HIST 2084 - Russia in War and Revolution 1917-1953

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

Between 1917 and 1953, the peoples of the USSR experienced a revolution, a brutal civil war, the cultural flowering of the 1920s, the upheaval of industrialisation and collectivisation in the 1930s, the trauma of Stalin?s `Great Terror?, and the ordeal of World War II. Millions of people died or were killed, but there were also spectacular achievements in the military, economic and cultural spheres. This course explores the epic history of the largest country on earth from the revolution of 1917 to the death of Stalin in 1953. We do this from the perspective of some of the historical characters who lived through the period. Each student will choose an individual historical figure whose life and career s/he will trace through the great events of the period 1917 to 1953. By pooling their knowledge of specific individuals, students will build up a broader picture of what it meant to live through this amazing period of history.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code HIST 2084
    Course Russia in War and Revolution 1917-1953
    Coordinating Unit History
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study
    Course Description Between 1917 and 1953, the peoples of the USSR experienced a revolution, a brutal civil war, the cultural flowering of the 1920s, the upheaval of industrialisation and collectivisation in the 1930s, the trauma of Stalin?s `Great Terror?, and the ordeal of World War II. Millions of people died or were killed, but there were also spectacular achievements in the military, economic and cultural spheres. This course explores the epic history of the largest country on earth from the revolution of 1917 to the death of Stalin in 1953. We do this from the perspective of some of the historical characters who lived through the period. Each student will choose an individual historical figure whose life and career s/he will trace through the great events of the period 1917 to 1953. By pooling their knowledge of specific individuals, students will build up a broader picture of what it meant to live through this amazing period of history.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Gareth Pritchard

    Email: gareth.pritchard@adelaide.edu.au
    Phone: 8313 4529
    Office: Napier 306
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    The course is divided into four chronological blocks, each of which we examine in turn. These blocks are:

    1. Revolution, Civil War and NEP, 1917-1928.
    2. Industrialisation, Collectivisation, the Great Terror and Stalinisation, 1928-1941.
    3. The Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945.
    4. The Last Years of Stalin, 1945-1953.

    Broadly speaking we shall spend three weeks on each block, but this may vary somewhat depending on students' interests.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of the course, students will be able to:
    1 Demonstrate, both orally and in writing, a broad knowledge of the history of the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1953.
    2 Apply their contextual knowledge (a) to understanding the lives and careers of one category of individuals in the USSR (e.g. ballet dancers, scientists etc.) and (b) to studying the life and career of one individual in that field.
    3 Use relevant technologies both to identify relevant primary and secondary sources and to evaluate data.
    4 Critically evaluate the strengths and shortcomings of relevant primary and secondary sources.
    5 Arrive at independent conclusions regarding the lives and careers of people who lived through the period 1917 to 1953.
    6 Co-operate effectively in research teams with other students.
    7 Communicate their findings, both orally and in writing, by constructing evidence-based arguments that comply with the scholarly and ethical conventions of the discipline of history.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3, 4, 5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    6, 7
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    7
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The course textbook is Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2008).
    Recommended Resources
    The literature on Russian and the USSR between 1894 and 1953 is vast. In order to give you the "big picture", there are many general texts that you can use. These include:

    Christian, D., Imperial and Soviet Russia (1997) « 947.08 C555i

    Crozier, B., The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire (2000) 947.084 C954r

    Dziewanowski, M.K., Russia in the Twentieth Century (1993) « 947.084 D999r

    Fitzpatrick, S., The Russian Revolution (1994) « 947.0841 F559r

    Hosking, G., A History of the Soviet Union (1992) « 947.084 H826h

    Hosking, G., The First Socialist Society (1992) 947.084 H826f

    Hughes, G. and Welfare, S., Red Empire (1990) « 947.084 H893r

    Kenez, P., A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End (1999) « 947.084 K33h

    Lee, S.J., Russia and the USSR, 1855-1991: Autocracy and Dictatorship (2006) « 947.08 L4811r

    McCauley, M., The Soviet Union Since 1917 (1991) « 947.084 M119s

    Service, R., A History of Modern Russia from Nicholas II to Valdimir Putin (1997) « 947.084 S491h

    Suny, R.G., The Soviet Experiment (1998) « 947 S958s

    Thompson, J.M., A Vision Unfulfilled: Russia and the Soviet Union in the Twentieth Century (1996) « 947.083 T473v

    Treadgold, D.W., Twentieth Century Russia (1990) « 947.084 T78t

    Volkogonov, D., The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire (1998) « 947.084 V921s











    Online Learning
    Myuni (or, if it is replaced, the equivalent Learning Management System) forms a very important part of this course.

    Available on Myuni you will find:

    Recordings of all the lectures.
    A detailed course handbook giving further details on learning activities and assessment.
    A detailed PDF bibliography that includes links to relevant on-line sources.
    A booklet of primary sources that we shall use regularly in tutorials.
    On-line quizzes designed to consolidate your knowledge and understanding.

