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Robert W Gehl

Associate Professor

Department of Communication

University of Utah

Courses I Teach

COMM 3510: Intro to Web Design

In this course, students will learn the basic tools, technologies, and practices of web design. Students will be introduced to a design methodology based on the concepts of user-centered design. Using these tools, technologies, and practices, the course will take students through the process of designing and creating a website for a client, with whom the student will work closely throughout the semester. By the end of the semester, students will be able to create basic websites and will be prepared to take COMM 5510, Advanced Web Design.

COMM 7640: Political Economy of New Media (seminar)

In this graduate seminar, we'll examine social networking sites, media sharing sites, and other "Web 2.0" sites as objects deeply entwined in late capitalism. We will draw on the work and ideas of Marx, Adam Smith, Dallas Smythe, Nick Dyer-Witheford, Marc Andrejevic, and Vincent Mosco, among others, to interrogate the blurry lines between production and consumption, labor and leisure, and users and site owners.

COMM 3640: Writing for New Media

This writing foundation course surveys the important components of writing in/for new media environments for entertainment, informational, educational, and interpersonal purposes. Media forms and platforms covered include narratives for film and TV, the Internet, e-games, documentaries, blogs, and personal media devices. Students discuss and evaluate new media writing and write their own new media content. Basic computer proficiency (word processing, Internet use) is required. Syllabus PDF

COMM 5690: The Culture of Computing

In Comm 5690, The Culture of Computing, we will explore the history of computing through three key lenses: the writings of computer scientists and software engineers, critical studies of computers and culture, and science fiction movies and literature. We will ask: what exactly is a computer? How are computers used? How have they affected our culture, and how do they reflect our culture? What is intelligence? Can intelligence be created in a machine? What is the computer's heritage as a military machine? What role does the Internet play in our lives? What role do women play in the culture of computing? Where do we go from here? To do this work, we will cover a wide range of material, from the science fiction of Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick to films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Matrix, from the writings of computer scientists such as Alan Turing, Marvin Minsky, and Vannevar Bush to critical studies of computing from authors like Jennifer Light, Alex Galloway, and Adrian MacKenzie. We will consider history and speculate about the future. We will move from science fiction to science fact. And we will watch movies and geek out over computing.

COMM 5640/6640: Communication Technology and Culture

This course examines the ideological context of evolving communication technologies as they function to structure, maintain, and alter power relations in contemporary society. Special attention is given to a) social construction of gender, race, national identity, and class by and through communicaiton technology; and b) the ideological valences of recent and emerging communication technologies. Syllabus PDF

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