DEI and Social Justice Courses

Two young Black children holding up protest signs

CFA's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Courses

At LMU’s College of Communication and Fine Arts, we encourage and support all students in learning more about the complex nexus of race, culture, diversity, gender, identity and inclusion. The courses listed below are just some within the college that overtly cover these crucial topics, working to inform student efforts to learn more about institutionalized racism.

In addition to our course offerings, CFA engages in diverse ways of confronting issues of culture and social justice throughout the academic year, through events and performances in communication studies and the fine and performing arts, as well as through direct community engagement and our partnership with the CSJ Center for Reconciliation and Justice.

Through these avenues, we provide ongoing opportunities for our students, faculty and the larger community to dialogue develop perspectives that will advance a more compassionate and just world. Please visit the LMU Bulletin for the most up-to-date course information. 


  • A survey of the art and architecture of Islam from Arabia through Spain, from the birth of Islam in the seventh century to the present.

  • A survey of the art and architecture of East, South, and Southeast Asia.

  • An exploration of the art and architecture of India from the Indus Valley Civilization to contemporary times.

  • An exploration of the art and architecture of the Southeast Asian region.

  • An exploration of post-World War II art, with an emphasis on the development of postmodernism from 1945 to the early twenty-first century.

  • This course examines the history of the museum from its beginnings in the ancient world as a space where ideas could be exchanged to its present incarnation as an institution of culture, education, and community building.

  • A study of the principles and theories of human communications related to cross-cultural encounters. This course emphasizes understanding the relationship between persons and culture and for improving communication between persons from different cultural backgrounds.

  • This course provides a survey of major rhetorical themes and theories, including classical, symbolic, argumentation, critical, feminist, and non-Western approaches to rhetoric. Students will explore the relationship between rhetorical theory and practice, the contributions of rhetorical theory to the social world, and the potential for rhetorical studies to inform issues of democratic governance, marginalized groups, social justice, and technology in society.

  • This course critically examines the implications of cultural and spiritual tourism in the United States and the world with special attention to identities and differences, such as race, sex, gender, sexuality, and ability. In particular, the course will explore the struggle of people/s to preserve their cultural and spiritual identity relative to the role of the tourism industry in protecting their cultural heritage, resources, and sites. The course promotes multicultural awareness, hospitality, and sensitivity as a means of recognizing others and minimizing the exploitation of their culture.

  • This course will identify prosocial behavior and communication, contrast it with antisocial norms, and focus on the values inherent in the caring, sharing, and ways of building relationships and communities with an emphasis on the possibilities for both individual and collective growth and well-being. Emphasis will be on the understanding of both individual and group behaviors that promote effective and cooperative prosocial communication.

  • This course provides an overview of basic social-scientific theories of persuasion (fear appeals, social proof, liking, reciprocation, social judgment theory, etc.). Then, the course examines how these social-scientific approaches differ from and complement other approaches to understanding the practice of persuasion. Draws on Robert Cialdini’s work in the psychology behind various persuasive techniques.

  • In this course we will explore a wide range of human behavior as it relates to leadership development and communication with an emphasis on global communication issues. Students will learn about leadership, strengthen leadership skills, and learn to value their potential for leadership. This course will integrate theory and practice to build leadership competencies required in today’s global workplace. This course is largely experiential and guided by the principle that leadership is a skill that can be developed and refined.

  • This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of personal relationships, particularly romantic relationships, familial relationships, and intimate and reproductive labor, form a cross-cultural perspective. It explores two broader issues: global diversities in the ideas and practices of close relationships and the impact of globalization on private lives. Readings include scholarship from communication studies, anthropology, and sociology on issues such as romance and courtship, marital and intergenerational relations, queer intimacies, cross-border marriages, transnational adoption, migrant families, and the global commodification of sex and reproductive labor.

  • Culture, in any given state or formation, across time or space, is never a neutral arbitrator nor static in its configuration. As a way of life, as an apparatus governing life, culture is fluid, contested, visceral, and constantly in the process of reformation. Culture is always already a social construction and always already power-laden. This course centers the roles and functions of power–the ability to control, hold authority, dominion or rule over others–and culture. In this class, 1) we will learn how to think critically about the construction of culture(s), 2) we will explore the impact of American empire and its discursive practices on other cultures and nations, and 3) we will explore the constructive nature of power and discourse.

  • Communication plays a critically important role in many different aspects of the healthcare process from care delivery to public health campaigns. This course offers a broad survey of health communication theory, research, and practice focused on patient-provider interaction, communication in healthcare organizations, culture and health, health education, and social marketing.

  • This course provides the opportunity to explore and analyze rhetorical texts created by women in a variety of contexts and for a range of purposes. The overall goal of the course is to examine the ways in which women develop and use rhetoric to function in, challenge, and change the world. Various texts including writing, speaking, visual and performing arts, as well as media forms will be used to understand rhetorical situations, concerns, and goals of women. Students will gain an understanding of feminist perspectives on communication as a foundation for critically questioning, evaluating, and re-envisioning the nature of communication in our socially constructed world. In this course, gender is viewed as a lens, platform, and position that significantly affects and can radically transform our personal, local, and global lives. Particular attention will be given to the ways in which gender and gender issues intersect with race, class, and sexuality.

