Catherine Waite Phelan studies how the human and technological interface alters the social domain.
You will explore the principles of communication across contexts — interpersonal, social, political, economic, cultural and beyond place and time — and by means of various technologies. Through theory and practice, you will prepare for civic engagement beyond the classroom, in our highly mediated environment.
About the Minor
Students will investigate the diverse ways in which information technologies can alter the human communication environment. They’ll study the complex ways in which concerns with communication cannot be separated from ethical concerns. They’ll discern how interpersonal communication is fundamentally different from the varied forms of mediated communication.
The things that stand out the most from my time on the Hill are the relationships I built with both my professors and my peers. I think the fact that Hamilton is such a small community compared to other universities makes it extra special.
Meredith Kennedy '09
Communication has always been complex, and today’s mediated environment makes the complexity more obvious by creating the potential for confusion. For example, text messages omit context by eliminating intonation and gesture. When a society introduces new technologies such as the printing press, broadcast, or digital devices, communication’s norms and conventions inevitably will be altered.
Careers After Hamilton
- Operations Analyst, Disney and ESPN Media Networks
- Manager, Executive Talent Acquisition, PepsiCo.
- Senior Project Manager, Chapman Construction
- Ice Hockey Coach, New York University
- Homeland Security, The White House
- Kindergarten Teacher, International Preschools
- Director of Premium Sales, Boston Red Sox
- Founder and CEO, Full Court Peace
- Wealth Manager, Russo Financial Group
- Group Leader, Brooklyn Arts Exchange
Introduction to Communication 101FS
An introduction to the fundamental questions of the discipline. Investigates the role of symbolic communication, the essential features of interpersonal communication and group process, as well as the ways in which mediated communication alters perceptions of community and identity. Communication theories are supported by case studies that illustrate the relevance of communication for everyday life.View All Courses
Free Speech: Privacy and Advocacy 103F
Focuses on speech, privacy, and advocacy in order to explore the liberties and constraints of living in community with others. Instantaneous access to information via social media contributes to emerging questions regarding privacy and challenging new experiences of community. The course focuses on four related questions: Why do our communities require privacy? What does the American tradition teach us about privacy? How can advocacy weaken or strengthen community? What new forms of advocacy challenge our understanding of privacy? Writing-intensive. Oral Presentations.View All Courses
Crisis Communication: Social Change for Vulnerable Communities 303
Theories of environmental, health, safety, agricultural, and corporate risks and crises will be addressed. Focusing on the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, this course examines how communication policies and procedures provide a framework for social change in vulnerable communities. Based on real scenarios, students study risk assessment, risk perception, message design, crisis management, media relations, and barriers to effective risk and crisis communication.View All Courses
Journalism: History, Theory, and Practice 310F
Today the press is in a period of rapid change. Notions of journalistic objectivity and the social responsibility of the news media are subject to frequent challenges, and traditional business models are proving unworkable in the digital age. This course examines the historical evolution of journalistic norms, drawing on theories of communication scholars to clarify the interplay of media and politics. Students examine the tenets of objective reporting by crafting long form journalistic essays in response to current political debates. Writing-intensive. Oral Presentations.View All Courses
Digital Divisions: Race, Class, and Gender Online 316F
Though conventional wisdom suggests that the internet is a force for freedom and tolerance, it is also a place where existing biases and inequalities get replicated and at times magnified. This course explores the way social categories such as race, class, and gender persist online and the way various biases and prejudices are both combatted and enflamed in online spaces.View All Courses
Seminar: Communication Technologies and Society 451S
Theoretical analysis of how communication technology alters social construction of time, space, community and identity. Readings detail historical precedents in order to address future implications of emerging technologies.View All Courses
Next For Aleta Brown '17: The Business of Arts
‘In The Fray’: PR, Super PACS and Creative Problem Solving
During her sophomore year Hannah Fink ’19 launched a summer internship search with a focused approach and a clear idea of what she was after. The result a — full summer’s work as a public relations and social media intern at Praytell, a digital communications firm in Brooklyn with a roster of impressive clients.