ADV315 History of Advertising

Course Overview and Objectives:

Over the course of its history, advertising has solidified itself globally as a major economic and cultural force. This course is designed to familiarize you with advertising’s rise to its position of prominence. Our focus will be on understanding advertising’s development as a communication tool, a cultural and economic phenomenon, and as a force that both constructs and reflects society.

This course has three main objectives. Using a historical frame of reference, we will spend the semester exploring:

  1. What advertising can do and what advertising cannot do
  2. How advertising is a reflection of and a form of culture
  3. To what degree advertising is a pervasive form of communication

I have structured the course chronologically with an emphasis on specific themes, such as identity or political engagement, as they pertain to particular points in the evolution of advertising. While you will learn about the important people and dates that make up advertising’s history, my aim is for you to understand these facts against the more interesting and more important backdrop of how advertising is both a product and an agent of cultural change.

Click here to download the syllabus.