HISTORY OF RUSSIA IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY Download

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THE SOVIET EXPERIMENT
HIST 3330-001
Fall 2016, Tues. and Thurs. 12-1:15pm, ENGR 238
Professor:
Dr. Jonathan Brunstedt
Contact: [email protected]
435-797-1291
Office Hours:
Tues. 3:30-4:30pm or by appointment
Main 321K
Course Description:
Russia’s twentieth century was dominated by a radical project to eliminate social inequities and fundamentally
transform human society upon the ashes of the defunct Russian Empire. This project—the Soviet Union—served as
a beacon of hope for millions, a force for modernization and scientific advancement, and did more than any other
polity to assure the destruction of the Nazi regime. At the same time, the USSR is responsible for unfathomable
human suffering, political oppression, ecological disaster, and much of the nuclear brinksmanship that characterized
the Cold War. What are we to make of this noble dream gone wrong? This course surveys Soviet history, beginning
with an examination of the decaying and anachronistic Russian Empire, and the revolution that saw its end. The
story continues with the Bolshevik Party’s seizure of power, its attempt to incite a worldwide socialist revolution,
and—once this failed—to establish “socialism” as a viable alternative to capitalism. The course will then examine
Stalin and Stalinism, Soviet society and everyday life, culture and the arts, Soviet involvement in World War II and
the Cold War, problems of opposition and dissent, attempts at reform, and finally the collapse and legacy of the
USSR.
Learning Outcomes:
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Historical Knowledge: Identify how change occurs over time
Historical Thinking: Recognize the past-ness of the past: be able to explain how people have existed, acted,
and thought in the past and what influence the past has on the present
Historical Skills: Develop skills in critical thinking and reading
Required Texts:
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CHATTERJEE et al. Russia’s Long Twentieth Century (2016)
SCOTT, John. Behind the Urals ([1942] 1989)
Additional Readings available via Canvas
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Required Assignments designated with a [] in the class schedule
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Attendance and Participation: 10%
Online Primary Source Quiz x 2: 10% (will take best score of the two quizzes)
Analytical Paper: 20%
Midterm Exam: 20%
Film Viewing Response Paper: 5%
Propaganda Presentation: 10%
Final Exam: 25%
Film Screenings (details below)
Oct. 18: “Burnt by the Sun” (1994); Nov. 8: “9th Company” (2005); Dec. 1 & 6 (in class) “Leviathan” (2014)
Extra Credit Assignments (further details below)
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Additional Film Viewing Responses
Attendance Quizzes
Independent projects (speak with me about this)
Springville Museum of Art, Soviet art collection field trip (Sat., Oct. 29, half-day)
Explanation of Assignments:
Attendance and Participation (10%):
Attendance is mandatory and is an important aspect of the class. Attendance will be taken through daily
attendance quizzes. Each absence that does not fall under the category of university-approved absences will
result in up to a 1% reduction in your attendance/participation grade (so these quickly add up). Arriving late to
class counts as an absence. In cases of sickness or emergencies, students are required to notify me before class
and provide proof (doctor's note, etc.). Participation in class will be assessed through in class comments and
general engagement. A general rule of thumb is if I have no idea who you are by the end of the semester, you
probably won’t get the full points. If you know you will not be able to attend our regular lectures, this is not the
class for you.
Online Primary Source Quizzes (10%):
You will take two online quizzes via our Canvas page after reading specified primary sources. These quizzes
are designed to familiarize you with the analysis of primary sources—the main task of the historian. I will take
whichever grade is higher between Quizzes 1 and 2. So, if you get a perfect score on Quiz 1, there is no need to
take Quiz 2. Further details will be provided in class.
Midterm Exam (20%):
This will be an in-class exam covering the first half of the class. It will include a multiple choice and short
answer section, plus possible map identifications. Details will be discussed in class. You are expected to
provide your own bluebook.
