Spring 2022 - CMNS 802 G100

History of Communication Theory (5)

Class Number: 3044

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 8:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 2531, Burnaby



A survey of classic works, issues and debates in communication theory.


Please note: CMNS 802 will be taught online via Zoom in Spring 2022. All seminars will be synchronous.

This course explores the emergence and development of key concepts and schools of communication theory over last two centuries to the present day. The course situates its developments in the context of the social, economic, political and cultural histories of western and non-western societies over the past two centuries in order to break away from ‘Eurocentric’ approaches to the study of communication and culture. In order to comprehend the complexity of continuities and raptures in the history of communication theory, in this course, we will approach the themes, issues and debates persisting in “modern” social thought along with those omitted or neglected within it by engaging with feminist thought, considering indigenous epistemologies, and well as such conceptual frameworks as posthumanism, media archaeology and materialist reading of media.


  • Seminar participation (12 x 2.5) - ongoing 30%
  • Paper pitch - due March 1 20%
  • Methods & history - due March 11 10%
  • Course paper - due April 12 40%



Course readings will be available as PDFs on the course Canvas page or come from SFU Library web resources.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

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 spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this 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 spring 2022 term.