MIDEAST 223 - How To Survive Dark Times: A Century of Armenian Film
Winter 2023, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Middle East Studies (MIDEAST)
Department: LSA Middle East Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


The last century has known no shortage of horrors: genocide, world wars, climate catastrophes, authoritarian regimes, global pandemic. This course examines the ways in which Armenian filmmakers -- no strangers to disaster -- chose to transmute the calamities of the last century into mysterious, surprising, and haunting art. Together, we'll ask what Armenian cinema, produced by diverse artists living around the globe, might have to teach us about surviving -- even thriving -- during dark times. How might these films change the way we think about history, or even life?

Over the semester, we'll analyze and discuss a wide variety of Armenian films alongside masterpieces of world cinema from other traditions. Students will learn how important Armenian filmmakers (including Sergei Parajanov, Atom Egoyan, and Gariné Torossian) both participate in and stand apart from broader movements in world cinema. Along the way, we'll also acquire a critical language for thinking about the language(s) of cinema, whether students have a background in film studies or not. Students will come away with a broad understanding of the development of Armenian cinema over the last century; the ability to “read” and analyze films audio-visually; and experience in thinking about our own present moment through the critical themes of survival and rebirth.

Course Requirements:

Grading will be based on active class participation, short response papers, a midterm and a final exam. Knowledge of the Armenian language, history, or film studies is not a prerequisite.

Intended Audience:

All undergraduate students. This course would be of particular interest to students in Armenian studies, film studies, or Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies.

Class Format:

Two 90-minute meetings weekly


MIDEAST 223 - How To Survive Dark Times: A Century of Armenian Film
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for MIDEAST 223 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)