The College of Communication will add a new major, to be available next fall.
Margaretha Geertsema Sligh, the interim program director, said she and other faculty members are taking courses in Critical Media Studies and Rhetoric, combining them for the Media, Rhetoric and Culture major.
“We want students to learn about arguments made, the production of meaning through media and social justice, especially where it intersects where media and social justice meet,” Geertsema Sligh said.
This major has been approved by the College of Communication Curriculum Committee and is pending approval from the university.
The courses are mainly theory-based and argumentation is used to promote certain cases.
“We’re really excited about this course,” Geertsema Sligh said. “Each class will be different with each professor, and it will help fulfill the Indianapolis Community Requirement.”
Each student must then pick four of 12 electives offered to fulfill requirements.
According to the major proposal, “This major and minor will situate the MRC program, and CCOM generally, at the cutting edge of communication programs by bringing together two complimentary areas of study within the field of communication.”
Geertsema Sligh said the new major shows synergy in the college.
“Usually critical media studies and rhetoric are separate studies; it’s very rare to see them both together,” she said. “We are cross-pollinating these topics and infusing them together.”
Ann Savage, another faculty member working on the major, said it will prepare students well for life after Butler.
“The Media, Rhetoric and Culture major really prepares students for the working world, as well as graduate school,” she said.
Savage also said that this major works well with other majors.
“The College of Communication is not a professional college,” Savage said. “We are quite unique, with a mixture of all majors, such as the humanities and the social sciences.”
Other faculty members who are working with the major are Allison Harthcock, Kristin Swenson, Kristen Hoerl, Casey Kelly and David Waite.
“It’s a high quality major,” Savage said. “It’s also a great compliment to other majors.”
Even visitors to the college are interested in the major.
“When the Board of Visitors visited, one of them was really excited about this major because it blends other majors together perfectly,” Savage said.
As scheduling for next semester gets closer, the Media, Rhetoric and Culture faculty hope students will be as interested as they are.
“This new College of Communication made this new major,” Geertsema Sligh said. “We can’t wait for next semester, and we have already gained a few inquiries, so they will be enrolled as soon as we get this major approved from the university.”