    In addition, students will interact with other students via Myuni in order to share information about their chosen theme (see information below on assigned historical characters).
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This is not a traditional course. It is a research project in which individual students are part of reserach teams that focus on the lives and careers of a specific group in the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1953, e.g. soldiers, artists, musicians, dancers, secret police officers, academics, nuclear scientists, weapons designers, and politicians.

    The primary purpose of "lectures" is (i) to give students essential background information, and (ii) to provide a plenary forum where research groups can feed their findings into the general pool.

    The primary purpose of tutorials is (i) to analyse the data that the students have themselves generated, and (ii) to look in detail at relevant primary sources.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2 x 1-hour plenary sessions per week (24 hours per semester)
    1 x 1-hour tutorial per week (12 hours per semester)
    Preparation for classes (24 hours per semester)
    General reading (24 hours per semester)
    Research/writing of assignments and revision (72 hours per semester)

    TOTAL = 156 hours per semester

    NB the 36 hours of structured learning activities will occasionally include tasks that students complete out of formal class hours. For example, students who are studying a particular occupational or ethnic group might have to meet outside formal class hours (either in person or on-line) in order to complete a questionnaire about the experiences of their particular group during a specific period of Soviet history (e.g. the Great Terror or the Great Patriotic War).
    Learning Activities Summary
    In order to complete this course successfully, students will have to acquire a broad overview of the history of the Soviet Union between 1917 and 1953. They will do this by:

    1. Attending plenary sections (lectures).
    2. Reading the course textbook.
    3. Successfully completing quizzes both in class and on-line that test their knowledge of the material covered in lectures and tutorials.

    Students will need to gain an in-depth knowledge of a particular group in Soviet society (e.g. academics, poets, soldiers) as well as a detailed knowledge of a specific individual within than field. They will do this through:

    1. Pulling out of the material covered in lectures/tutorials and the textbook that is particularly relevant.
    2. Independent research using books and academic articles.
    3. Pooling knowledge with other students and engaging with the structured learning activities.

    Specific skills which are developed by structured learning activities include:

    1. The use of databases and the internet to locate relevant sources.
    2. The use of Excel to analyse statistical data.
    3. The use of Gephi graphs to analyse relations between individual members of Soviet elites.
    4. The construction of wikipages.
    5. The construction of evidence-based arguments.
    6. The classification and analysis of a wide range of primary sources, including diaries, memoirs, letters, paintings, propaganda posters, literature, music, architecture, films etc.


    Specific Course Requirements
    n/a
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    SGDE is deeply embedded in this course because the students will be divided into research teams according to the occupational field of their chosen characters (academics, actors, dancers, engineers, musicians, politicians, secret police agents, soldiers etc.). They will be conducting genuine historical research in the sense that they will have to be proactive and resourceful in searching for information on individuals. In order to complete the assignments the students will have to work with each other effectively in terms of pooling their knowledge and helping each other to analyse their findings. By the end of the course, many of the students will know significantly more about their chosen characters than I do – and (in some cases) more about their chosen characters than anybody knows.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    Short research exercise Summative

    Week 4

    10% 3
    1,000-word character wiki-page Summative Week 8 20% 3, 4, 5, 7
    2,500-word research essay Summative Week 12 40% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    1-hour examination Summative TBA 30% 1, 4, 7
    Assessment Related Requirements
    n/a
    Assessment Detail
    The short research exercise will require students to answer a survey about their chosen character. The survey will require the students to find out basic facts about the character but also to identify some relevant primary and secondary sources. The results of the survey will be made available to the entire class in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. This will in turn form an essential learning resource for the completion of the character profile and the research essay.

    The character profile takes the form of a wiki-page in Myuni (or, if Myuni is replaced, in an equivalent Learning Management System). It consists of three elements: (a) A brief biography of the character; (b) A brief annotated biography of relevant primary and secondary sources; (c) A biographical analysis in which the student comments on the significance of the character’s life to our understanding of the history of the USSR between 1917 and 1953. The wiki is available to the entire class and forms the platform for the research essay.

    In the research essay, students are asked to answer one question from a list of questions about the group biography of the characters we study in the course. This will require them to use both the Excel spreadsheet that results from the first assignment, and the character wiki that results from the second.

    The short examination will require students to write document analyses on a selection of documents that are discussed in lectures and tutorials.
    Submission
    The short research exercise consists of a detailed questionnaire that the student completes on-line.

    The character profile takes the form of a wikipage, that the student completes on-line.

    The research essay is submitted in electronic format via Turnitin.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Detailed marking criteria for each of the assessments will be released during the course.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    In addition to SELTs, students will have the opportunity to provide feedback during the course itself. Each category of students (actors, artists, film-makers, revolutionaries, writers etc.) will elect a "deputy". On a regular basis there will be brief "council of deputies" in which the elected representatives meet with the course convenor (either at the end of lectures or electronically). The deputies will be encouraged to use this opportunity to give feedback on how the course is progressing, and to deal with any issues that have arisen.

    Once SELTs have been submitted and the results analysed, the course convenor will write a response which is circulated to all students.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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