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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Glennys J. Young
SIS 498
Seattle Campus

Readings in International Studies

Reading and discussion of selected works of major importance in interdisciplinary international studies. Restricted to majors in International Studies.

Class description

Comparative Revolutions

This introductory seminar compares revolutionary processes in France and Russia. Our chief periods of comparison will be France from 1789-1917, and Russia from 1917 through the end of the "great purges" in 1938. In addition, we will draw, when appropriate, upon examples from other modern revolutions. Among questions with which we will grapple in the course are: why do revolutions occur? Do "modern" revolutions, such as those that began in France in 1789 and in Russia in 1917, have a common logic? Is violence a necessary part of modern revolutions, and, if so, why? Are the symbolic dimensions (e.g., political rituals, symbols, discourse) of the two revolutionary processes comparable? How do modern revolutions change social relations, including those within the family and those between women and men? How much did the Bolsheviks draw upon the French Revolution in thinking about the revolutionary process in Russia?

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

As a seminar, the main format of the course will be discussion. I will give occasional mini-lectures, and there will likely be in-class presentations by students.

Recommended preparation

Some knowledge of European history is desirable, but not required. The most important "prerequisite" is a desire to learn about the subject matter.

Class assignments and grading

There will likely be two short (5-7 pp.) papers and one longer (10-12 pp.) paper.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by M Jane Meyerding
Date: 04/18/2006