regularly holding offices and sitting on committees in both associations. Currently she is on NCA’s Centennial Committee and a Program Planner for the 2011 and 1012 conventions. She is the Second Vice President of WSCA and will coordinate the 2011 Undergraduate Research Conference. Professor Darling has attended annual conventions for both of these associations every year since 1984.

Her work focuses on questions related to communication and instruction. She has written numerous articles addressing issues of teacher socialization, communication, and instruction. Recently her work as turned to questions about communication education and social justice. She teaches courses related to instructional design and communication pedagogy for social justice.

deannadannelsDeanna Dannels, Ph.D.

North Carolina State University

Dr. Deanna Dannels is Professor and Director of Graduate Teaching Assistant Development for the Department Communication and Associate Director of the Campus Writing and Speaking Program at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Dannels has earned several teaching and research awards, including the John I. Sisco Excellence in Teaching Award from the Southern States Communication Association, the Outstanding Teacher Award from North Carolina State University, and the National Council of Teachers of English Best Article on Pedagogy in Technical or Scientific Communication.  She is a graduate of Gonzaga University Honors Program/Speech Communication.  Her senior thesis, under the supervision of Dr. John Caputo, was on Classical Rhetoric entitled Paidea and Culture.  She is also a coauthor with Dr. Caputo on three editions of Communicating Effectively: Linking Thought with Expression.  Dr Dannels’ teaching experiences include courses in instructional communication, communication education, ethnographic research methods, conflict management, and multidisciplinary teaming.  Her research focuses on teaching and learning of communication in multiple disciplinary contexts and new teacher socialization and training.  In terms of research, Dr. Dannels\’ recent theoretical contributions have focused on understanding teaching and learning from a relational perspective and she is currently working on a teacher training book grounded in the lived narratives and experiences of new teachers in various contexts.  As a teacher, researcher and administrator, Dr. Dannels is committed to approaching the academy with a mindset of curiosity and working towards ethnographic understanding in all teaching and learning moments.


Leaning and Learning into the Future

We believe that the focus of research in communication and instruction ought to revolve around student learning. And, we believe that there is little time to waste. Colleges and Universities, teachers and administrators, have an immediate need to better understand how learning happens for students and what experiences facilitate or inhibit learning. Using an ethnographic approach to knowing (an approach that is fundamentally about learning) we will be exploring the communicative features and definitions of learning in the 21st Century. Of course we will be very interested in how people learn about communication, but we’re also interested in broad explorations of the different aspects of communication that influence learning regardless of content or setting (e.g., technology, interpersonal relationships, culture, etc.).  This will be a generative course; that is, we will be working together as a research team to pose and respond to questions about how people communicate to learn and learn to communicate.

Public Lecture:

Will the Sirens Sing to You? Making Learning Matter in the 21st Century

In a review of the newly popular but concerning book, Academically Adrift, James Rosenbaum of Northwestern University writes, “Arum and Roksa’s findings raise questions that should have been raised long ago about who profits from college and what colleges need to do if they are to benefit new groups of students.” We believe that communication has much to inform questions about how to make college matter to new groups of students and students who, increasingly, learn in new ways. Our public lecture will offer insight into how we see communication as instrumental in a conversation about learning and relevance in the 21st Century. It will highlight both established leaders in the field (and other fields invested in exploring learning) and our own personal experiences with the curiosities and conundrums involved with making education relevant in a complex world—making the case for why it matters so much right now.


GerryPhilipsenGerry Philipsen, Ph.D.
University of Washington

Gerry Philipsen is Professor of Communication at the University of Washington. He studies culturally distinctive codes of communicative conduct, and is the originator of the influential speech codes theory, an empirically grounded, testable, and tested scientific theory. Over the past thirty four years at the University of Washington he has supervised thirty four doctoral dissertations that, taken together, encompass long-term fieldwork in nine language varieties and nine countries. He teaches the arts of discussion, conciliation, advocacy, intercultural communication, communal speech, and ethnography. At the university he has been department chair, chair of the faculty senate, and secretary of the university faculty. Presently he is a conciliation officer for faculty-administration disputes and founding director of the university’s Center for Local Strategies Research. In 1984 he received the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award and in 2000 its first award for Faculty Distinguished Contribution to Lifelong Learning.

