- Code HIST2242
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of History
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject History
- Areas of interest History, International Relations, Political Sciences, European Studies, Politics
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
- Co-taught Course
In October of 1917, a revolutionary Marxist party seized control of a Russia riven by war and revolution. Against all expectations, the Bolsheviks maintained power and continued to hold it through civil war, rapid industrialization, colossal loss of life to famine and terror, Nazi invasion and the Cold War before the Soviet Empire collapsed in a remarkably bloodless dissolution in 1991. This course traces the rise and fall of the Russian Revolution, from the disintegration of the Tsarist Empire through the revolutionary era and Stalinism to the height of Soviet power after the Second World War and its dissolution in the late twentieth century. What was Communism and how did it triumph in Russia? What was life like before, under and after Stalin, and why did a regime that withstood civil war, invasion and cold war consign itself so meekly to the dustbin of history?
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the history of the Soviet Union and Russian Revolution;
- critically evaluate key interpretations of the social, cultural and political history of Russia in the twentieth century;
- conduct research, analyse and integrate primary and secondary sources and present their research in written form; and
- demonstrate the significance of Soviet history for the contemporary world.
- 1,500 word historiographical review (20) [LO 1,2,4]
- 2,000 word research essay (35) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Final exam, 3 hours (25) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Lecture Responses (5 x 200 words) (10) [LO 1,2,4]
- Class participation (10) [LO 1,2,4]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Preliminary ReadingRonald Grigor Suny, “Stalin and his Stalinism: Power and Authority in the Soviet Union, 1930-1953,” in Stalinism and Nazism: Dictatorships in Comparison, eds Kershaw and Lewin, pp.26-52.
Martin Malia, “The Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia,” in David Hoffmann, ed., Stalinism: The Essential Readings, Blackwell, 2003, pp.65-79.
Stephen Kotkin, “Magnetic Mountain: Stalinism as Civilization,” in Hoffman, Stalinism, pp.111-126.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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