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Political Science Department
 

GO 227 : Russia : A Century of Change

Fall 2005
K. Graney
T / Th 2:10-3:30 / Ladd 206

OFFICE : Ladd 306a
PHONE: x5242
EMAIL: kgraney
OFFICE HOURS: TBA

This class examines the "short" 20th century in Russia, a century book-ended by two great revolutions--the 1917 revolution which brought communism to Russia and created the Soviet Union, and the 1991 revolution which saw the collapse of Soviet communism and witnessed the re-birth of Russia as a "modern, democratic" state.

This class is reading and writing intensive--you will gain extensive practice in reading and analyzing different types of primary texts (official decrees, speeches, memoirs) and different genres of historical literature (poems, fiction), and you will gain extensive practice in writing well-argued, grammatically-correct essay papers.

REQUIRED BOOKS (available for purchase at Skidmore Shop):

A Documentary History of Communism in Russia edited by Robert Daniels
A Short History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, by Peter Kenez
Behind the Urals: An American Worker in Russia's City of Steel, by John Scott
A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Fathers and Sons, by Ivan Turgenev

Required Additional Readings: PACKET

ASSIGNMENTS:

Class Participation and Classroom Comportment (20%)

TWO 5-7 Page Analytical Essay Papers (20% each) : FIRST PAPER DUE OCT 11
SECOND PAPER DUE NOV 22

Take Home Mid-Term Exam (20%): Handed out OCT 25: Due NOV 1 in class

Take Home Final Exam (20%): Handed out DEC 13: Due As Scheduled by Registrar


Schedule of Readings and Assignments:

Th Sept 8: Syllabus, packets

Tu Sept 13: Imperial Russia : Land of the Tsars and Serfs


--Richard Pipes, Russia Under the Old Regime, p.1-24, PACKET
--Michael Kort, Soviet Colossus, "The Autocratic State", 8-18, PACKET
--"Reorganization of Russia by Peter the Great", PACKET

Th Sept 15 : Imperial Russia, Continued

--Catherine the Great's "Instructions" PACKET
--"Childbirth, Christening and Wife-beating", from Village Life in Late Tsarist Russia , PACKET

Tu Sept 20: Intellectuals Arise : Slowly But Surely

--Michael Kort, Soviet Colossus, "The Intelligentsia", p. 32-43 PACKET
--"War of 1812", p. 190-195, PACKET
--"The Decembrist Movement", p.207-229, PACKET
--Begin reading Fathers and Sons

Th Sept 22: Rise of Intelligentsia, Continued

--Peter Chaadaev, "Apology of a Madman", PACKET
--Breshkovskaya, "Going to the People", PACKET
--Continue reading Fathers and Sons

Tu Sept 27: Discuss Fathers and Sons

Th Sept 29: Marxism and Lenin : Bolsheviks and Mensheviks

--Michael Kort, Soviet Colossus , p. 47-69, PACKET
--Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto, PACKET
--Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.4-17

Tu Oct 4: 1905 and World War One in Russia

--Michael Kort, Soviet Colossus, p.70-83, PACKET
--"Concessions of Nicholas II to the 1905 Revolution", Nicholas II "Speech from the Throne"PACKET

Th Oct 6: The Russian Revolution : FEBRUARY 1917

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p.14-27
--Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.42-top 47

Tu Oct 11 : The Russian Revolution : OCTOBER 1917 (FILM)

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p. bottom 27-33
--Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.52-72
FIRST PAPERS DUE

Th. Oct 13: Civil War / War Communism

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p.bottom 33-45
--Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.mid 72-73, mid 80-85, 91-96

Tu Oct 18: Building the Soviet State : Normalization, Integration and NEP and Cultural and Family Reform

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p.45-75
--Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.107-113 and 102-top of 104

TH Oct 20: Rise of Stalin / Death of Lenin/ TROTSKY

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p.75-top 84
-- Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p. 117-118, p. bottom 144-mid 147, mid 158-159, mid 162-mid 164

Tu Oct 25: Stalin Revolution : COLLECTIVIZATION : MIDTERMS HANDED OUT

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p top 84-top 89, mid 96-top 101
-- Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.170-173, bottom 177-179, bottom 188-mid 190

