Module Director: Dr Claire Shaw
Office: Room H021, ground floor of the Humanities Building
Office Hours: Thursdays 2-3 and Fridays 11-12
Lectures: Thursdays 4-5 in OC1.04
Seminars: Fridays 10-11 (H1.02), 12-1 (S1.69) or 2-3 (H4.02)
October Revolution Day, 1938. Source: Wikimedia Commons
This 30 CATS undergraduate second-year option examines the history of Russia’s long 20th century, a period dominated by the Soviet ‘experiment’ to build a socialist utopia on the ashes of the Russian Empire. We will consider the roots of revolution in late 19th century Russia; attempts to build socialism after 1917; the lived experience of socialism under Stalin and his successors; and the decline, collapse and legacy of the USSR into the Putin era. By exploring Russian history from a variety of angles – including high politics and ideology, socialist economics, social and cultural history, and everyday life – we will attempt to draw conclusions about the relationship between self, society and the state in a ‘totalitarian’ system. We will also reflect on how this history has been told, and the ways in which international tensions between Russia and the West influence our understanding of Russia’s recent past.