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HIST3072 The Late Russian Empire, Society, Ethnicity and Culture l

Module Overview

This special subject investigates the tsarist Empire in its ‘late’ period from the assassination of the ‘Tsar Liberator’, Alexander ll, in 1881 to the fall of the last Tsar, Nicholas ll, in 1917. This period was marked by political upheaval, official reaction, popular discontent, rapid economic growth, and growing nationalism in what was a multi-ethnic society. In this first part of the special subject, the focus is on the years from the accession of Alexander III in 1881 to the eve of the first Russian revolution of 1905. We will study in depth such important historical topics as the structure of Russian society, the growth of industrialisation and urbanisation, the development of opposition to the autocracy, and the role of religion.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Develop your understanding of the society and culture of Russia and its empire, as well as the relevant political context, in the period of the last two tsars (1881-1917) • Introduce you to the wide range of primary sources associated with the study of Russian history • Develop your familiarity with the historiographical literature and debates in the field • Provide a basis for understanding Part ll of the module, which focuses on the years between the revolutions (1905-1917)

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The social and cultural history of the Russian Empire from the accession of Alexander lll in 1881 to the fall of the Tsarism and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917
  • The political circumstances that informed Russia’s social and cultural development
  • The types of primary source material in the field
  • The historiography on the subject
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Gather, assess and synthesise information
  • Communicate effectively as a leader and as a participant in group discussions
  • Display effective time management in planning and completing tasks set
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Perform electronic bibliographical searches to support your research
  • Recognise and apply different methodological and interpretive approaches to primary and secondary evidence
  • Argue persuasively and cogently in written coursework and oral presentations
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse the relevance of a range of primary sources with regard to the context in which they were produced
  • Identify and engage critically with the major historiographical texts on the subject
  • Understand the continuities and breaks that can be traced between different periods in Russian history

Syllabus

This special subject investigates the tsarist Empire in its ‘late’ period from the assassination of the ‘Tsar Liberator’, Alexander ll, in 1881 to the fall of the last Tsar, Nicholas ll, in 1917. This period was marked by political upheaval, official reaction, popular discontent, rapid economic growth, and growing nationalism in what was a multi-ethnic society. In semester one, the focus is on the years from the accession of Alexander lll in 1881 to the first Russian revolution of 1905, with particular attention paid to such themes as the structure of society, the growth of industrialisation and urbanisation, the development of opposition to the autocracy, and the role of religion.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include two double sessions per week in seminar format in which individuals give short presentations on set readings and the class as a whole analyses a variety of primary sources (in translation).

TypeHours
Teaching36
Independent Study264
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

I D. Thatcher (ed.) (2005). Late Imperial Russia: Problems and Prospects. 

J. Gooding (1996). Rulers and Subjects: government and people in Russia, 1801-1991. 

H Rogger (1983). Russia in the Age of Modernisation and Revolution, 1881-1917. 

R. Pipes (1990). The Russian Revolution 1899-1919. 

O. Figes (1996). A People’s Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924 (. 

James Cracraft (1994). Major Problems in the History of Imperial Russia. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

The secondary reading assigned for each session, as well as the independent reading from the longer bibliography included in the module handbook and your own library searches will introduce you to the ways in which historians have approached and interpreted primary sources relating to the period under study (1881-1905). This will enable you to understand the assigned translated primary sources, while close analysis of the latter will give you a range of perspectives on late Tsarist society. The bibliography as well as your own literature searches will also enable you to choose a topic for the assessed essay in agreement with the module coordinator.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Take-away exam 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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