Analytical Paper (20%):
This short paper is an exercise in evaluating primary sources and formulating an argument based on those
sources. You will carefully read a primary source from the Stalin era, the memoir of a John Scott, an American
worker in Stalin’s Soviet Union, in addition to several other sources. Further specifics about the paper will be
provided in class. You can use lecture notes and the textbook as secondary sources to give context to your
argument (cite both!), but your main task is to analyze the primary sources and build an argument from there.
The paper will be graded on clarity of argument and your use of sources. Be sure to give proper citations in
footnotes for any information taken from readings (right down to the page number). Citations should be
according to the Chicago Manual of Style:
http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
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Film Viewing Response Paper (5%)
Over the course of the semester, we will hold two evening film viewings. The films will be connected to themes
of the class. You are required to view at least one film and submit a response paper based on your reading of the
film (specific prompts will be provided at a later time).
Propaganda Presentation (10%):
Propaganda was an important part of Soviet political life. As historians, we can analyze propaganda as a
historical source. What better way to get inside the head of the society you're studying than create some
propaganda yourself. In groups of 4 or less, you are asked to create a piece of Soviet propaganda and present
this to the class, identifying the main themes and messages of the propaganda you create, and connecting it to a
period of Soviet history. Presentations should be about 5 minutes long. You can create political posters, a
speech, pamphlet, film, whatever. If you can't think of anything, see me. And keep in mind that you are not
graded on artistic ability. Here are examples of Soviet propaganda posters:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2014/jun/09/soviet-propaganda-art-posters-in-pictures
Final Exam (25%):
Similar to the midterm, the Final Exam will be an in-class “bluebook” exam. It will be comprehensive (i.e., will
cover material starting from our first class). However, it will be broken into sections. An initial section covers
material from the midterm. If you did well on the midterm, you may skip this section on the Final and receive
the same grade for this section that you received on the midterm. If you’d like to improve this grade, you can
attempt to do better on this section of the Final. But your grade for this first section cannot be lower than your
midterm grade. In other words, I will take whichever grade is higher (midterm or section one of the Final) when
calculating your Final grade. The new section of the Final also includes an essay question from the second half
of class.
Extra Credit:
There are multiple ways to earn extra credit. 1) You can attend an additional film screenings and submit an
additional response paper for extra credit. 2) To take attendance we will have brief quizzes in class based on
readings/lectures and one bonus question. These quizzes cannot hurt your grade so long as you turn in
something proving you were present. If you answer all 3 questions correctly, you will receive a small amount of
extra credit (around 0.3% of your overall grade for each quiz). However, the bonus questions can be quite
challenging, so you shouldn't count on this for extra credit. 3) If you like to cook, you can prepare a dish for the
class. Check out the recently published books Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking and CCCP Cook Book for
ideas. 4) At the end of the semester, we will hold a Trivia Challenge as a fun way to review for the Final Exam.
The teams with the highest point totals will receive extra credit. 5) We are trying to arrange a trip to the Soviet
art collection in Springville, UT; participation will be worth some extra credit. 6) Finally, you can see me and
we can arrange an extra credit project to improve your grade. Be aware of the deadline for all extra credit noted
in the class schedule.
Class Policies
Attendance: To reiterate: attendance is mandatory; arriving late to class counts as an absence.
Late Paper Policy: I will accept late papers, but they will receive a penalty for being late and will not be accepted
after the noted deadline. Obviously this policy only applies to papers. Quizzes and exams can only be made up with
advanced approval from me.
Computer policy: A growing number of studies are indicating that computer use in class actually hurts students'
ability to learn. I will discuss this in person, but I do not allow students to use electronic devices during class unless
necessary due to a medical or other condition. In exchange I will provide the lecture slides before class on Canvas to
make note taking easier. If you absolutely must use a computer in class to take notes, please see me to discuss this.
Students caught browsing the internet or texting during class will be administratively dropped from the class.
