Undergraduate Course: Stalin's Russia, 1921-1941 (HIST10336)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course offers a survey of the revolutionary communist experiments carried out by the USSR from 1921 to 1941, giving the students a chance to engage with the latest debates in Russian history and with in-depth primary source analysis. This period is crucial to understanding the rise and fall of the world's first great socialist state, and provides a Russian perspective on important debates in modern history.
This is a study of the emergence and evolution of a 'Stalinist' regime, culture and society. There is a wide variety of published translated Russian primary source material available on this subject, giving the students a chance to engage with the latest debates in Russian history. This period is crucial to understanding the rise and fall of the world's first great socialist experiment, and provides a Russian perspective on important debates in modern history: Did communism offer a more viable model of modernity than capitalism? Why did so many European states turn towards political extremism, violence and dictatorship in the early twentieth century? Why did these tyrannous regimes fail?
First Semester: The Rise of Stalinism
1 Introduction: A Brief Introduction to Russian History
2 1921: Context: The Lenin Legacy
3 1922: Politics: The leaders and the struggle for power
4 1923: Economics: The world of NEP
5 1924-26: Ideology: From Leninism to Stalinism
6 1926: Society I: rural life in the 1920s
7 1927: Society II: city life in the 1920s
8 1928: Experimental life: Utopian dreams
9 1929: Revolutionary life I: Collectivization
10 1930: Revolutionary life II: Industrialization
11 Was Stalin Necessary? Historical debate on the 1920s
Second semester: The Road to Dystopia
12 1931: Sex, crime, disease and drink: Social problems
13 1932-34: Opposition to Stalin: Conspiracies, resistance and revolt
14 1934: Support for Stalin: Populism, Party cliques and cadres
15 1935: Work & leisure: Rituals, routines and the pursuit of pleasure
16 1936: How to win friends & influence people: Propaganda & show trials
17 1937: The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down? Stalinist terror
18 1938: Soviet Science
19 1939: Culture: Revolutionary experimentalism to socialist realism
20 1940-41: Foreign policy and the descent into war
21 The Great Experiment: Historical debate on the 1930s
22 Exam preparation
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44,
Summative Assessment Hours 3,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Students will complete two essays of 4,000 words and sit one three-hour exam. The final mark will be composed of the essay mark, weighted at 50% of the final mark, and the exam mark, weighted at 50% of the final mark.
||Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||3:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
- demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
- demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
|Philip Boobbyer (ed.), The Stalin Era (London, 2000).|
Richard Sakwa (ed.), The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union (London, 1999).
J. Arch Getty & Oleg Naumov (eds.) The Road to Terror (Yale UP, 1999).
Ronald Grigor Suny (ed.), The Structure of Soviet History: Essays and Documents (Oxford, 2003).
Chris Ward, Stalin's Russia (London, 1999).
Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (London, 2003).
Robert Service, Stalin: A Biography (London, 2004).
Sarah Davies & James Harris (eds.), Stalin: A New History (Cambridge, 2005).
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Iain Lauchlan
Tel: (0131 6)50 3769
|Course secretary||Miss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783