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COURSE TITLE: Stalinism: Terror, Progress and Belief
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course examines the contours of the Stalinist period of modern Russian history. It provides a comprehensive and detailed appraisal of the system that emerged in the USSR in the 1930s until the year of Stalin's death in 1953. This course includes sustained engagement with the historiography of Stalinism, and uses a variety of different sources - texts, newspapers, memoirs, posters, films, literature, music - to explore different aspects of the Stalinist system in order to understand what Stalinism was, how it emerged and how it worked in practice. It also appraises how Stalinism has been remembered East and West, and examines the treatment of Stalin in recent biographies.

Prerequisites: HIST 202 or 204
REQUIRED TEXTS: P. Boobyer,    The Stalin Era (Routledge)
COURSE OBJECTIVES: By the end of this course students will:
  • analyse the origins and essence of Stalinism as a distinct historical phenomenon;
  • evaluate the links between Lenin and Stalin, Leninism and Stalinism in an  attempt to understand what happened between 1929 and 1953;
  • be able to analyse and interpret a range of primary sources from this period;
  • have an awareness of the main historiographical debates in this period
  • develop their skills of critical analysis, interpretation, evaluation, communication and debate
  • further refine their Christian perspective and outlook through an extended engagement with the past
Paper 1 (2500 words) 25%
Paper 2 (2500 words) 25%
Forum discussion20%
Final Exam 30%
COURSE SCHEDULE: Bloc One: Introduction: Personality, Ideology and Context:
  • Setting the scene: historiography and understanding Stalinism
  • Bolshevism, Leninism and Communism
  • Who was Stalin?
Bloc Two: The Rise to Power: 1924 - 29
  • Power struggles with Trotsky and Bukharin
  • Economic Debates: Socialism in One Country
  • The Revolution From Above
Bloc Three: Stalin in Power: 1929-41:
  • The Economics of Stalinism: Collectivisation, famine and Soviet agriculture
  • The Economics of Stalinism: industrialisation and Stakhanovism
  • The Personality Cult and the Kirov murder
  • Society and Stalinism: women, education,  culture and justice
  • Atheism and Belief
  • The Great Terror 1936-38
Bloc Four: Stalinism Tested: The USSR at War 1941-45
  • Stalin as War leader
  • The return of the church
  • Defeat to Victory
Bloc Five: High Stalinism 1945 – 53:
  • Expansion and Confrontation
  • Stalin and the Cold War
  • Repression and Reprisals at Home
  • The Death of a Dictator
Bloc Six: Understanding Stalinism
  • Models and concepts
  • Comparisons with Nazism
  • Remembering Stalinism

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

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