Th Oct 27: Stalin Revolution : INDUSTRIALIZATION

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p. top 89-mid 96
--Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p. bottom 180-middle 183
--BEGIN READING : John Scott, Behind the Urals, Introduction, 2-50, 137-70

Tu Nov 1 : INDUSTRIALIZATION and CULTURAL REVOLUTION:
MIDTERMS DUE

--John Scott, Behind the Urals Introduction, 2-50, 137-70
--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p. top 101-102
-- Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p. 193-198

Th Nov 3: Terror and Purges

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p. 103-126
-- Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p. bottom 205-217

Tu Nov 8: Life in the GULAG

--Alexander Solzhenitsyn, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
--Anne Applebaum, GULAG: A HISTORY, "Introduction", PACKET

Th Nov 10: World War Two in Russia

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p.mid 126-159
--Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p. 228-235


Tu Nov 15: Post-WW 2 : Birth of Cold War, Death of Stalin, Rise of Khrushchev

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p. 160-183

Th Nov 17: Rise of Khrushchev : De-Stalinization and Thaw, Cuban Missile Crisis

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p184-213
-- Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.mid 254-bottom 258, bottom of 275-279

Tu Nov 22: Brezhnev and Stagnation : SECOND PAPER DUE

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p.214-222
n Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.280-283

Th Nov 24: THANKSGIVING

Tu Nov 29 : Life in the Brezhnev Era

--Hedrick Smith, The Russians, Excerpts, PACKET

Th Dec 1: Dissidents : Solzhenitsyn Redux, Letter to Brezhnev

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p.223-mid 229

--Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.bottom 290-top 302

Tu Dec 6: The Road to Gorbachev / End of Cold War/ Perestroika and Glasnost

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p. 233-261

--Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.337-341, bottom 347-351

Th Dec 8: Collapse of Empire : Rise of Yeltsin

--Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End, p. mid 261-277

-- Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, p.bottom 373-377, 383-392

Tu Dec 13: Post-Soviet Decade / Return of Solzhenitsyn : TAKE HOME FINAL HANDED OUT


--David Remnick's New Yorker articles "Into the Woods" and "Post-Imperial Blues" on Solzhenitsyn, Yeltsin and Putin in PACKET

EXPLANATION OF ASSIGNMENTS:

1. Class Participation and Classroom Comportment : 20%

The mission statement of Skidmore College describes the student body as "a diverse population of talented students who are eager to engage actively in the learning process". While this is usually true for the vast majority of Skidmore College students, the Government Department has found it necessary to formally codify the behaviors of "actively engaged learners" into a formal Comportment Policy. You are expected to follow these guidelines. If you do not, it will negatively affect your grade in this class.

Here is the policy:

DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT SKIDMORE COLLEGE

POLICY ON CIVILITY AND COMPORTMENT IN THE CLASSROOM

FALL 2005

The classroom experience is the heart of liberal education, and as such is the most important aspect of your Skidmore College education. Presumably, if you did not agree you would not be attending Skidmore. The faculty of the Government Department takes this understanding as the basis of our educational efforts. It is in an attempt to honor the centrality of the classroom experience that we offer this department policy on civility and comportment.

As is stated in the Student Handbook, your presence at Skidmore College is contingent upon your acceptance of, and full adherence to, the Skidmore College Honor Code. This honor code is distinct from the oath you take when writing a paper or taking an exam – it is in fact much more all-encompassing, and much more demanding.

The Code includes the following statement: "I hereby accept membership in the Skidmore College community and, with full realization of the responsibilities inherent in membership, do agree to adhere to honesty and integrity in all relationships, to be considerate of the rights of others, and to abide by the College regulations." Elsewhere, the Code also calls all Skidmore students to "conform to high standards of fair play, integrity, and honor."

What does it mean to do act honestly, with integrity, and according to high standards of fair play, particularly in the classroom? In our view, it includes, minimally, the following.

1. No student shall lessen the learning experience of others in the classroom by arriving late to class.


2. No student shall lessen the learning experience of others in the classroom by leaving the classroom while class is in session, except for true medical emergencies.

3. Cell phones must be turned off during class.


4. No student shall disrupt the learning experience of others in the classroom by talking to a neighbor, writing notes to other students, reviewing one's mail, reading the newspaper, completing homework for other classes, or playing with the laptop computer, while class is in session.


5. No student shall disrespect other Skidmore students, professors or the housekeeping staff by putting feet on the desks or other furniture in the classroom, or by leaving trash, food, or recyclables in the room at the end of the class session.


