HIST 485
Stalinist Terror and the New Man Fall 2009
Division II Writing Skills
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Class Details

The Bolsheviks strove to engineer a new type of person–socially active, cultivated, healthy, enthusiastic, and ready to build socialism. The methods used and the results produced in the name of this goal included acts of monumental heroism and violence, narratives of human progress, and chronicles of arguably the most egregious human rights violations of the 20th century. In this course we will look at the ways historians, memoirists, and filmmakers have approached the period known as Stalin’s Great Purge and Terror (1936-1939), attempting to answer questions to do with culpability, meaning, commitment, belief and disguise, fear, and betrayal. Dualistic concepts and categories like state/society, resistance/collusion, and domination/submission have engendered much controversy among scholars applying them to a time when victims and perpetrators were difficult to distinguish and often the same individuals. The course charts historical analyses and disputes around topics such as: the crimes of communism,”revolution from above,” Stalin’s personality, popular participation in show trials, the family and everyday life during the Terror, Stalinist science, and Soviet subjectivity.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1110
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: students will write and present papers every other week and will critique the papers of their tutorial partner in the weeks when they are not presenting
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: History majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia

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