Course Description

01:510:377 Russia in War and Peace

  • Academic Credits: 3
  • Mode of Instruction: Lecture
  • Syllabus:   pdf Spring 2023 (446 KB)


    Syllabus Disclaimer:  The information on this syllabus is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (Canvas, etc.) on the first day of class.

  • Course Description

    From the disastrous Russian war against Japan in 1904-1905 to the current war in Ukraine, Russian politics, society, and culture have been shaped by the country’s involvement in the world. Russia’s political structure has been shaken by wars it has lost. National identities have been defined or redefined as Russia has opposed foreign enemies and sought to emulate aspects of distant societies, above all the United States. Russian literature and arts have strongly influenced and been affected by foreign cultures. By examining such processes, we will seek to understand changes in Russia over the last 120 years. Reading assignments, films, lectures, and discussions will center on the Russo-Japanese War, the revolution of 1905, the origins and impact of the First World War, the revolutions of 1917, the waging and legacies of the Russian Civil War, the tension between desires for world revolution and peaceful coexistence in the 1920s, the pursuit of collective security in the 1930s, the experience of the Great Patriotic War, the impact of the Cold War, the meanings of détente, the brutal war in Afghanistan, the ending of the Cold War, the collapse of Soviet communism, the two post-Soviet wars in Chechnya, and recent wars against Georgia and Ukraine.