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Russia. The name alone evokes wonder, fear, romance, and history itself. Over the past ten centuries, the territory that we now call the Russian Federation has witnessed dramatic transformations that underwrote its transition from feudal backwater to global superpower. Its journey from tribalism to imperialism, feudalism to autocracy, agrarianism to industrialization, monarchism to parliamentarianism, Orthodox Christianity to revolutionary atheism, left a mark not just on the collective Russian conscious, but on a world that has grown accustomed to viewing Russia as a site for ideas, projects, and processes both exemplary and tragic. How did Russian state power borrow and depart from west European norms? How did foreign and domestic norms contribute to the creation of a “Russian” identity? How did Russian elites and ordinary people resist, collaborate with, or develop an apathy towards the Russian state, and to what success? This course will seek to answer these questions through a survey of Russian Imperial history from its founding in Kievan Rus’ in the 10th century to the October Revolution of 1917.
Format: seminar; Each week, students will watch a pre-recorded asynchronous lecture that will provide context for the readings due that week. Students will be assigned to a small group of no more than 5 students which will "meet" with the instructor for a weekly, tutorial-style discussion on Zoom.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
class attendance and participation, two short papers (3-5 pages), ~80 pages of reading a week, one take-home midterm exam essay and one take-home final exam essay
none, open to all students
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST Russian + Eurasian Studies Electives
HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern