Professor Dutta’s courses are founded upon the integration of theory and practice in the context of contemporary global problems. The emphasis on Critical, Postcolonial and Subaltern Studies theories is weaved through the courses taught by Dutta, situated amidst the articulation of entry points for structural transformations. Therefore, there is a continuous interrelationship between theory and practice, with the goal of building higher order theory that is instructive in the co-creation of participatory spaces for listening to subaltern voices and for de-centering the West-centric hegemony of communication knowledge. There is a strong element of deconstruction that is built into Professor Dutta’s courses, coupled with an emphasis on reflexive and ethnographic methodologies for carving out spaces of solidarity with subaltern communities. The theoretical engagement with critical theory and the Subaltern Studies project creates an entry point for advocacy, politics of social change, and culture-centered praxis. It is with this emphasis on advocacy and politics of change that Professor Dutta occasionally teaches service learning courses that engage undergraduate and graduate students in addressing the structures of inequity under neoliberalism.
COM 253: Introduction to Public Relations
This course introduces students to the fundamental principles of public relations. Course-content covers a process-based perspective of public relations, the role of strategy in public relations planning, strategic principles in public relations, the relationship with research and strategy, and tactical principles in media relations, community relations, and message design.
COM 353: Problems in Public Relations
Designed as a service learning experience, this course is designed to provide students a flavor for working with clients. Built upon the foundations of strategic public relations, the course equips students with skills to conduct situation analyses, develop problem statements, develop objectives and strategies based on research, develop and implement tactics and evaluate the campaign at the end of the semester.
COM 456: Advertising Copywriting
The objective of this course is to create an immersion learning experience for students where they work with a client to develop advertising objectives, copy strategy, and print and broadcast copy for the client. Examples of projects include the Purdue Cyberinfrastructure campaign where students worked with the client to design and implement the campaign.
COM 676U: Culture and Health
How does culture interact with structure in the realm of the health experiences of individuals and communities that reside at the margins of health care systems? This course addresses the variety of ways in which culture is conceptualized and studied in the context of health communication processes and messages. It introduces the student to the culture-centered approach to the study of marginalization in health care settings, articulating the importance of centralizing subaltern voices in the discursive space.
COM 676C: Communication Campaigns
The objective of this course is to introduce students to the principles and theories of health communication campaigns. Based upon case studies of individual health campaigns implemented in the US and in international settings, the course discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the different theoretical frameworks that are implemented in campaign research. The course covers micro, meso and macro level theories in the area of campaigns.
COM 610R: Culture, Marginalization, and Resistance
This course explores the intersections of culture, marginalization and resistance, paying particular attention to understanding those communication processes and messages that constitute marginalization and offer opportunities for social change through the enactment of resistance to the dominant social structures. The approach to culture proposed in the course will seek to elucidate those elements of the local context that are dynamic and offer opportunities for change. It is within this multilayered and dynamic web of culture that privileged social actors exert power and control, and create conditions of marginalization.
COM 600: Foundations of Human Communication Inquiry I
This course is the first in a two-course sequence that introduces doctoral students to core approaches for understanding human communication and provides them with the theoretical background and analytic skills needed to navigate the tensions among these approaches. The course reviews the intellectual history of communication inquiry, overviews foundational questions about human communication, examines the ways in which these questions can be addressed from different perspectives, addresses some of the varied forms that knowledge about human communication can take, and explores how different research traditions go about making and warranting knowledge claims.
COM 610P: Postcolonial Approaches to Communication
Drawing from the historic and contemporary literature in postcolonial theory, the course explores the politics of representation that underlies the projects of imperialism, colonialism, neoimperialism, and neocolonialism. The discussion of postcolonial theory is situated amidst theorization of postcolonial methodology and praxis directed at imagining spaces of change in the neoliberal landscape.
COM 676C: Critical Cultural Approaches to Communication
The course explores the theoretical foundations of critical cultural approaches to the study of communication, the methodological and theoretical issues embodied in critical cultural approaches, and the questions of praxis that connect critical cultural theory to a politics of social transformation and social change across the globe. The key question we will engage with emphasizes the possibilities of transformation in the backdrop of the transnational dominance of neoliberal hegemony, and the role that communication research and theory play with reference to such transformations.