Ali F Igmen
Russia and the USSR from Nicholas II to the present. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 445.
Chechnya, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan: these are a few of the places most of us may have not known existed prior to the fall of the Soviet Union. Today, in the twenty-first century, we cannot afford not to pay attention to the states and the peoples of Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, all of which emerged from the ruins of the USSR. This course will help us examine the events that led to the emergence and demise of the multi-ethnic and multi-national USSR. During the first decades of the twentieth century, the Bolsheviks and their followers began their revolutionary experiment. The Soviet Union they created lasted seventy-four years (1917-1991). The Soviet experience brought both progress and destruction to its large number of nationalities. This utopian experiment began with revolutionary zeal and violence. Following the revolutions and the civil wars, Soviet Union developed into an industrial and agricultural giant. At the same time, Soviet Communism of the Stalinist era resulted in the purges, terror and deportations of entire nationalities. Yet, many Soviet citizens believed in their countrys policies that helped them overcome economic backwardness. The Soviet state and the people created the Soviet Soul and its own culture. This course will help us analyze the history of the Soviet experiment which changed the lives of millions of people. The class will include readings on the social and cultural changes in addition to political developments in twentieth-century Soviet Union. The course themes will include the history of Russian and Soviet modernity; nationalities policies; social and cultural changes; and artistic developments.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This course does not have prerequisites in Russian or Soviet history, but requires you to be interested in learning about the social and cultural history in addition to the political events of the Soviet Union.
Class assignments and grading
Class assignments and grading will be outlined in the course syllabus.