Fall 2021 - CMNS 486 D200

Special Topics in Communication (4)

Communication & Sexuality

Class Number: 6675

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    BLU 11901, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Depends on topic; published before enrollment.



Intensive analysis of a particular topic in the general area of communication and/or attention to the work of a particular writer or school of thought. This course can be repeated for credit up to a maximum of three times, if topic studied is different.


This course explores sex and sexuality as communication practices and mediated experiences by considering a range of texts and topics related to the intersection of communication studies and sexuality studies. We will consider how normative understandings of sexuality are produced and reinforced through media technologies, and we will explore how queer media practices challenge these norms and offer alternative modes for understanding communication, mediation, and technology. Topics we will explore: social media; hookup and dating apps; porn; gaming; censorship and content moderation; HIV; online sex work; and queer approaches to thinking about data and code, amongst others. Our course approaches sexuality as inextricable from forms of social difference including but not limited to race, gender, class, and able-bodiedness.


  1. Gain a grounding in basic concepts in sexuality studies, and conceptual skills for understanding the ways in which sexuality is mediated.
  2. Develop skills reading and thinking about theory.
  3. Practise advanced research and project development skills.


  • Discussion Posts 20%
  • Reading Responses 30%
  • Research Proposal 20%
  • Research Project 30%



Course readings will be made available as PDFs through the course CANVAS site.


Course readings will be made available as PDFs through the course CANVAS site.

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.