Rossman, Jeffrey

History of Russia Since 1917

HIEU
2162
Undergraduate
Spring
2018

This is an introductory survey of the history of Russia (broadly defined) from 1917 to the present.  Briefly, our goal in the course is to explore the rise and fall of a distinct form of civilization -- a polity, society, culture and empire -- known as “Soviet Communism.”  Why did that “civilization” arise in Russia, and what is “Russia” now that Soviet Communism is dead?  To answer these questions, lectures and readings will focus on the social and cultural as well as the political history of the region.  Major topics include:  the revolutions of 1917; the Russian Civil War; Lenin’s New Economic Policy; Stalinism; the Great Fatherland War and post-war reconstruction; the origins and phases of the Cold War; de-Stalinization and the limits of reform (Khrushchev to Gorbachev); varieties of Communism within Europe and beyond; the quest for stability and the crisis of late Communism (the Brezhnev years); the disintegration of the USSR and the emergence of the Russian Federation and other successor states; and post-Soviet Russia’s transition to oligarch/crony capitalism and “sovereign democracy” (Yeltsin to Putin).

 

The course assumes no prior training in Russian history.  Requirements include active participation in weekly discussion sections, a midterm exam, a final exam and three 600-word papers on required course readings.  Readings (in English) of about 150 pages per week will include primary and secondary sources. Assigned texts include:  Lydia Chukovskaya, Sofia Petrovna; Friedrich Engels & Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto; Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; and Ronald Suny, The Soviet Experiment. Two required class packets will be available for purchase at N.K Print & Design on Elliewood Avenue.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
120
Course Type: 
Discussion Sections: 
6

Genocide

HIST
5621
Spring
2018

One of the defining features of the twentieth century was the repeated use of genocide and other forms of one-sided mass violence by states against internal and external civilian populations.  In this seminar, we will explore these phenomena from a theoretical and historical point of view, with particular attention to the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the democides that have taken place under Communist regimes (e.g., Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia), and more recent experiences of one-sided mass killing in Africa.  While the experience of victims will be of central concern, we will also examine the experience and motivations of perpetrators, the explicit and implicit goals of the terrorizing/genocidal state, the response -- or lack of response -- by members of the international community, and the ethical dilemmas posed by one-sided mass violence.  Requirements include readings of 200 to 300 pages per week, active participation in class discussions, two five-page book reviews, and a fifteen-page historiographical essay.  This course meets the Second Writing Requirement.

 

Likely readings for the course include portions of the following books:  Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination; Eric Weitz, A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation; Benjamin Valentino, Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century; Christian Gerlach, Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century; Taner Akcam, The Young Turks Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire; Doris Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2nd ed.); Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin; Norman Naimark, Stalin's Genocides; Frank Dikotter, Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe; Alexander Hinton, Why Did They Kill?  Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide; Scott Straus, The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda; James Waller, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (2nd ed.); Kristen Renwick Monroe, Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
15
Course Type: 

Genocide

HIST
5621
Graduate
Spring
2017

One of the defining features of the twentieth century was the repeated use of genocide and other forms of one-sided mass violence by states against internal and external civilian populations.  In this seminar, we will explore these phenomena from a theoretical and historical point of view, with particular attention to the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the democides that have taken place under Communist regimes (e.g., Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia), and more recent experiences of one-sided mass killing in Africa.  While the experience of victims will be of central concern, we will also examine the experience and motivations of perpetrators, the explicit and implicit goals of the terrorizing/genocidal state, the response -- or lack of response -- by members of the international community, and the ethical dilemmas posed by one-sided mass violence.  Requirements include readings of 200 to 300 pages per week, active participation in class discussions, two five-page book reviews, and a fifteen-page historiographical essay.  This course meets the Second Writing Requirement.

 

Likely readings for the course include portions of the following books:  Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination; Eric Weitz, A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation; Benjamin Valentino, Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century; Christian Gerlach, Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century; Taner Akcam, The Young Turks Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire; Doris Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2nd ed.); Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin; Norman Naimark, Stalin's Genocides; Frank Dikotter, Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe; Alexander Hinton, Why Did They Kill?  Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide; Scott Straus, The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda; James Waller, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (2nd ed.); Kristen Renwick Monroe, Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
15
Course Type: 

