Fall 2011 Media & Communications Freshman Seminar “Spiritual Communication”

For the first time, the Fisher Hassenfeld Media & Communications Residential Program is offering a Freshman Seminar on “Spiritual Communication” taught by the Penn Integrates Knowledge Distinguished Professor John Jackson, Jr of the Annenberg School for Communication.  This special seminar will be taught in Goldberg Lounge (2nd floor of the archway in Fisher Hassenfeld) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am-noon.  Media & Comm students can roll out of bed and head to class next to their room to learn from one of the most engaging and highly respected faculty on campus.  You can find Comm 105-401 in the Penn in Touch course search as you look for classes this summer.

Check out the course description:

“Spiritual Communication”

Comm 105-401, Tues-Thurs 10:30-noon, Goldberg Lounge in Fisher Hassenfeld

Spirit Photography. Séances. Exorcisms. Divine intervention. Prayer. Despite their substantial differences, what do these genres/forms have in common? Each one is (differently) predicated on assumptions about human conversations/connections with spirits, deities, and/or demons. This class will examine the culturally specific ways in which human beings theorize and operationalize their capacity (and longing) to speak with sentient beings from other realms. How do societies organize the project of communication with seemingly disembodied (and sometimes quite decidedly non-human) subjects? How have advances in media technologies (for instance, photography, telegraphy, and film) served as mechanisms for re-imagining potential links between human speakers and otherworldly interlocutors? This course also tries to examine some of what the story of 19th century spiritualism and early 20th century mass media technology might tell us about the field of Communication Studies more generally, and its points of convergence with (and divergence from) the discipline of Anthropology.

Still not sure this seminar is for you?  Check out these two videos that connect to the readings you would be doing for class:

College students taking the “Spiritual Communication” seminar will also fulfill a sector requirement!

Questions about this seminar or how it might fit into your Fall schedule?  Please email Molly McGlone, Fisher College House Fellow and Assistant Dean for Advising in the College of Arts and Sciences, at <mmcglone@sas.upenn.edu> with your concerns or questions.

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