"What just happened? What's going to happen? What do we do now?" Political turmoil, while disconcerting to say the least, is nothing new. This course will look at case studies from various times and regions--the creation of the US; Fascist Spain; the 1960s in the U.S., France, and elsewhere; Brazil's military dictatorship; Italy in the 1990s; the Arab Spring; contemporary Mali and D. R. Congo, among others--to see how others have responded to periods of political oppression and upheaval. After an initial period of discussion based on readings, we will hold conversations with members of our campus community who have experienced various forms of authoritarianism. The goal of the course is ultimately project-based: as we gain perspective on the issue of political turmoil, we will turn what we learn into well-informed, measured, concrete action. In particular, we will workshop several writing exercises related to the topic and destined to make an impact (e.g., letter to the editor, letter to an elected official, public service announcement for the radio). All students (including those whose first language is not English) are welcome in the course and will receive individualized attention to their writing.