Russia. The name alone evokes wonder, fear, romance, and history itself. Over the past ten centuries, the land 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, Orthodoxy 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 test case for ideas, projects, and processes both fortuitous and tragic. How did Russia become the site of such a diverse array of political, social, economic, and cultural experiments? In what ways did they contribute to the formation and exercise of Russian political power? How did they contribute to the creation of a “Russian” identity, and to what effect for Russian citizens? This course will seek to answer these questions through a survey of Russian history from its founding in Kievan Rus’ in the 9th century to the October Revolution of 1917.
The Class: Format: lecture and discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: class attendance and participation, 3 five page papers, ~50 pages of reading a week, one "in-class" midterm exam and one "in-class" final exam
Prerequisites: none, open to all students
Enrollment Preferences: none
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia