CCT505: Interdisciplinary Problems and Methods - Fall 2017

505 introduces students to interdisciplinary studies in the Communication, Culture & Technology program. It is a how-to for developing expertise and contributing to an intellectual community that puts the student in the driver’s seat. Students will explore interdisciplinarity in communications, cultural, media, and technology studies by taking the initial steps to identify the communities to which they want to matter, to determine what foundations/assumptions/viewpoints exist in said community, and to figure out how to contribute knowledge to the ongoing conversation.

Themes for the course for Fall 2017 are: professionalism, discomfort, and facts.

Professionalism - you will be expected to be prepared and prompt. Remember the work you produce reflects on your reputation.

Discomfort - graduate school is only comfortable if you’re doing it incorrectly. Embrace the discomfort of new people, experiences, information, and knowledge.

Facts - facts are hard to pin down these days. The course revolves around the question - how do you (or anyone else) know what you know?

These themes will infiltrate each of the three phases of the course:

Phase 1 Developing Interdisciplinary Expertise - who are you talking to and what are they saying?

  1. Breaking into a community

  2. Creating a foundation

  3. Using theory

Phase 2 Practicing Interdisciplinary Expertise - how do you know what you know?

  1. Research questions

  2. Quantitative questions

  3. Qualitative questions

  4. Methods in humanities and Engineering

  5. Alumni expertise

Phase 3 Bringing it together - pitch it

  1. Team pitch (pitch night)

  2. Personal pitch (bio)

This course will help you figure out who you are in CCT and where you’ll go afterward. This process serves as the initial steps we each take in becoming valuable contributors, experts, and creators.

It should be clear at the outset that these lectures are not comprehensive. Rather, students will explore vital CCT problems using a consistent set of questions from divergent disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological perspectives. In this sense, the students will learn approaches to think critically about problems, rather than a set body of knowledge, theory, or method.

Georgetown course page