Felicia Roberts at Purdue University
Department of Communication



Brian Lamb School at Purdue

Courses Taught

COM 212:  Introduction to Interpersonal Communication

This course is designed to introduce students to the study of interpersonal communication and to encourage the application of new knowledge about interaction to personal and professional situations. By examining what makes up the communication process both verbally and nonverbally, we learn about how we establish and make sense of who we are in relationship to one another. The goal of the course is to raise awareness of the communication process by teaching analytic skills and theoretical approaches that will be transferable into any area of private or public life.

COM 300: Research Methods in Communication

This course introduces students to the development and application of qualitative and quantitative empirical research methods pertinent to communication studies and other social sciences. The course is designed to 1) develop the ability to critique research and 2) train students to plan and carry out theoretically grounded and methodologically appropriate research.

COM 368: Sociolinguistics of African American English

For numerous reasons, the variety of English spoken by many African Americans is unique among American dialects. This course examines this particular variety of English, focusing on linguistic structure, historical development, uses and variation within the African American community and role in U.S. culture at large. The course culminates by considering the debate surrounding African American Vernacular English in educational settings. By learning to view AAVE as a linguistic system, and separating that from the historical (and current) social stigma attached to the speakers of this variety, we will be better equipped as educators and citizens to evaluate claims and proposals related to nonstandard varieties. The goal of the course is to raise awareness of the historical development and systematic features of AAVE, its place in American culture, and to equip students to evaluate long standing myths and prejudices surrounding this language variety.

COM 565: Sociolinguistics

This course is an introduction to the relationship between language and society and the role of language in society. Language behavior is understood as a primary index of social, cultural, personal and professional identity. As such, the readings, class discussions, exercises, and research projects provide a foundation in areas such as language and identity, language change, language policy and planning, and other areas of inquiry that touch on how individuals and communities formulate their worlds through language practices.

COM 612 F: Discourse in Healthcare Settings

This seminar explores face-to-face interaction in healthcare settings. We begin by considering Western medical practice as it has developed over time, examining changes in the provider/patient relationship. We then consider and critique various theoretical approaches to the study of discourse in healthcare settings. Finally, we devote ourselves to empirical studies of contemporary Western medical practice to see how/whether issues of authority, culture, "life-worlds", gender, and so on play out as theoretical & lay understandings would lead us to expect. Students will have weekly readings along with several written responses to readings and discussions. A substantive seminar paper/research project will be presented to the class in written and oral formats.

COM 612G: Language & Gender

This course explores the intersection of language and social identity, primarily gendered identity. We will first examine the structure and patterning of language practices (in terms of gender) and then move beyond "differences" to understand how gender is enacted in face-to-face interaction (and, time permitting, in texts.) We will cover conceptual and empirical material, reviewing sociolinguistic theory & findings as they relate to language variation and change, and then take a hands-on approach to analyzing gender as an enacted resource in interaction. The two main goals of the course are (1) to provide a contemporary understanding of how identity is linguistically performed and (2) to examine gender as an interactional achievement and resource, not an individual trait.

COM 682: Discourse Analysis: Focus on Talk-in-Interaction

This course is concerned with the structure and patterning of language and social interaction. We will cover both conceptual material and take a hands-on approach to analyzing conversational data. The two main goals of the course are (1) to master a particular set of skills for detailed qualitative analysis of talk-in-interaction and (2) to bring to awareness the ways that such interaction is orderly and organized. We will examine "ordinary" conversation and consider how interactional structures are altered and adjusted to accomplish institutional settings (mostly medical settings, but other data will be available and will be welcomed from students.)