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CMST 4E03 MEDIA & PROMOTIONALISM

Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2014/2015

Term: 2

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Faiza Hirji

Email: hirjif@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 305

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 21480

Website:

Office Hours: Thursday, 11:30-12:20 PM or by appointment



Course Objectives:

Students will acquire a sound understanding of theories and history of promotionalism, and will be able to apply these in an analysis of different media forms. They will refine their ability to research and communicate such ideas through formal presentations and written assignments. 


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Course Text: Coursepack for CMST 4E03. Additional readings online as noted in Schedule of Readings.


Method of Assessment:

Course Requirements:

Participation                      10%

Critical Response              15%                 as scheduled

Promotional Analysis         15%                 due in class January 26, 2015

Quiz                                    15%                March 2, 2015 (in class)

Presentation                       25%                as scheduled

Research project                20%                due April 6, 2015 in class

Note: Omitting to submit any of the above assignments may result in automatic failure. 

Participation:

Students are expected to attend class regularly and on time, and to participate in a manner that reflects knowledge of the assigned readings. This may include contribution to discussion, answering questions and completing in-class exercises. Disruptive behaviour (which includes texting in class and using your laptop for non-course-related purposes) and tardiness will negatively affect the participation mark. Attendance in itself is not enough to secure full participation marks.

Critical Response:

Each student will choose (or be assigned, if necessary) a reading to which (s)he will respond in class. The response is expected to discuss the reading’s core themes and to critique them, drawing on course concepts studied to date, as well as applicable examples of the student’s choosing. A written summary of the response, 2 double-spaced pages in length, should also be submitted to the instructor. 

Promotional Analysis:

Each student will write an analysis, maximum 5 pages double-spaced, of an instance where promotionalism is at work e.g. as a solution to a crisis, as a way to market a new product, etc. The analysis will offer a critical assessment of the reasons why the promotional technique failed/succeeded, and will also discuss any attendant ethical or organizational implications. Each analysis should incorporate relevant concepts or examples from the course readings. This analysis is due in class on January 26, 2015.

Quiz

A quiz covering material addressed to date will take place in class on March 2, 2015. This quiz will be a combination of multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer. 

Presentation:

Students will sign up for group presentation dates during the second week of classes. Groups will act as professionals presenting their ideas around a specific form of promotionalism to members of the class, who will respond as members from the corporation/organization receiving the pitch. Within this format, presentations should address an in-depth analysis of the chosen form of promotionalism, drawing upon relevant theoretical concepts and pertinent background. Presentations can incorporate multimedia and visual aids and should last no more than 45 minutes in total. Students are advised to present in groups of 2-3, but exceptions may be approved by the instructor. Please notify the instructor of the topic in advance, and try to ensure some alignment with the readings for that week.

Research Essay/Project:

The final research project should discuss the impact that a selected form of media promotionalism (e.g. ad campaign, marketing strategy, nation-branding) has on policy, the economy or society at large. Possible topics will be provided, but in each case, the essay/project will discuss appropriate background, theoretical perspectives and evidence supported by academic sources. It is expected that most students will complete the project in essay format, in which case the essay should be a maximum of 12-14 pages, including bibliography, and formatted using APA or MLA. The essay is due in class on April 6, 2015.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late Penalties:

Late assignments will be penalized one letter grade for each weekday after the deadline (e.g. an A grade becomes an A-, a B- becomes a C+, and so on). Failure to submit an assignment at all may result in automatic failure. 

Missed Work and Extensions

Missed assignments due to illness, death in the family, etc.

Students who cannot complete assignments due to medical or family emergencies should contact the instructor as soon as possible, and must submit official certificates to their home faculty office for review.

Students with disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140, ext. 2865 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities. 

Religious accommodation

Students who require accommodation due to religious holidays or events should contact the instructor and their home faculty office at the beginning of the semester to discuss alternate arrangements for assignment submission. 

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.


Topics and Readings:

COURSE SCHEDULE OF TOPICS

(Schedule of Readings will be provided at the first class)

 

January 5: Introduction to the study of promotionalism

January 12: Theories of promotionalism

**Critical responses begin**

January 19: On the outside looking in: Promotionalism and difference

January 26: Self-branding

**Assignment due**

February 2: Branding the nation

February 9: Rise of infotainment

**Presentations begin**

February 16: Winter Break!

February 23: Wire and lights in a box: TV and promotionalism

March 2: Now you see it: Advertising in all its forms

**Quiz**

March 9: Celebrity, spectacle, special effects

March 16: The wonderful world of Disney: Marketing to children

March 23: Buying a conscience: Can promotionalism change the world?

March 30: Promotionalism and politics in a soundbite universe

April 6: The future of promotionalism

**Research Project due**

 


Other Course Information:

Course Modification

The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes.  It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.

2. Improper collaboration in group work.

3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations. 

Email & On-line Learning

It is the policy of the CSMM Department that all email communication between students and instructors (including TAs) must originate from their official McMaster University email accounts. This policy protects the confidentiality and sensitivity of information and confirms the identities of both the student and instructor. Messages that do not originate from McMaster email accounts will be deleted.

Note also that in this course we will be using Avenue to Learn, the McMaster learning management system. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.