History of Russia Since 1917

HIEU
2162
Undergraduate
Spring
2017

This is an introductory survey of the history of Russia (broadly defined) from 1917 to the present.  Briefly, our goal in the course is to explore the rise and fall of a distinct form of civilization -- a polity, society, culture and empire -- known as “Soviet Communism.”  Why did that “civilization” arise in Russia, and what is “Russia” now that Soviet Communism is dead?  To answer these questions, lectures and readings will focus on the social and cultural as well as the political history of the region.  Major topics include:  the revolutions of 1917; the Russian Civil War; Lenin’s New Economic Policy; Stalinism; the Great Fatherland War and post-war reconstruction; the origins and phases of the Cold War; de-Stalinization and the limits of reform (Khrushchev to Gorbachev); varieties of Communism within Europe and beyond; the quest for stability and the crisis of late Communism (the Brezhnev years); the disintegration of the USSR and the emergence of the Russian Federation and other successor states; and post-Soviet Russia’s transition to oligarch/crony capitalism and “sovereign democracy” (Yeltsin to Putin).

 

The course assumes no prior training in Russian history.  Requirements include active participation in weekly discussion sections, a midterm exam, a final exam and three 600-word papers on required course readings.  Readings (in English) of about 150 pages per week will include primary and secondary sources. Assigned texts include:  Lydia Chukovskaya, Sofia Petrovna; Friedrich Engels & Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto; Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; and Ronald Suny, The Soviet Experiment. Two required class packets will be available for purchase at N.K Print & Design on Elliewood Avenue.

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
120
Course Type: 
Discussion Sections: 
6

Seminar in Post-1700 European History

Stalinism
HIEU
4502
Fall
2016

What was it like to live in Stalin's USSR?  One way to answer this question is to study how those who lived through the Stalin era -- workers, peasants, youth, women, national minorities, officials, members of the creative intelligenntsia, Gulag prisoners, etc. -- represented their experiences in letters, diaries, memoirs, and works of imagination.  In this course, students will draw upon these and other primary sources to write a 25-page research paper on everyday life under Stalin.  During the first six weeks of the semester, readings of about 200 pages per week will provide students with background on the Stalin era (1928 - 53) and introduce them to the range of possible topics and available English-language sources.  Students will then carry out independent research on a topic to be chosen in consultation with the instructor.  A draft of the paper will be due in November, and the final draft will be due several days after the last class meeting, during which students will give an oral presentation of their findings.  

IMPORTANT:  This capstone seminar fulfills the history thesis and second writing requirements.  Enrollment is capped at twelve and restricted to History Majors who have previously taken college-level courses in Russian/Soviet history.  Students who enroll in the course must choose a research topic that is directly connected to the theme of the seminar -- viz., everyday life under Stalin.  All topic choices are subject to instructor approval.  Possible texts for the first six weeks of common reading include:  Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution and Everyday Stalinism; Chris Ward, Stalin's Russia; J. Bardach, Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag; Maurice Hindus, Red Bread; Viktor Kravchenko, I Choose Freedom: The Personal & Political Life of a Soviet Official; N. Novak-Deker, ed., Soviet Youth:  Twelve Komsomol Histories; and William K. Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students.

Course Instructor: 

Genocide

HIST
3281
Undergraduate
Fall
2016

One of the defining features of the twentieth century was the repeated use of genocide and other forms of one-sided mass violence by states against internal and external civilian populations.  In this lecture course, we will explore these phenomena from a theoretical and historical point of view, with particular attention to the American genocide, the Holocaust, the mass violence carried out by Communist regimes (e.g., Stalin's USSR, Mao's China, and Pol Pot's Cambodia), and the "ethnic cleansing" and genocides of the post -Cold War era (e.g., in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda).  While the experience of victims will be of central concern, we will also examine the experience and motivations of rank-and-file perpetrators, the explicit and implicit goals of perpetrator regimes, and the response--or lack of response -- by members of the international community.  Requirements include attendance at lecture, active participation in weekly section meetings, weekly readings of about 100 - 150 pages, the viewing of several films, three short (2-page) writing assignments based on required readings/films, a mid-term exam, and a final exam.  The course is open to all undergraduate students and does not have any prerequisites.  

The textbook for the course is Adam Jones, Genocide:  A Comprehensive Introduction (2nd ed.)  Excerpts from the following books will also likely be assigned:  Jean Hatzfeld, Machete Season:  The Killers in Rwanda Speak (2005); Donald E. & Lorna Touryan Miller, Survivors:  An Oral History of the American Genocide (1993); Donal L. Niewyk, ed., The Holocaust: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation (4th ed.); Elie Wiesel, Night (2006); and Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (2008).  Likely films to be viewed include:  The Armenian Genocide (dir Andrew Goldberg);  The Wannsee Conference (dir. Heinz Schirk); A Century of Revolution, Part II (dir. Sue Williams);  S21 - The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (dir. Rithy Pan); and The Ghosts of Rwanda (dir, Greg Barker.)

