BA History / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
The Making of Modern Russia

Unit code RUSS20251
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Russian & E. European Studies
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course aims to introduce students to the study of Russia from a variety of different perspectives (e.g. historical, cultural, social and political). The course is structured around a series of pivotal events that have shaped Russia’s development from the reign of Peter the Great (1682-1725) to the reign of Nicholas II (1894-1917). Each event is examined in its appropriate historical context, through documentary evidence, cultural artefacts and contemporary debates, as well as through scholarly works. The relevance and legacy of the selected events for Russia’s present and future are also considered. 
 

Aims

•    to help students develop a solid understanding of Russia’s pre-Soviet past;
•    to provide a foundation for exploring specific aspects of Russian culture, history and society in greater detail at Levels 2 and 3;
•    to develop students’ skills at analysing and understanding primary and secondary sources;
•    to develop students’ skills at presenting cogent arguments, both in writing and orally.

By the end of this course students will be able to:

•    make effective use of relevant resources;  
•    critically evaluate different approaches to and interpretations of events in Russian history;
•    present their written work in a coherent, well-structured and well-articulated form;
•    present and defend their views orally;
•    manage their time effectively.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will have:
•    a knowledge of Russia’s cultural and historical developments from the Petrine era to 1917;
•    an ability to situate individual events in the specific context of their time;
•    an understanding of the impact of history on current events in Russia today;
•    an appreciation of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Russia;
•    an appreciation of the range of sources that can be used for studying a particular historical event.

 

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:
•    situate individual historical events and primary sources in the specific context of their time;
•    understand the impact of history on current events in Russia today;
•    appreciate interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Russia;
•    appreciate the range of sources that can be used for studying a particular historical event.

 

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to:
•    analyse and understand primary and secondary sources of various types;
•    make effective use of primary and secondary sources to develop cogent arguments, both in writing and orally;
•    present their written work in a coherent, well-structured and well-articulated form;
•    work successfully in groups with others.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

•    the ability to gather, synthesise and organise material from a  variety of sources and to critically evaluate their significance;
•    the ability to construct and defend arguments, both in writing and orally;
•    the ability to work in a team, recognising different opinions and approaches and using them to best advantage;
•    the ability to work to deadlines.

Employability skills

Other
The intellectual, practical and transferrable skills outlined above can all be translated into in-demand employability skills.

Assessment methods

Response Paper         40%

Essay                          60%

 

Feedback methods

Feedback method Formative or Summative
Individual written feedback on the Response Paper  
Individual written feedback on the Essay  
Additional one-to-one feedback (during the consultation hour or by making an appointment), on the understanding that this de-anonymises marking  

 

Recommended reading

  1. Freeze, Gregory, ed., Russia: A History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997)
  2. Riasanovsky, Nicholas V. and Mark D. Steinberg, A History of Russia, 8th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)
  3. Hosking, Geoffrey, Russia: People and Empire, 1552-1917 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997)
  4. Hosking, Geoffrey, Russia and the Russians (London: Allen Lane, 2001)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Vera Tolz-Zilitinkevic Unit coordinator
Rachel Platonov Unit coordinator

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