  • This course examines cultural constructions of crime and punishment. Although the course focuses primarily on the U.S. criminal justice system, we will attend to the prison industrial complex’s global reach. Consequently, the course gives students the opportunity to examine one of the most pressing social issues of our time. We will focus our study of cultural constructions of crime and punishment in three different rhetorical cultures: public discourse, prisoners’ discourse, and prison activism discourse. These three arenas map onto the three units of the course: 1) Crime and Punishment in the Cultural Imagination; 2) Crime and Punishment in the Prisoners’ Imagination, and 3) From Criminal Justice to Transformative Justice.

  • In this course students investigate how different cultural forms communicate ideas about the world and about ourselves. We will begin by grounding ourselves in communication and rhetorical theory so that we have lenses through which to analyze texts. We will then discover what makes something popular culture; how various forms of pop culture shape and represent “reality” and social life; why we consume popular culture in the way that we do; and how we will create, “play with,” and participate in, a popular culture event ourselves.

  • This course brings the legal trial to the classroom, providing students an opportunity to incorporate an array of communication principles and skills with the experience of trial practice.

  • This capstone course examines advanced intercultural communication theories and their application to various contexts. Requires substantial original research.

  • A study of dance as a cultural, political and socio-economic phenomena. The dance of three selected cultures in the United States today with origins in Africa, Asia, and Europe and current life in the United States will form the focus of study.

  • Study of hip hop as a cultural dance form.

  • Theoretical, practical, and artistic exploration of Dance as a cultural phenomenon and its role in social change.

  • A study of a selected dance form as it is contextualized in its original time, place, social, and/or religious origin.

  • This course explores human sexuality from a bio-psychosocial perspective, including effects of physiology, genetics, environmental, individual, and relationship problems on sexuality and to know how to therapeutically address these problems. It emphasizes understanding the ways in which sexual problems may appear in social populations.

  • Multicultural values in psychotherapy and counseling are explored. Cultural factors are examined in the therapeutic process.

  • An introductory-level survey of art, traditional, and regional popular music, chosen from the Near East, South Asia, Indonesia, and East Asia. Class lectures and discussion focus upon readings and guided listening. Some in-class performance.

  • Practice of techniques and aural skills that are integral to Indonesian music. In the course of multiple semesters, students will expand their knowledge of repertoires and range of performance skills.

  • Practice of techniques and aural skills that are integral to Indonesian and West African music. In the course of multiple semesters, students will expand their knowledge of repertoires and range of performance skills.

  • A survey of the origins and major style periods of jazz from the antebellum era to the present. Listening assignments emphasize the ways in which specific musical features reflect currents of history and culture.

  • Practice and performance of music for Balinese gamelan. Repertoire includes both new and traditional compositions. In the course of multiple semesters, students will expand their knowledge of repertoires and range of performance skills.

  • Practice and performance of music for Balinese gamelan and Ghanaian (West African) ensemble drumming. Repertoire includes both new and traditional compositions. In the course of multiple semesters, students will expand their knowledge of repertoires and performance skills.

  • To gain an understanding of and to develop the skills necessary for small ensemble playing (includes guitar, string, piano, percussion, and jazz ensembles). Over the course of multiple semesters, students will develop increased ensemble skills, technical proficiency, and stylistic understanding.

  • The history of world theatre from its origins to the seventeenth century A.D. The theatre is viewed as a prism of social concerns, anxieties, and aspirations, in particular historical settings: Antiquity: Ancient Greece, Rome, and India; the Middle Ages in Europe and Asia; and Renaissance Europe and seventeenth-century Asia.

  • A study of American diversity through American drama. Students engage plays created by a variety of communities and identities.

  • The history of world theatre from the eighteenth century to the present. The theatre and other performing arts traditions are viewed as a prism of social concerns, anxieties, and aspirations, in particular, historical settings: The Age of Enlightenment; the American, French, and Industrial Revolutions; the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century; the period of the World Wars, the world-wide Great Depression, and the Cold War; the end of colonialism, the rise of the Third World, and the flourishing of diversity.

  • Theatre-going and appreciation designed for the potential audience member through first-hand meetings with theatre artists and attendance at Los Angeles productions.

  • This course will study contemporary performance works and plays by Latin American and U.S. Latinx playwrights. Student will read plays from the emerging Latinx canon while integrating supplementary texts including reviews, critical analyses, essays, and theoretical studies examining Latinx theatre since its conception. Representative works by Latinx playwrights will be discussed in light of issues such as labor and immigration, gender and sexuality, generation gaps in Latinx culture, hybridized identities, interculturalism, and the United States’ relationship with Latin American nations.

  • An oral histories writing and performance course which includes meeting and interviewing members of advocacy agencies associated with various social justice issues. Students will select from such topics as: homelessness, human trafficking, immigration, restorative justice, among others, in various semesters. Working in project teams, students will interview agency staff/clients, transcribe, and dramatize the original research, culminating in a presentation of the stories as dramatized narratives.

  • An exploration of the use of theatre for social justice purposes.

  • Study of Shakespeare or other topics in selected authors and/or dramatic genres.

  • A study of American diversity through American drama. Students engage plays created by a variety of communities and identities.

  • An exploration of how to ensure an equitable and diverse classroom, and engage issues of equity, diversity, and social justice.