HIS325:  Imperial Russia

Winter 2013                                                   2-4 T, SS 2105

Dr. Alison K. Smith                                       email:  alison.smith@utoronto.ca
Office: Munk 124N                                       webpage:  http://individual.utoronto.ca/aksmith
Office hours: TW, 4-5                                  

Course Description:
This course focuses on Russia's history during a period of remarkable change and turbulence, when the country more firmly established its far-flung empire while attempting to define itself as a nation.  From the wars and reforms of Peter the Great through the end of the empire during the First World War, the course touches on questions of social and cultural change, and the political events that allowed or constrained them. Furthermore, it examines the ways that the concept of “Imperial Russia”—and of Russia itself—developed in the writings of contemporary and more recent historians and authors. 

(1)  two 5-7 page essay papers (25% each)
(2)  one final exam (35%)
(3)  class participation (15 %) (includes regular participation via index cards; see here for more information)

Be warned that plagiarism is a serious offense.  Read the university’s policies on academic dishonesty, located at http://www.governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/policies/behaveac.htm.  In this course, plagiarism (ask if you’re confused about what that means) can lead to failure, not on a single paper, but for the class as a whole.

For more information on avoiding plagiarism, see in particular the University’s information on “how not to plagiarize” at” http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/using-sources/how-not-to-plagiarize.

Furthermore, students agree that by taking this course all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. The terms that apply to the University’s use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the Turnitin.com website.

Unexcused late papers or missed exams are also not acceptable.  If you find yourself in dire straits, or anticipate a conflict, discuss the matter with me ahead of time.  The night before something is due is not ahead of time.  Do not simply fail to turn in a paper and assume I’ll accept something late. 

The penalty for late work I have been informed about is three percentage points per day.

One final note:  please, when sending me an email, include “HIS325” in the subject line.

Required Texts:
available at University Bookstore:
The Memoirs of Catherine the Great
Alexander Pushkin, The Captain’s Daughter: And Other Stories
Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia, Village Life in Late Tsarist Russia
Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

available online through library catalog:
Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution
Abbot Gleason, editor, A Companion to Russian History
Leopold H. Haimson, The Making of Three Russian Revolutionaries
Dominic Lieven, editor, The Cambridge History of Russia, vol. 2 (see individual links below)
Thomas Riha, Readings in Russian Civilization, vol. 2

Schedule of assignments/topics:
Part I:  Power
January 8:      Introduction

January 15:    Autocrats
Reading:  The Memoirs of Catherine the Great

January 22:    Reformers

January 29:    War and Empire

Part II: People
February 5:    Lords and Serfs
Reading:  Alexander Pushkin, “The Queen of Spades” and “The Captain’s Daughter”
First essay due electronically, 5pm Friday February 8

February 12:  Serfs to Peasants
Reading: Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia, Village Life in Late Tsarist Russia

February 26:  Women and Men
Reading:  Cambridge History of Russia, chapters 15-16 “Women, the Family, and Public Life,” and “Gender and the Legal Order in Imperial Russia

March 5:         Soslovie and Class

Part III: Ideas
March 12:       What is Russia?
Reading:  excerpts from Alexander Radishchev, A Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow; Nicholas Karamzin, Memoir on Ancient and Modern Russia, Peter Chaadaev, “Apology of a Madman,” and Vissarion Belinsky, “Letter to Gogol,” all in Thomas Riha, Readings in Russian Civilization

March 19:       Literature and Politics
Reading: Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons
Second essay due electronically, 5pm Friday, March 22

March 26:       What is to be Done?
Reading: “Lydia Dan,” in Haimson, Making of Three Russian Revolutionaries

April 2:            Revolution