While we will hold all students to these minimal expectations, we also have some suggestions for those who seek to go beyond the bare minimum of civil classroom comportment to become the type of mature, responsible, active learners who are an asset to any classroom and society at large. These include the following.


6. Every student should take copious and meaningful notes both on assigned readings and during classroom sessions. Note taking is an important skill—if you do not already possess it, you should acquire it.


7. Every student should take some time to review the notes that he or she has taken on the day's assigned reading before each class meeting. You will be amazed how much more invested and engaged in the class you will feel if you go into the classroom well-prepared.


8. Disruptions in class can be a significant impediment to learning, and no member of the Skidmore community—including faculty and students—should tolerate them. Thus every student should take responsibility for holding his or her peers and classmates to both high academic standards and high standards of civility. If people around you are chatting, passing notes or otherwise detracting from the overall quality of YOUR classroom experience, don't let them get away with it.


9. Individual faculty members in the Government Department will determine the level of sanctions for disruptive behavior.

A FURTHER NOTE ON ATTENDANCE: I expect you to be here every day, ready to participate. Absences are keenly noted (I take attendance) and will adversely affect your class participation grade. Sports team related absences must be requested in writing and all classroom work must be made up. In general, documentation is useful, but not always sufficient, for absolution of absences

A FURTHER NOTE ON QUIZZES / IN-CLASS WRITING / RESPONSE PAPERS : While reading the assignments is a required and expected part of the class, as an incentive to make sure you complete the readings on time, I will issue a series of UNANNOUNCED in-class writing assignments and quizzes throughout the semester as well as a series of RESPONSE PAPERS. These will occur on average of once a week, for a TOTAL of 10 quizzes / writing assignments / response papers. You will be able to use your NOTES from the readings for these assignments, although NOT the readings themselves. If you are keeping up with the reading, these will not be a problem for you. There will not be any make-ups on these assignments..


2. 2 5-7 Page Analytical Papers (Due OCT 12 and NOV 23)

3-4. Take home midterm and final exams (Due Nov 2 and TBA)

These are formal pieces of academic writing, which will be based on in-class readings. As such, they will be graded on both style and content. That is, grammar and presentation will be evaluated along with argumentation and the appropriate use of and citation of sources. You should use BOTH the Government Department Guide to Writing and the Skidmore College Writing Guide when preparing your papers--you will be held to the standards and expectations it contains. Here are the web addresses:

Government Department Writing Guide:

http://www.skidmore.edu/academics/gov/writing/index.htm

Skidmore College Writing Guide:

www.skidmore.edu/academics/english/ENGLISH_DEPT_HP/WG/WGFRAMES.html

OTHER GENERAL POLICIES:

DUE DATES FOR PAPERS:
Papers are due at the beginning of class, on time, on the day indicated in the syllabus. If your paper is going to be late, it is INFINITELY better for you to come to class that day and then turn in the paper later. Skipping class on the due date to finish a paper will result in a larger reduction in your grade than had the paper simply been delivered late.

PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING
Don't do it. I and other faculty members have become sensitized to the popularity of internet paper services, and routinely employ services such as those found at "plagiarism.com" and other websites to prevent plagiarism.

**ASSESSMENT/ GRADING AND ASSIGNMENTS

GRADING
As noted in the Skidmore College Catalogue on page 51, Grades are assigned on the following basis:
A -- Distinguished work
A-, B+, B -- Superior work
B-, C+, C --Satisfactory work
C-, D+, D--Passing but poor quality work

Sample Checklist for Evaluating Written Assignments
Prof. Kate Graney

ON-TIME : One Point For Each Day Paper is Late

FORMAT
Title page

Double-Spaced

Page Numbers

Bibliography : Are All Citations Complete (Author, Journal Title, Publisher, Date)

STYLE
Spelling

Punctuation

Their/There

Grammar: Verb Tenses, Syntax

Creativity with Language

CONTENT

Length

Does the Paper Address Assigned or Chosen Topic ?

Use of Sources : Proper Balance of Internet vs. Library Sources (as indicated in assignment)

All Sources Cited and Cited Properly (Author Name, Date, AND PAGES CITED)

Strong and Coherent Argument Supported by Evidence

A A A