A Note on Plagiarism/Cheating: Plagiarism is the taking of someone else's words or ideas and presenting them as
your own. This includes using direct quotations or paraphrasing work without properly citing it. Please familiarize
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yourself with USU's policies regarding plagiarism at this link. Better to turn in a sloppy or late paper than a
plagiarized one. The penalty for plagiarism is failure in the course. See the following link for more:
http://catalog.usu.edu/content.php?catoid=8&navoid=1572&hl=%22Academic+Honesty%2FIntegrity%22&returnto
=search
Students with Disabilities: If you require special accommodation in this course due to a disability, please register
with the Disability Resource Center. Please also notify me and make sure to let me know specifically what you need
in advance of quizzes, exams, etc. The Disability Resource Center website can be found here:
http://www.usu.edu/drc/
Course Schedule (PM=Primary Source Documents from Chatterjee)
Aug. 30: Course Introduction – no readings
Sep. 1: The Russian Empire and its Legacy
Sep. 6: Early Rumblings: 1905 Revolution – Chatterjee, ch.1; PM Doc. 1.1
Sep. 8: Russia, WWI, and the February Revolution – Chatterjee, ch.2; PM Doc. 2.3
Sep. 13: October 1917: Bolshevik Revolution – Chatterjee, ch.3
Sep. 15: Civil War, 1918-1921 – PM Doc. 3.1
Sep. 20: The Era of "New Economic Policy," 1921-1928 – Chatterjee, ch.4; PM Doc. 4.4
Online Primary Source Quiz 1 Open online
Sep. 22: The Leadership Succession – begin Scott, Behind the Urals
Online Primary Source Quiz 1 closes; must be completed by start of class
Sep. 27: The end of NEP – Scott, Behind the Urals
Sep. 29: Stalin's "Revolution from Above": 1928-1932 – Chatterjee, ch.5; Scott, Behind the Urals
Oct. 4: Terror and the Gulag – Chatterjee, ch.6; PM Docs. 5.1, 5.2, 5.3
Hand out Analytical Paper Assignment Prompt
Oct. 6: Stalinism and the Making of Soviet Society – finish Scott, Behind the Urals
Oct. 11: Soviet Foreign Policy before World War II
Analytical Paper Due via TurnItIn/Canvas and hard copy in class
Oct. 13: The Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945 – Chatterjee, ch.7
Hand out Midterm Exam Study Guide in class
Oct. 18: Midterm Exam (bring bluebooks!)
Oct. 18: Film Viewing: “Burnt by the Sun” 6PM (place TBA)
Oct. 20: NO CLASS (Friday class schedule)
Oct. 25: The Origins of the Cold War – Chatterjee, ch.8; begin working on Propaganda Presentation
Oct. 27: The Politics and Culture of Destalinization – Chatterjee, ch.9
Oct. 29: Tentative date for visit to the Springville Museum of Art, Soviet art collection (Saturday half-day)
Nov. 1: "Hare-Brained Schemes": Khrushchev and His Era, 1956-1964 – PM Docs. 9.1, 9.2, 9.3
Nov. 3: An "Era of Stagnation"? – Chatterjee, ch.10
Nov. 8: Détente and the Brezhnev Doctrine – PM Docs. 10.1, 10.2, 10.3
Nov. 8: Film Viewing: “9th Company” 6PM (place TBA)
Nov. 10: Propaganda Presentations
 Online Primary Source Quiz 2 Open online
Nov. 15: Glasnost and Perestroika: Rationale and Impact – Chatterjee, ch.11; Alexeivich, Voices from Chernobyl
Online Primary Source Quiz 2 closes; must be completed by start of class
Nov. 17: NO CLASS. Use this time to catch up.
Nov. 22: NO CLASS. Use this time to catch up.
Nov. 24: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Break)
Nov. 29: Collapse of the USSR and Aftermath – Chatterjee, ch.12
Dec. 1: In class film viewing: “Leviathan” – Alexeivich, Second-Hand Time
Dec. 6: In class film viewing: “Leviathan”
All pre-approved extra credit assignments due
Dec. 8: Trivia Challenge: Review for Final Exam
Dec. 15: FINAL EXAM 11:30am – 1:20pm
Please note: I reserve the right to modify this syllabus as necessary, and will inform the class of any changes.
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