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20605-2 - COMM 396 Fashion Media and Culture Course...

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COMM 396: Fashion, Media, and Culture Course Syllabus Spring, 2008 “You can make a statement by how you dress. Clothes are really a part of an expression; they make a statement about you. It’s sort of an introduction; it’s not you.” ---Ralph Lauren “Fashion is always part of dress . . . Dress is, in the fullest sense, a ‘social model,’ a more or less standardized picture of expected collective behaviour; and it is essentially at this level that it has meaning.” ---Roland Barthes Coach is like opinions, everybody’s got one.” ---Kenesha Greer “Damn, I wish I’d known that before I bought my wallet.” ---Durbin Instructor: Dr. Daniel T. Durbin Office: ASC 324D Office Hours: TTh 11:00-11:30, 2:00-2:30, W 5:30-6:30--- and by appointment. Phone: 821-6615 Email: [email protected] Course Objectives: Fashion is one of the fundamental ways in which humans communicate to each other about themselves and their desired self-image. This course examines the intersection between fashion, media, personal identity, and image management in today’s society. Drawing on theories of rhetorical and social criticism, we will examine how the fashion industry creates powerful and persuasive messages to sell a given image to consumers. We will also study how those images are reinforced and given authority through media. Finally, we will discuss how consumers co-opt these messages by purchasing fashion’s images, purchasing at once a sense of personal empowerment and an anxiety over conformity. We will study several critical approaches to public communication and apply those approaches to media, marketing, and the fashion industry. Required Reading: COMM 396 Course Notebook (at the bookstore) Arnold, Rebecca. Fashion, Desire and Anxiety: Image and Morality in the 20 th Century. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press 2001. Barnard, Malcom. Fashion as Communication. London: Routledge Press 2004 Barthes, Roland. The Language of Fashion. New York: Berg Publihers 2006.
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Weisberger, Lauren. The Devil Wears Prada. New York: Anchor Books 2006. Assignments: This course focuses on the communication aspects of fashion and social image. So, students will conduct research in the field of fashion, applying class concepts to fashion as presented by designers and in media. Students will write two critical analyses and take two exams. The first paper will examine a specific designer line, offering an analysis of that designer’s line as “communication,” the position of that line in the fashion world, and the impact of that line on popular culture. The second paper will examine the ways in which fashion magazines create the (written) language of fashion. Grade Breakdown: Participation----------------------------------------------------------------10 Fashion Designer Analysis Paper-----------------------------------------20 Fashion Magazine Analysis Paper----------------------------------------25 Midterm---------------------------------------------------------------------20 Final Exam------------------------------------------------------------------25 Total Points----------------------------------------------------------------100 Readings: I know the reading list may seem a bit excessive for an undergraduate course.
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