MIDEAST 331 - Iranian Cinema: Re/Presenting a Nation
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Near Eastern Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Film scholars and critics regularly name Iranian cinema as one of the most interesting, influential, and important national film industries in the world. We will learn about the history and landmark films of this cinema in this course, guided by the meta-question raised by its title: what exactly makes these films "Iranian"? Any answer to this raises further questions about defining the Iranian nation itself: who has the right (and the power) to speak for it, and what peoples, languages, cultures, and practices are made in/visibile through its representation? The films curated for this class will thus tie into a number of significant issues in Iranian history, including colonial encounters, nationalism, race and ethnicity, the performance and politics of gender, social protest, immigration, reform, and revolution. In discussing these films, students will learn about some of the major theories and techniques of cinema studies, such as formal analysis, gender and the gaze, media and politics, and the frameworks of inter-/national, third-/world, and "accented" cinemas. Through repeated close analysis, supplemented with lecture, discussion, and contextual readings, students can expect to gain a thorough grounding in the major figures and movements in Iranian cinema, a nuanced understanding of modern Iranian history and society, and an appreciation of the craft and power of cinema they might not have had before.

Course Requirements:

Attendance is mandatory and will be factored into the grade. To facilitate discussion and monitor progress, regular short assignments, such as film journals, reading responses, or discussion questions, will be due ahead of class; in addition, there are three larger assignments spaced evenly across the semester: two film analyses and a final paper.

Intended Audience:

Students interested in the history of Iran and its neighboring regions (Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Tajikistan, Iraq); world cinema; art-house (auteur) cinema; film theory; modernity; race, language, and ethnicity in the Middle East; masculinity; marriage, divorce, and custody; women in Iran; Iranian culture

Class Format:

Two seminar-style meetings and one film screening per week

MIDEAST 331 - Iranian Cinema: Re/Presenting a Nation
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
Note: Students who enroll in the lecture will automatically be enrolled in the lab section.
002 (LAB)
W 4:00PM - 7:00PM
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