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The Soviet Century (CLAC.50)
REES 257
Fall 2024
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: CGST 237

This course begins and ends with two crucially important dates of the 20th century. On November 7, 1917, the Bolshevik party launched a revolution against the Russian government with the aim of overthrowing not just the state but capitalism, the economic and social system that defined modern civilization. Over the coming decades, the state they created (eventually named the USSR) embarked on an unprecedented project to remake the world. On December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed into 15 countries. The Soviet project raises fundamental questions about political systems, economics, and human nature--questions that are a long way from being answered. It also shaped modern history all over the world, including in the United States, which confronted the Soviet Union as its political and ideological archenemy during the Cold War. In charting the USSR's trajectory from pariah nation after World War I to global superpower following World War II, we will explore the ways in which socialist modernity offered an alternative to its capitalist twin. In an effort to understand the contradictions of Soviet life leading up to and during the Cold War, the course will examine how the Soviets sought to rethink issues of class struggle, family structure, education, gender dynamics, race, religion, sexuality, and patriotism. We will consider key theoretical writings in addition to poetry and prose by major Russian and Russophone authors. Particular attention will be paid to underground cultures that arose in response to the repression of free speech, ethnic discrimination, and the Gulag prison system. This class consists of lectures and focused discussion of essays and films. It will be taught in Russian and is open to students who have successfully completed RUSS202, as well as to heritage and native speakers. Students can expect to practice speaking Russian and honing their writing skills. Credit: 0.5
Credit: .5 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS REES
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Credit/Unsatisfactory
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: RUSS202
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on JUL-17-2024
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