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Communication Studies Professor offers Innovative Course in Entertainment-Education to Change Lives

Internationally recognized health communication scholar Dr. John Pollock will offer an innovative course in behavior change in spring, 2013: COM 487: Advanced Student-Faculty Research course on “Entertainment Education (EE): Saving Lives”.  Pollock has not offered this topic before, and he is synthesizing syllabi from scholar-friends, among them a leading EE scholar in the US (Arvind Singhal) and a leading EE scholar in South Africa (Keyan Tomeselli at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban). The EE approach has been enormously successful in developing countries, using village level drama, song, and dance, up through nationally broadcast radio and TV dramas, at helping people lead healthier, less risky lives.  EE activities have been especially effective at encouraging safe sex, family planning, and access to non-contaminated water.

Pollock envisions the course, limited to fifteen students, as a seminar/workshop tailored to the individual goals of each participant, resembling a “master class” for students to develop their own interests.  Three dimensions of the course merit emphasis:

 

a. It is fun (Entertainment, by definition, is fun.).

b. It involves a course that can change behavior; even save lives (EE has a track record of success in developing countries, in particular in Mexico and several countries in Africa.)

c. It is empowering (Several of the activities are ground-up, based on community or village creative activities in fashioning drama, song, dance rooted in local traditions in order to promote healthy and reduce risky behavior, all the way to the most sophisticated TV dramas.).

There are no pre-requisites, and the course can count toward the interdisciplinary health communication concentration. Please consider putting COM 487 in your course shopping carts.

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