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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program
Course Description

Mother Russia's Daughters and Sons: Gender and Power in Russia's Past and Present

Instructor(s): Kate Graney, Political Science

What explains the fact that, in a country famously and widely known as “Mother Russia,” one of the most enduring proverbs is “Just as a crab is not a fish, a woman is not a human being”? In this semester, we will apply the powerful tool of gender analysis to explore what it has meant historically and currently to be female, as opposed to male, living in Russia. How do the life experiences and life opportunities men and women differ. How have political, economic, and social rights, expectations, roles, and opportunities differed for men and women over the years in Russia? What role have various forms of Russian government and economy – Tsarist / absolutist / feudal/ soviet/ “democratic”/ capitalist – played in structuring both understandings of and “lived experiences” of female and male human beings in Russia over the years? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what do these various experiences tell us about the human experience more generally, and how humans might organizes their lives to facilitate their human development.

Course Offered: