Artistic modes of expression such as film and literature offer a lens for understanding the forces and concerns that have shaped, and are continuing to shape, countries, regions, and peoples. Literary and artistic movements arise because of the particular confluence of history and the creative choices of artists, reflecting the issues that are at the vanguard of the times. Students analyze key works of literature and film in order to learn how these works can provide a concrete understanding of society’s cultural values and political events. Simultaneously, students will also learn how their own values and history as well as their assumptions about artistic creators and observers are present in their interactions with the work being studied and how these factors affect their understanding and analysis. Students will then apply what has been learned and discussed to works that represent a region, area, or people they wish to study in this manner.