Perspectives on Branding: Ethics, Ambiguity and Persuasion
This certificate program consists of three required courses (listed below) and one elective course option.
This certificate is comprised of four single-day courses.
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Use literature and literary theory to explore the ways audiences experience brands and branded material and the ways that reception can diverge from the expectations of organizations and business owners.
Branding involves compact forms of storytelling, which convey to the audience the ethics, values, and backstory of a particular business or product. Between concept and execution, however, there is a layer of ambiguity that brands can rarely control but can be productively aware of and manage.
In this seminar, we will use the resources of literature, literary theory, and ethics to provide insights into the multiple layers of meaning produced in acts of persuasion, develop greater sensitivity to ambiguity as a communicative byproduct, and develop a framework for telling the story of your brand ethically and inclusively.
Ambiguity is a core component of literary texts: not only can we not be sure whether what we understand is what the author meant, but we can also not be certain of whether our understanding is correct or useful. In this course, we will learn how to use that ambiguity to pull out a full range of possible understandings, and how branding works to limit or manage these understandings, but not eliminate them.
By becoming more sensitive to how different audiences and different contexts impact a brand’s reception, you can craft a more effective strategy for your brand, predict potential pitfalls, and produce a better context that engages audiences more effectively.
In this course, we will explore three primary concepts:
- Ambiguity is Always Present: We will analyze a number of cases, both literary and real-world, to pull out the various causes and impacts for ambiguity.
- Perspective Matters: We will hold an active discussion on how specific configurations of time, place, identity, etc., shape a person’s response to messages.
- Audiences are Constructed: Using political speeches and literary texts, we will think about how the speaker/author actively creates the audience they need to have. We will then apply it to individual organizational applications, driven by the specific situations of seminar participants.
Details & Registration
Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs): 0.6 CEUs will be awarded upon completion of this program (six hours of instruction).
One-Day Seminar Pricing:
Registration fee includes all course materials, catering (lunch and refreshments), WiFi access, and parking.
- Standard Registration: $1,000
- UT System Staff/Alumni Registration: $750
- Educator, Nonprofit, Government, Military Registration: $750
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Ayelet Haimson Lushkov specializes in Roman historiography, the ways that Roman historians told the stories of their own past. She is the author of Magistracy and the Historiography of the Roman Republic: Politics in Prose (CUP, 2015), You Win or You Die: The Ancient World of Game of Thrones (Bloomsbury, 2017) and co-editor of Reception and the Classics: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Classical Tradition (CUP, 2012), as well as a number of articles on Livy, historiography, political theory, classical reception, and Latin literature. Her work has also appeared in the Guardian, Independent, BBC History Extra, Eidolon, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and been featured on UT News, Refinery 29, El Pais (Spain), and NPR. She is currently working on a monograph on Livy’s poetics of citation, as well as developing an interest in the state of the humanities and in the working conditions of academic motherhood. In 2020-21, she is also a public fellow of the Op-Ed Project.
Who Should Participate
- Brand Managers
- Social Media Directors/Editors
- Marketing Professionals
- Small Business Owners
- Managers and Directors
- Creative Professionals and Executives
My favorite part of the Certificate Program was, hands down, the cross-disciplinary faculty. What remarkable minds! In HDO, I gained multiple news lenses through which to view workplace challenges. I felt so lucky to have exposure and access to these extraordinary educators. The faculty that has been assembled in HDO is world-class. I can’t stop raving, and have put the master’s program on my five-year plan.
From Certificate Seeker to Competitive Advantage in Just Four Days
Built on strong academic fundamentals and real-world relevance, HDO Certificate Programs are designed to enhance the portfolios of mid- and upper-level professionals.
Over the course of your program, you will gain immediately-applicable tools and skills to accelerate your career, whether your goal is advancing in your current organization, deepening your capacities to excel in your existing role, or developing additional skills for a transition to a new position. In the process, you will learn alongside and network with experienced professionals from a wide range of industries.
Courses Led by Top Faculty
“My favorite part of the Certificate Program was, hands down, the cross-disciplinary faculty. What remarkable minds! I gained multiple new lenses through which to view workplace challenges. I felt so lucky to have exposure and access to these extraordinary educators. The HDO faculty is world class. I can’t stop raving.”
Sarah Gerichten, Director of Marketing, Square Root, Inc.
By applying cutting-edge research and expertise from UT Austin’s top faculty to your organization’s unique challenges, our training programs are designed to:
- Build a dynamic organizational culture that fosters innovative thinking and embraces change.
- Strengthen team cohesion around existing or aspirational goals.
- Enhance leadership skills at all levels, from first-time managers to senior leaders and executives.