2011.hist048.syllabus - 1 History 048 Imperial Russia...

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1 History 048: Imperial Russia, 1689-1905 Fall 2011 Professor Peter Holquist ( [email protected] ) Office: College Hall 208-D Office hours: Monday,1:00-2:30 PM; Weds., 2:30-3:00PM Grader: Mr. Hazanov Mr. Hazanov will be available for office hours in the two weeks prior an assignment and the week following the return of the assignment. Please contact him to schedule an appointment. In the mid-seventeenth century, Muscovite Russia was one of many mid-tier states in Europe struggling to survive, having just experienced political implosion and foreign occupation—Polish forces sat in the Moscow Kremlin—during the Time of Troubles (1604- 1613). By the mid-eighteenth century, Russia had become a great empire and emerged as one of the great powers of Europe. Down to 1917, the Russian Empire continued to play a precocious role in Europe’s—and the world’s—military, political, and cultural developments. How and why did Russia become the center of the world’s largest land empire? What was the cost of the Russian empire’s “greatness,” both to its own population and to other peoples? Why did so many Russians have doubts about their country’s path and so obsess about their relationship to Europe? What constants determined this trajectory—and what has changed in Russian culture and society? The only prerequisites for this course are a curiosity for Russian history and a willingness to explore its drama and complexity. No prior knowledge of the subject is assumed. Russian history, like the history of any entity, is multifaceted and complex. No account can cover all its nuances and variety. This course will focus in particular on Russia’s growth as an empire, in political and diplomatic terms; on the consolidation of the autocracy that accompanied this growth; and, the responses of Russians to these two developments. In examining these responses, we will focus especially on aspects of Russian culture: literature, painting, and music. Vasilii Surikov, Morning of the Execution of the Strel’tsy (1881). Tret’iakov Gallery, Moscow.
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2 GRADING : Participation in class discussions: 20% Six-page paper (Weds., Oct. 12) 25% In-class exam (Mon., Oct. 31): 25% Take-home final exam (Weds., Dec. 14): 30% FORMAT AND EXPECTATIONS : Each week students will attend two lectures. If you cannot attend a lecture , it is your responsibility to find out what you have missed. Please come to each lecture class having completed the assigned readings for that day . “To complete the readings” means allowing yourself sufficient time both to read through the assigned materials and to think about them. Bear in mind that active participation means asking good questions as well as proposing good answers. Roughly two-thirds of class time will be devoted to lectures, but I will use a portion of each lecture period to hold discussions of assigned readings and key course themes. I welcome questions during the course of the lectures. Please enroll in the course’s BLACKBOARD site.
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2011.hist048.syllabus - 1 History 048 Imperial Russia...

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