HIS32310 Revolutionary Russia, 1905-1921

Academic Year 2022/2023

In under twenty years, Russia experienced three revolutions, world war, civil war, the collapse of the three-hundred-year-old Romanov dynasty, and the rise of the Soviet state. This course examines the causes and consequences of these tumultuous years from 1905 to 1921, exploring the rich political, social, intellectual and cultural world of revolutionary Russia. It looks at the challenges of reform and modernisation in late imperial Russia, the rise of revolutionary politics, the impact of the First World War and the immediate events of 1917 leading to the establishment of Bolshevik power, before assessing the Red victory in the civil war, revolutionary and utopian cultures, and the consolidation of the early Soviet state. In doing so, the course focuses on the centres of power in Moscow and Petersburg and their key actors, but also ventures into provinces and countryside to assess the ways in which political and social change unfolded elsewhere. We will also engage with critical debates in the historiography of the period on the ‘inevitable’ fall of the Romanov dynasty, continuities between the late imperial and early Soviet systems, and the relationship between state, society and the individual before and after the 1917 revolution.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the events, actors and processes in Russia’s revolutionary history.
2. Critically engage with a variety of primary and secondary material.
3. Evaluate conflicting interpretations of the events of 1917, their causes and consequences.
4. Write scholarly essays to the standard of a level 3 student of history.
5. Assess and analyse key themes, readings and debates in class discussions.

Indicative Module Content:

The module will cover the following areas:
Russia in 1900
1905
The constitutional experiment, 1906-1914
The changing face of society to 1914
Russia and the First World War
The February revolution and the transition to Dual Power
March to October 1917 in city and countryside
The Bolshevik rise to power
The civil war years
Revolutionary dreams: Cultures of power
Party, state and society to 1921

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities

50

Autonomous Student Learning

50

Lectures

11

Seminar (or Webinar)

4

Total

115

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module combines large-group and small-group teaching, via a weekly one-hour lecture and four fortnightly one-hour seminars. The weekly lecture provides an overview of the key events, actors and historiographical debates, while the seminars examine four critical chronological points in greater detail. These seminars focus on small-group active/task-based learning using secondary literature and primary sources as the basis for class discussion. Autonomous learning is encouraged through required preparatory reading for each seminar, and two summative written assessments. Key research, writing and citation skills are developed through a combination of the 1000-word source analysis exercise and the 2000-word end of semester essay. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Incompatibles:
HIS20980 - The Russian Revolution


 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 1,000 word primary source document analysis Week 7 n/a Graded No

40

Essay: 2,000 word essay Week 12 n/a Graded No

60


Carry forward of passed components
No
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on the mid-term primary source analysis assessment is provided in writing on the returned hard copy. Feedback on the end of semester 2000-word essay assignment is given by appointment in one-to-one meetings.

Name Role
Dr Jenna Byers Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
 
Spring
     
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 13:00 - 13:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Thurs 14:00 - 14:50
Seminar Offering 2 Week(s) - 22 Thurs 14:00 - 14:50
Seminar Offering 2 Week(s) - 24, 26, 30, 32 Thurs 14:00 - 14:50
Seminar Offering 3 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Thurs 15:00 - 15:50
Seminar Offering 4 Week(s) - 22, 24, 26, 30, 32 Thurs 15:00 - 15:50
Seminar Offering 5 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Fri 10:00 - 10:50
Seminar Offering 6 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Fri 11:00 - 11:50
Seminar Offering 7 Week(s) - 22, 24, 26, 30, 32 Fri 13:00 - 13:50
Spring