Fall 2019 - CMNS 347 E100

Communication in Conflict and Intervention (4)

Class Number: 3541

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Mon, 5:30–8:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 12, 2019
    Thu, 11:59–11:59 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    60 units including CMNS 110 and 130. Recommended: CMNS 247 and 362.



The role of communication, and in particular the mass media, in various types of conflict and the uses of communication-based strategies in the intervention, arbitration and mediation of those conflicts.



This course is an introduction to the role of communication in various types of conflict, and its uses and effects in interventions therein. It combines communication studies with sociological, theoretical and historical analyses of various global and local conflicts. Students who complete this course will be prepared to take more advanced courses in international communication, news analysis, political economy, media democratization, risk-communication etc.

Communication is understood broadly to include the general and impersonal forms mediated by technologies and mass media, to smaller-scale organizational forms, to private, even secret, forms of communication. Conflict in this version of the course refers to a range of situations, including organizational and community conflicts, war and genocide, and political and social struggle. The material discussed refers to news media, pop culture, Internet, and academic treatments of conflicts, and their uses in various forms of intervention.

Students will work individually or in groups on a research project, which will focus on a critical analysis of a communicative intervention (journalistic, popular culture, literary, etc.). In order to focus this wide range of issues, the course makes use of selected case studies for common discussion, while enabling students to develop a project of their choice. The graded exercise emphasizes a grasp of the conceptual literature and its link to specific communicative interventions in specific contemporary or historical conflicts.


  • Tutorial Presentation and Participation 20%%
  • Writing Assessments and Goals 0%%
  • Writing Assignment #1 25%%
  • Writing Assignment #2 (Optional) 25% or 0%%
  • Writing Assignment #3 (Option for Longer Assignment) 30% or 55%%


The school expects that the grades awarded in this course will bear some reasonable relation to established university-wide practices with respect to both levels and distribution of grades. In addition, the School will follow Policy S10.01 with respect to Academic Integrity, and Policies S10.02, S10.03 and S10.04 as regards Student Discipline. [Note: as of May 1, 2009 the previous T10 series of policies covering Intellectual Honesty (T10.02), and Academic Discipline (T10.03) have been replaced with the new S10 series of policies.]


A minimum 2.25 CMNS CGPA and 2.00 overall CGPA, and approval as a communication student is required for entry into most communication upper division courses.



There is no single required text for the course. We will read selections from a variety of books available from electronic sources or placed on reserve in the library.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html