Global Telecommunication  

BTMM 333/633  
Zizi Papacharissi, PhD  

Course Syllabus  


Tomlinson 221

Office hours

MonWed 12-2, by appt.

Office phone



Course description

This course will examine several theories and research on major policy, technology, and economic issues in global telecommunication. We will begin by setting the context and then review how these issues unfold in industrialized and developing countries. We then cover international interests, players and policies and examine new technologies and trends. We will end the semester with a look into the future of global telecommunications and ethical and policy issues that may surface.

Course Objectives

Reading materials

Mohammadi, Ali (Ed.). (1997). International Communication and Globalization: A Critical Introduction. London: Sage.

Readings on reserve: Several required readings will be placed on reserve outside my office. You are to obtain those and make copies for your own  use. All readings on reserve are required and should be completed as scheduled.

Recommended: Hudson, Heather E. (1997). Global Connections: International Telecommunications, Infrastructure and Policy. New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold. (all the reserve readings are taken from this text).


This course is a seminar, so reading course materials and participation in class discussions through our listserv is essential. It is a 4 credit course, so we have to produce work reflective of these credits online. We will use this web site, a listserv, and e-mail to communicate, so reliable access to a computer and the Internet is required. Excuses involving the failure of computers are viewed sympathetically but not accepted. Students will review lecture notes posted online, cover all required readings before the date for which they are scheduled, and respond to discussion questions posted weekly. Students are also responsible for completing the following assignments, as scheduled.

Reaction Papers


During the course of the semester, you will complete four short reaction papers, on topics that relate to the readings and will be specified by me. These topics will be posted later on and separately, but well in advance of their due date. The topics will detail how you are to address the issue at hand and structure this short reaction paper. 500 words maximum, or one page, single spaced. Reaction papers should be cut and pasted to the text of an e-mail message and NOT mailed as attachments.  Attachments will NOT be accepted. They should clearly display your full name and topic. Each worth 10% of total grade, total worth 40% your grade.

Research Paper

For graduate students: This is your final paper for the course, for which you can produce either a paper summarizing research you conducted over the semester, or a research prospectus, or a critical analysis.  This needs to be written formally, following the research paper guidelines of the discipline. Use APA or MLA, depending on the conference/publication this is directed to. Approximately 20 pages. For undergraduate students:  this a paper on a topic of your choice. You are to structure solid arguments based on evidence. This means you have to conduct your own research, i.e. find relevant books or articles that help you support your points. Therefore, you do have to visit the library. You may use online sources for this, but the MAJORITY of your sources should be offline ones (books, articles from scholarly or trade publications, etc). This needs to written formally and in essay format. The research proposal for this is due earlier, on Fri, Oct. 21, by 5pm EST . The final paper is due Dec. 7, by 5pm. ONLY PAPER COPIES WILL BE ACCEPTED. You must arrange to drop off your paper at my mailbox or have it mailed in by the due date. 40% of grade.

Participation to the listserv discussions

You will be required to participate in listserv discussions on a regular basis. I will post a different discussion question each week - these questions will be available on our web site and the listserv. You must subscribe to the listserv to participate in these discussions asap - otherwise you lose your entire participation grade. You should check your e-mail or the listserv site and contribute to class discussion at least once or twice a week. In participating to these discussions, you should not only respond to the initial question, but also to subsequent comments made by your classmates and instructor. Your responses should be informed, thoughtful, and combine the readings with your individual insights. There will be no chatroom or similar synchronous communication tools used, so as to accommodate conflicting and diverse schedules, lifestyles, and time zones. All communication and discussion in this class will take place via this listserv.

Special Needs

It is our desire that all students participate fully in the curriculum of our department. If you have a disability or special condition that compromises your ability to successfully participate in this class, please notify me as soon as possible and make sure you register with the appropriate University office. All efforts will be made to accommodate your needs.

Honor Code

All students are expected to read and observe Temple University’s Honor Code Policy concerning academic integrity.


When facts or other material are obtained from an outside source, that source should be cited properly in the text and the bibliography/references section of your work. Plagiarism is defined as taking the words or ideas of another person and presenting them as one's own without proper credit. Plagiarizing is considered cheating, and a student who plagiarizes will receive a zero for that assignment and/or a failing grade for the course.  If you are not certain that you are citing materials properly, feel free to double check your citations with me.

Grading scale:

A = 100-93            A- = 92-90

B+ = 89-87            B = 86-83              B- = 82-80

C+ = 79-77            C = 76-73              C- = 72-70

D+ = 69-67            D = 66-63              D- = 62-60             59 and below = F