Course Instructor: 

Genocide

HIST
5621
Undergraduate
Graduate
Spring
2016
One of the defining features of the twentieth century was the repeated use of genocide and other forms of one-sided mass violence by states against internal and external civilian populations.  In this seminar, we will explore these phenomena from a theoretical and historical point of view, with particular attention to the Armenian genocide, the Holocaust, the democides that have taken place under Communist regimes (e.g., Stalin’s USSR, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia), and more recent experiences of one-sided mass killing in Africa.  While the experience of victims will be of central concern, we will also examine the experience and motivations of perpetrators, the explicit and implicit goals of the terrorizing/genocidal state, the response -- or lack of response -- by members of the international community, and the ethical dilemmas posed by one-sided mass violence.  Requirements include readings of 200 to 300 pages per week, active participation in class discussions, two five-page book reviews, and a fifteen-page historiographical essay.  This course meets the Second Writing Requirement.
 
Likely readings for the course include portions of the following books:  Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination; Eric Weitz, A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation; Benjamin Valentino, Final Solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century; Christian Gerlach, Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century; Taner Akcam, The Young Turks Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire; Doris Bergen, War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2nd ed.); Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin; Norman Naimark, Stalin's Genocides; Frank Dikotter, Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe; Alexander Hinton, Why Did They Kill?  Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide; Scott Straus, The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda; James Waller, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (2nd ed.); Kristen Renwick Monroe, Ethics in an Age of Terror and Genocide.
Course Instructor: 

History of Russia Since 1917

HIEU
2162
Undergraduate
Spring
2016
This is an introductory survey of the history of Russia (broadly defined) from 1917 to the present.  Briefly, our goal in the course is to explore the rise and fall of a distinct form of civilization -- a polity, society, culture and empire -- known as “Soviet Communism.”  Why did that “civilization” arise in Russia, and what is “Russia” now that Soviet Communism is dead?  To answer these questions, lectures and readings will focus on the social and cultural as well as the political history of the region.  Major topics include:  the revolutions of 1917; the Russian Civil War; Lenin’s New Economic Policy; Stalinism; the Great Fatherland War and post-war reconstruction; the origins and phases of the Cold War; de-Stalinization and the limits of reform (Khrushchev to Gorbachev); varieties of Communism within Europe and beyond; the quest for stability and the crisis of late Communism (the Brezhnev years); the disintegration of the USSR and the emergence of the Russian Federation and other successor states; and post-Soviet Russia’s transition to oligarch/crony capitalism and “sovereign democracy” (Yeltsin to Putin).
 
The course assumes no prior training in Russian history.  Requirements include active participation in weekly discussion sections, a midterm exam, a final exam and three 600-word papers on required course readings.  Readings (in English) of about 150 pages per week will include primary and secondary sources. Assigned texts include:  Lydia Chukovskaya, Sofia Petrovna; Friedrich Engels & Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto; Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; and Ronald Suny, The Soviet Experiment. Two required class packets will be available for purchase at N.K Print & Design on Elliewood Avenue.
Course Instructor: 

Seminar in Post-1700 European History

"Stalinism"
HIEU
4502
Undergraduate
Fall
2015

What was it like to live in Stalin's USSR?  One way to answer that question is to study how those who lived through the Stalin era -- workers, peasants, youth, officials, women, prisoners, etc. -- represented their experiences in letters, diaries, memoirs and works of the imagination.  In this course, students will write a 25-page research paper based on such sources, of which there are many in translation.  During the first six weeks of the semester, readings of about 200 pages per week will provide students with background on the Stalin era (1928-53) and introduce them to the range of possible topics and available sources.  Students will then carry out independent research on a topic to be chosen in consultation with the instructor.  A draft of the paper will be due in mid-November, at which point we will meet again as a group to hear reports about the status of each student's research and writing.  Final drafts will be due at the last meeting of the semester, during which students will present an oral report to the class on his or her findings.

This course fulfills the history thesis and second writing requirements.  A background in Soviet history is highly desirable though not absolutely necessary.  Possible texts for the first six weeks of common reading include:  Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution and Everyday Stalinism; Chris Ward, Stalin’s Russia; J. Bardach, Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag; Maurice Hindus, Red Bread; Viktor Kravchenko, I Chose Freedom: The Personal & Political Life of a Soviet Official; N. Novak-Deker, ed., Soviet Youth:  Twelve Komsomol Histories; and William K. Storey, Writing History: A Guide for Students.

Course Instructor: 
Subscribe to Rossman, Jeffrey

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

  

Contact:
(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
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