Titled "Russian and Soviet Empires: The Tsars, the Revolution, and Beyond," this mini-term focuses on Russia's political past and present, examining the idea of empire as it applies to Russia both before and after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. As part of this, students analyze how factors such as geography, social demographics, ethnicity, religion, ideology and economics have shaped and continue to shape the Russian political landscape.
Territorially the largest country in the world, Russia represents a tapestry of different ethnicities and cultures, whose conflict and cooperation formed its rich history. From the beautiful onion domes of Moscow's magnificent churches to the noble edifices of Saint Petersburg's museums and palaces, even the architecture attests to the variety of cultural influences in this vast imperial giant.
Course of Study
Before departing for Russia, students complete assigned readings and attend pre-departure classes (there will be six classes the spring term), which give background on the history of Russia vis-à-vis this issue (plus some survival Russian).
We then fly to Moscow, where students visit key sites associated with the reign of Ivan the Terrible and his successors (right up to and including the Communist period), examining seminal moments in Russia's centralization of authority and its transformation into a multi-ethnic state.
Proceeding to Saint Petersburg, students analyze the clash and synthesis of cultures (European and Russian), evidences of "enlightened despotism," and the beginning of revolutionary activity. Throughout, students are encouraged to make applications to Russia's current political situation.
Students will keep a journal detailing what they see and experience and how it applies to the mini-term's theme. From this, students will prepare a final paper and then have two options of how to share their findings with the Union community. They can either give a Power Point presentation or put together a "textbook" (text with pictures) on an aspect of the subject "Russia and Empire."
None. However, students will need to attend pre-departure classes to go on the trip.
Students will reside in youth hostels during their stay in Russia.
(For specific dates, contact the International Programs Office, Old Chapel, Third Floor.)
- January: Application deadline is the third Friday of winter term.
- February: Non-refundable deposit due at the Cashier's Office in McKean House, and receipt brought to the International Programs Office
- Mid-June: Mini-term begins
- Beginning of July: Program ends
For More Information
Contact Professor Kristin Bidoshi at firstname.lastname@example.org.