History | Icon & Axe: Russia from 1861 to the Present
D103 | 30697 | Eklof

Above class open to freshmen, sophomores, and Education
undergraduates only
Above class carries Culture Studies credit

This course offers an introduction to the main events and issues in
Russian history from the middle of the nineteenth century to the
present. It covers the great liberating reforms of Tsar Alexander II
that freed the serfs and explains the policies of rulers such as the
last tsar, Nicholas II, the revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin, the
brutal tyrant Joseph Stalin, and the last Communist leader Mikhail
Gorbachev. Lectures will focus on the great upheavals of the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the emancipation of
the serfs, three revolutions, a civil war and two world wars. Other
area of focus include: change and continuity in the daily life of
Russians; how Russians see themselves and the outside world; how the
Cold War shaped perceptions and realities; what the collapse of the
Soviet Union has meant to its peoples. Film clips will be used
frequently to bring events and people to life. Your instructor has
spent more than six years living and working in Russia.

Readings: a textbook and short readings, both documentary and
fictional. Grades: (based on) three exams, each with a take-home
long essay, and short in-class components.