COMMLD 560C: Wellness Narratives

Course Description

“Wellness” is one of those buzzwords that hovers over the top of various pop culture and advertising we consume. It’s a concept that permeates much of how we live and work in the world, and can often feel like a given. But what does “Wellness” actually mean? This course will dive deep into wellness and well-being as central concepts to mental, physical, and emotional modes of health in the 21st century. The goal is for communication professionals to better understand how modern “Wellness” campaigns connect all the way back to early 20th century American advertising campaigns, and why this history matters.

Yes, we will talk about GOOP, reflect upon Soul Cycle, and different popular diets like Paleo and Keto. But we will also explore them through a historical, cultural, economic and technological framework that connects the current moment to 20th century cultural anxieties of the physical and mental body, including the focus on losing unwanted weight and detoxifying the body from various ailments. Other wellness topics for the course will include productivity, health, corporate and social responsibility, clutter, burnout, and more.  

The final assignment helps showcase the student’s ability to do preliminary research while taking complex ideas and distilling them into an understandable presentation for an executive audience. We will do weekly reflective journal exercises throughout the quarter that engage with the readings and screenings from the course. Come prepared to engage in discussion, deep dive into wellness research, and hone your writing skills!

Meets Research Methods Requirement.