SPCM 420 - Political Communication

  • 3 credits
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This course engages citizenship by exposing ourselves to the rhetoric of political campaigns and practicing the skills required to sustain democracy: participation, open-minded consideration, critical reflection, and the formation and justification of political judgment. We examine the rhetoric of political campaigns, critically assessing the communication of candidates and campaigns, as well as the rhetorical nature of political journalism. The course focuses on contemporary U.S. national political discourse; however local and/or historical information is addressed as needed.

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Uncivil Wars: Political Campaigns in a Media Age, 2nd Ed. (2008)
    Hollihan, Thomas A.
    ISBN: 978-0312478834
  • Woman President: Confronting Postfeminist Political Culture (2013)
    Sheeler, Kristina Horn and Anderson, Karrin Vasby
    ISBN: 978-1603449830

Additional required materials (readings, videos, PowerPoints, etc.) are provided on Canvas.


Kristin Slattery


Kristin Slattery is a Special Instructor in the Department of Communication Studies at Colorado State University. She teaches Introduction to Public Speaking, Advanced Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, and soon, Public Argumentation. Her interests vary but are generally focused on applied communication skills. She is committed to campus-community connections. She believes that as a communication studies major you are especially well equipped to be out doing good things for our community and our democracy. To that end, she advocates the use of community based research as well as service learning, and is proud to be part of a department that values these teaching methods.

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