History | Empire of the Tsars
D308 | 27274 | Eklof

Above class carries Culture Studies credit
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only
A portion of the above class reserved for majors

This course examines the Russian Empire under the Romanov tsars,
from 1812 to Nicholas II and World War I (1762-1917).  Students are
introduced to basic events and themes in the country’s political
life, to issues of governing Russia, biographies of statesmen,
revolutionary men and women, and writers such as Chekhov, Tolstoy,
Dostoevsky (how their works depicted contemporary reality, but also
how their personal lives reflected the issues and ambiguities
plaguing Russian society).  Certain key events are treated in closer
detail: the Decembrist revolt, the Crimean War and Great Reforms,
the assassination and crisis of 1881, the Russo-Japanese War and the
Revolution of 1905 and World War I.
Attention is also given to policy dilemmas and ideologies:
liberalism, revolutionary socialism, conservatism, Panslavism and
anti-Semitism, and to changing relations between the state and
society, issues of empire, Russia as a Great Power in the modern
world, and the changing daily life of Russia’s diverse population
(its peasantry, factory work force, middle classes, and nobility).
Requirements:  Two or three equally-weighted exams, each of which
has two parts: a take-home essay and an in-class factual, short-
essay exam.  For the take-homes you are given a choice of themes to
write on; for the in-class you will be given 10-12 topics to study,
and I will ask you to respond on 2-3 (twenty minutes each).  At one
time later in the semester you will be asked to attend an evening
screening of a two hour documentary on the reign of Nicholas II
Readings for purchase:
Evtuhov and Stites, "History of Russia: People, Legends, Events
(Part II)"

(I chose one or two from this list each year for additional readings)
"Twilight of Empire," Dominic Lieven
"A Sportsman’s Sketchbook," Ivan Turgenev
"Rebels in the Name of the Tsar" ed. by Dan Field
"Five Sisters:  Women Against the Tsar," B. Engel
"A Radical Worker in Revolutionary Russia," Kanatchikov
"Russian Women, 1698-1917: Experience and Expression," ed. by Robin
Bisha et. all

Additional short readings will be on E-RESERVE
Prerequisites:  Good students with no background in this course can
do well, but it is recommended that you do some background reading
from a basic text on Russian history before 1801, especially from
the time of Peter the Great (readings are available on the E-Res
list, password “states”-- see especially by Acton)