This interdisciplinary course, spanning film, music, literature and more, will provide participants with an understanding of the culture of political institutions, political language and the law. Examining cases such as the Basij from a perspective of the politics of culture, participants will learn how both oppressors and those seeking freedom choose cultural markers for their political position. Participants will examine official government propaganda, cultural products, and curricula produced by undemocratic regimes, including Iran, as well as (often underground) cultural products such as literature, film, poetry, music, and art by Iranians and others aspiring for freedom under dictatorship. Guest lecturers from the Iranian music, literature, and film community will provide diverse perspectives on the intersection of the arts and politics. Themes of resistance, consciousness, difference, personal responsibility, trust, inclusion, and political action will be a focus.