HIST 140
Fin-de-Siècle Russia: Cultural Splendor, Imperial Decay Fall 2014
Division II Writing Skills
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Imperial Russia on the eve of the First World War presents a complex picture of political conflict, social and economic change, and cultural ferment and innovation. Newly emergent political parties sought to enlist mass support to transform or overthrow the tsarist regime, which in turn endeavored to preserve itself through a combination of repression, reform, and the refashioning of its image. Rapid urbanization and industrialization, and the spread of education and literacy, gave rise to social conflict and dislocation, demands for social reform, and the redefinition of individual identities and beliefs. These political, social, cultural, and economic developments provided a fertile context for the burst of literary creativity and the emergence of modernist literary and artistic movements that occurred in fin-de-siècle imperial Russia. Through a variety of primary and secondary sources, this course will explore the interrelationship in late imperial Russia between political, social, and cultural change and conflict on the one hand and literary and artistic creativity on the other. Our goal will be to gain an understanding of both the pressures that contributed to the Revolutions of 1917 and the reasons why this proved to be such a culturally creative period.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1144
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: in alternative weeks, students will write an essay based on class readings and critique their tutorial partner's essay
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the Gaudino option
Prerequisites: first-year or sophomore standing; juniors or seniors with permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students, and then sophomores who have not previously taken a 100-level seminar
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia

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