“Finding One\’s Feet in Unfamiliar Terrain: Cracking the Code(s)”

Cultural codes of communication: what they are and how they shape communicative conduct and life in general.  Learn how to succeed in unfamiliar situations.

In this course, students considered how to learn cultural codes of communicative conduct in situations that are initially unfamiliar. The goal was to give some tools and insights into finding your way toward satisfying and effective participation in situations, groups, organizations, communities, and countries where participation is necessary or desirable, and important, and where learning local codes might be crucial to success.

Given the setting of the course, in a graduate program in leadership and communication, the approach taken will give special attention to ways leaders can learn local cultural codes of communicative conduct. The readings include four case studies, of organizational actors trying to find their way in culturally problematic situations, in addition to some basic theoretical and practical statements.

List of topics:

  • Coming to terms with cultures
  • Cultural words
  • Linguistic action verbials
  • Cultural words in a difficult encounter
  • Meta-communicative words and expressions
  • Searching for interpretive premises across differences
  • A situational model for culturally patterned communicative conduct
  • Reading situations
  • Strategic leadership
  • Incarnate leadership


brenmurphyBren O. Murphy, Ph.D.
Loyola University, Chicago

Bren Ortega Murphy has been a faculty member in Communication Studies at Loyola University Chicago since 1984. She later joined the Women’s Studies faculty and now holds a joint appointment in both the School of Communication and the Women’s Studies/Gender Studies program in the College of Arts & Sciences. She has taught numerous courses in both of these areas and in 1996 received the Sujack Award for teaching excellence. She has been the department chair for Communication, Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, Chair of Faculty Council, Director of Women’s Studies and interim Graduate director for Women’s Studies.

Dr. Murphy’s research areas include gender representation in popular culture, gender socialization, the glass ceiling phenomena, communication ethics, and service learning. In addition to numerous conference articles and book chapters, she is the co-author of Hegemony in the Unites States [with Lee Artz] and co-editor of Voices of Strong Democracy [with David Droge].

She has written, directed and produced one radio documentary and two video documentaries, the latest of which is A Question of Habit: the image of women religious in U.S. popular culture, narrated by Susan Sarandon. Dr. Murphy is currently engaged in a 3-year international project on democracy, culture and Catholicism sponsored by the Joan & Bill Hank Center for Catholic Intellectual Heritage.

Outside Loyola, Dr. Murphy has held office in many professional organizations including the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender  and the National Communication Association. She has served on numerous boards for academic journalism and nonprofit organizations.  She has also been a corporate consultant to regional, national and international organizations, working throughout North America and Western Europe.

Dr. Murphy and her husband Chris Murphy, Director of Mission Formation & Pastorial Care at Loyola, have two children, both of whom graduated from Jesuit universities. The Murphy family spent a year at the Rome Center from 1998-99 where Dr. Murphy taught, Chris served as campus chaplain and the children attended Italian school.

Dr. Murphy earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.


This course examined patterns of depiction of women in mainstream U. S films. Exploration of the intersections of media images, the ethics of representation and feminist theory is grounded in several assumptions: that popular media both shapes and responds to socio-political issues, that media images are a significant aspect of the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, that cinematic depictions of women and girls has often been particularly constrained regarding issues of moral agency and leadership and that feminist critical theory offers a valid framework with which to understand these messages and create alternative ones if we wish.

Public Lecture:


Veiled Threats: the image of women religious in U.S. popular culture?

johnpaulyJohn J. Pauly, Ph.D.
Marquette University

Dr. John J. Pauly, is the provost of Marquette University.  Reporting to the president, Dr. Pauly is responsible for academic affairs and institutional planning. As Provost he provides intellectual vision and leadership for the 10 academic deans and the dean of libraries.

Prior to assuming the role of provost, Dr. Pauly was the dean of the J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication from 2006 to 2008.

Pauly specializes in the history and sociology of the mass media, the theory and practice of literary journalism, and cultural approaches to communication research. He has worked previously at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina (1978-79); Fordham University in New York City (1979-81); the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (1981-86);  the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma (1986-93); and Saint Louis University in Missouri (1993-2006). He served as chair of the communication department at Saint Louis for nine years, and held a secondary appointment as professor of American Studies for five years.

Pauly received a bachelor of science in journalism with honors in 1972, a master of science in journalism in 1974, and a Ph.D. in communication in 1979, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Pauly has published more than 80 scholarly journal articles, book chapters, reviews and essays, and made numerous presentations in his fields of interest to both academic and professional organizations. He is a member of the editorial board of Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism and was formerly a board member of Critical Studies in Mass Communication and Journalism Monographs.

He edited the quarterly journal of the American Journalism Historians Association from 1989 to 1993. Pauly has also held several offices within the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, most recently on its research committee.

While at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Pauly was a fellow at the Center for Twentieth Century Studies at UWM and a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for College Teachers. In 2002 and 2006, the Student Government Association at Saint Louis honored him for excellence in teaching.

In addition to his teaching and scholarship, Pauly has served as a writing skills consultant to private businesses, a technical writer and editor for the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Champaign, and a drama reviewer for The Courier in Urbana.

Public Lecture:
Organizations as Moral Actors

Organizations have moral careers as they encounter internal and external challenges. Dr. Pauly will look at the contemporary Jesuit University as an example of this moral and ethical dynamic.


standeetzStan Deetz, Ph.D.
University of Colorado

Stan Deetz is a Professor in the Graduate School, University of Colorado at Boulder. Director of the Center for the Study of Conflict, Collaboration and Creative Governance and the Peace and Conflict Studies Program; Project Management Team for Institutional Evaluation and Transformation for the proposed Center for STEM Learning (CSL); and a President’s Teaching Scholar.

He is author/co-author of over 140 scholarly articles and author/editor of twelve books including the award winning, Democracy in an Age of Corporate Colonization.  His research focuses on alternative conceptions and practices of communication and democracy and the micro-practices of power focusing primarily in the organizational context.  His professional practice has worked with the design of interaction processes for cross-functional and multi-party decision making both within organizations and between organizations and external communities.  He has lectured and worked on projects in nineteen countries.  He has served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar and is a National Communication Association Distinguished Scholar and an International Communication Association Past-President and Fellow.

Public Lecture:
The Declaration of Interdependence: The Rise of Stakeholder Governance Models and the Kind of Communication Necessary for Them

Democracy to be effective must occur where political decisions are made. Stakeholder governance models offer conceptions of how democracy might be rethought in light of these shifts. Deetz has shown how our models of talking and making decisions are linked to liberal democratic institutions and the 18thth century models of communication embedded in them. As Ben Barber has argued, liberal democracy was designed more to keep us safely apart than productively together. This problem is compounded by globalization and increased competition over resources. The conflict caused by this situation further illuminates the weakness of existing models of discussion and decision- making. Deetz builds from his work on community collaborations in local and global contexts to show how more creative and satisfying decisions can be made in especially high conflict situations.

ken_pickeringKen Pickering, Ph.D.
Arts Education at the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education in London

Ken Pickering BA (Open), MA (Wales), MPhil (Sussex), PhD (Calif) wrote his first poems at the age of five and appeared in Shakespeare\’s The Tempest as a schoolboy. He trained as a drama and music teacher at the University of London Goldsmiths\’ College and went on to become a lecturer in teacher training colleges. He wrote his first stage works with the composer Keith Cole and later wrote many plays and musicals for Channel Theatre, one of the UK\’s leading touring theatre companies. He has adjudicated the Speech and Drama sections of every leading Festival in the UK. For many years he edited the journal Speech and Drama and was accordingly made an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama. He is one of the founders of The Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education in London (IATE). He chaired the team that established the first university validated Performing Arts Degree in the UK at the University of Kent and went on to establish the first BA degree with Classical Ballet at its core at the London College of Dance and Drama. Ken was Professor of Theatre (teaching directing, acting and play-writing) and subsequently Visiting Scholar in Residence in Communication and Leadership at Gonzaga University, Washington, USA.

Ken is a prolific author of books, plays and musicals, and two of his works, Drama in the Cathedral and The Mysteries at Canterbury Cathedral, were the Times Literary Editor\’s choice of Book of the Week. His Studying Modern Drama and Key Concepts in Drama and Performance and Theatre Studies (Palgrave Macmillan) are both very popular with students. His book The Performer\’s Anthology was published by Janus and his Choreographing the Stage Musical, written with Margot Sunderland, has just been re-issued by Players Press in the USA. His most recent publications are: Great Neglected Speeches from the Elizabethan Stage, published in the US by Players Press; Theatre: the First Stages (co-authored with Anthea Preston); and Jesus Centre Stage (Highland Press) co-authored with Tony Jasper for whom he has directed several touring productions. Ken is currently working on a book on Naturalism and the Theatre for Palgrave with Kent colleague Jayne Thompson.

Although he is recognized as one of Britain\’s leading directors of Medieval Drama following his massive productions in Canterbury and Birmingham Cathedrals, Malvern Priory and Tewkesbury Abbey, he has also directed professional opera and many professional tours with Images and Jasperian Theatre Companies.

Professor Pickering has recently concluded five years as Chief Examiner in Speech, Drama and Communication for Trinity College, London- a body that conducts assessment of theatre and communication skill throughout the English-speaking world. He has combined this work with his career as writer, director and academic: he is the author of 20 plays and musicals and a large number of books on theatre, of which his most recent, Key Concepts in Drama and Performance (2005) is widely used in University drama departments. He is Academic Adviser to four British Universities in Performing Arts and to Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts

Ken is one of the UK’s busiest librettists and wrote the libretto for the celebrations of the Millennium in the historic seaport of Dover. His most recent musical play Advent Journey is about to be published. He has also made a specialty of directing and acting in major Cathedrals and appeared as Thomas a Becket for a special production of Murder in the Cathedral in Canterbury Cathedral before an audience of Bishops from around the world!

Public Lecture:

Performing Arts Education

Dr. Pickering will speak about Performing Arts Education in the UK and, in particular, his role as Academic Adviser to Paul McCartney\’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. He will draw upon his recent experience in assessing young people\’s performance skills in Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, USA, Germany, Singapore, and Hong Kong and offer his reflections on how the USA University system differs from other cultures.

robinwynardRobin Wynyard, Ph.D.

Christ Church University

Canterbuy, England

Dr. Robin Wynyard is a sociologist who specializes in communication and aesthetics and is a world expert in the field of MacDonaldization and Globalization of Organizations.  Dr. Wynyard, Visiting Scholar in Residence, Gonzaga University, Visiting Scholar, Christ Church University College, Canterbury, England, Professor and Director of Doctoral Programs at Mediterranean College, Athens, Greece, and Professor Emeritus, Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan


The Big Mac as Global Communicator

The course through a study of the McDonald’s fast food restaurant chain attempts to situate and theorize globalization. In it three conceptual components will be studied in depth.

Firstly, the form and nature that globalization might take it order to facilitate a study of it. We will examine what part the rapid development of technology has played in communicating manifestations of globalization. An attempt will be made to answer the question, how has the nature and form of globalization changed over the last twenty years? Would a modern description of it lead to a restructuring of previous notions of capital, thus enabling what some postmodern critics see as a change in emphasis from the production status of modernity to the consumerism of postmodernity?

Secondly, the course, taking the example of McDonald’s, as part of the perceived proliferation of global forms of communication will examine the nature of the branded image as global signifier. In particular, with reference to this, the arguments of the sociologist George Ritzer in his book The McDonaldization of Society will be used to stimulate class discussion as to how far globalization has become an empirical reality.

Finally, drawing on earlier questions posed in the course, the class will be asked to define conceptual components of the new millennium. Has the year 2000 made an important epistemological break with the preceding century?  Using food as the key communicator of trends, we will trace the theoretical moves in following through modernity to postmodernity, in order, to see with the new millennium whether it is possible to add on another label of post postmodernity. If the Big Mac was a key communicator is signifying Fukuyama’s End of History, can it now be argued that events have led to the terminal decline of global phenomena like McDonald’s? The new millennium may, with events like 9/11, signal a new phase of consumer control and resistance, where the phrase concerning food might be ‘Eat in moderation what you want as long as it is not McDonald’s.’

The Public Lecture:

McDonldization/Globalization and Communication

McDonald’s represents a monumentally important development and the process it has helped spawn. McDonaldization is engulfing more and more sectors of society and areas of the world including education, health care and even coffee!


  • What part has the rapid development of technology played in communicating manifestations of globalization?
  • How has the nature and form of globalization changed over the last twenty years?
  • What is the nature of the branded image as global signifier?
  • If the Big Mac was a key communicator in signifying Fukuyama’s End of History, can it now be argued that events have led to the terminal decline of global phenomena like McDonald’s?
  • Will the new millennium, with events like 9/11, signal a new phase of consumer control and resistance, where the phrase concerning food might be ‘Eat in moderation what you want as long as it is not McDonald’s.’?

Program information subject to change.

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