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Archive for January, 2020

Assignment: Iran Through Three Lenses

Monday, January 20th, 2020
  1. Watch Inside Iran from Sky Sky News (12 minutes). Come to class with notes summarizing the clip.
  2. Watch the first hour or so of Our Man in Tehran and come to class with content rich notes. Be prepared to discuss the following What is interesting? What supports, modifies, or refutes our studies of Iran thus far? What evidence of bias is there? What is omitted from the film? What is (over)emphasized?
  3. Explore Cara Parks’ 2012 “Once Upon a Time in Tehran photo essay from Foreign Policy Magazine. View it as a slideshow (otherwise you need to subscribe to FP). Be sure to read the captions. Come to class with your favorite photo or two and a willingness to share.
  4. Consider as an option, not an assignment, viewing other films (below)
Sky News on Iran


Our Man in Tehran – a revealing series on life inside Iran, with New York Times correspondent Thomas Erdbrink. In this two-night documentary special, Erdbrink shares a rare journey into a private Iran often at odds with its conservative clerics and leaders. The series offers surprising encounters inside the closed society of Iran, as Erdbrink gets Iranians to reveal the intricacies of their private worlds and the challenges of living under theocratic leaders.

Join Rick as he explores the most surprising and fascinating land he’s ever visited: Iran. In a one-hour, ground-breaking travel special on public television, you’ll discover the splendid monuments of Iran’s rich and glorious past, learn more about the 20th-century story of this perplexing nation, and experience Iranian life today in its historic capital and in a countryside village. Most important, you’ll meet the people of this nation whose government so exasperates our own.

Iran is opening its doors to foreigners and a train ride from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea is a great way to get to know the country and its people. The travel restrictions that are now being lifted were in place for decades. Many Iranians are hoping they will now be able to lead a freer life – and we meet many of these hospitable and welcoming people on our journey through the Middle Eastern nation. The country’s most important rail link, the Trans-Iranian Railway, runs for approximately 1400 kilometers from the Persian Gulf via Teheran to the Caspian Sea. From DW Documentary.
National Geographic photographer, Alexandra Avakian, sets out to break this stereotype as she goes behind the veils of these women to discover a female community of strong women.She will also delve into Iran’s underground youth culture and travel to her ancestral village in search of the grave of her great-great grandmother.

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