History | Heroes & Villains in Russian History
D303 | 0392 | Eklof

10:20-11:35A     D      BH205

Above section carries culture studies credit.

This introductory course examines major themes in Russian history
through the individual lives  of colorful, controversial, mainly
famous but also obscure individuals.  We examine biography and memoirs
as historical sources, and focus upon the connection between the
private and public, the individual and the society. At the same time,
Russia's attempts to define itself as a country, to remain a Great
Power and to shape its own future provide an overarching theme, as
does the apparent paradox of an Empire boasting extraordinary cultural
achievements yet seemingly unable to make the most of its abundant
natural and human resources.  The classroom format is informal,
combining discussion and mini-lectures.  STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO COME
summer (2000) the course will cover the Imperial period (from Peter
the Great, 1696 to the Russian Revolution, 1917).

Midterm and Final, each combining one essay question and several
paragraph length questions (some years the essays are take-home, other
years they are in-class).  You will be told well ahead of the date
which one will be selected this year.  Unannounced quizzes will also
be given, and will count for 20% of your grade.

Your instructor is Ben Eklof, a specialist in modern Russian history
and education, who has lived five years in the former Soviet Union.

Reading for Summer 2000:
M. S. Anderson, Peter the Great
I. de Madariaga, Catherine the Great
B. Engel (ed), Five Sisters
O. Figes, A People's Tragedy (up to 1917 only)

Recommended background:
John Thompson, Russia and the Soviet Union
G. Hosking, Russia: A People and Empire

Questions?  Contact Ben Eklof (eklof@indiana.edu)

You will also be given a limited number of handouts to read in class.