RUSS 341
Collapse: The Fall and Afterlife of the Soviet Union
Last Offered Spring 2019
Division II
Cross-listed RUSS 341 / HIST 341
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

On Christmas Day 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev ended two things: his tenure as President of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union itself. The following day, Boris Yeltsin entered office as the first president of the Russian Federation, and without delay, began to institute radical economic and social reforms. Under his watch, the country privatized national industry, cut the state budget, and courted foreign multinational businesses. The world most commonly used to describe Russia in the early 1990s is “disappear”: money, jobs, food, and people. The very things that Soviet-style socialism had committed itself to providing for started to vanish as a result of invisible and market forces. This course will explore what emerged in the spaces left empty after Soviet-style socialism’s demise in three parts. The first part of the semester will examine the origins of the Soviet Union’s collapse and its breakup into fifteen successor states. The second part of the semester will survey the political, economic, and social processes that followed the collapse. Finally, the third part of the course will focus on Putin’s ascendancy to the presidency and its consequences for Russian citizens at home and Russia’s image abroad. By semester’s end, students will have acquired the content and analytical literacy to place present-day Russia in its specific historical context and identify multiple sources of causation that may help explain Russia’s transition from socialism to capitalism to Putinism during the past quarter century.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 15-20
Class#: 3992
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, three short essays (3-5 pages), and one long essay (10-12 pages)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: History Majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
RUSS 341 Division I HIST 341 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia

Class Grid

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