The module investigates the establishment, development and consolidation of the Soviet Regime, from 1917 to 1964. Taking a thematic approach, it will address key areas of Soviet life, from industry and agriculture, to the Party and Soviet culture, investigating the process by which policy was devised and implemented, and the impact of government policy on the population. Each theme covered will span the three regimes of Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchev, comparing and contrasting their features and characteristics. The course will also take into account the outlooks and experiences of different sectors of Soviet society, from the workers to the peasants, the nationalities to women. Although the course does not address the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991, it will highlight long term factors which contributed to the demise of the USSR.
The module themes are: the Bolshevik vision; industrialisation; collectivisation; the family; coercion; culture; the elites; World War II; dissent; the nationalities.
Each week students will attend a one hour lecture and a one and a half hour seminar.
The assessment model is 50% source exam, 30% assessed essay, 10% seminar participation and 10% weekly documentary commentary.
Students are expected to buy A History of Russia Since 1855, by Nicholas V. Riasanovsky and Mark D. Steinberg and The Routledge Atlas of Russian History, by Martin Gilbert. You might also find it useful to purchase The Structure of Soviet History, a collection of useful essays and primary sources, edited by R. G. Suny. We will be reading extracts from the novels One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The Master and Margarita and Cement and the film Burnt by the Sun will be shown during the semester.