Undergraduate

modules

Modules

HIS3134 : The Great Patriotic War and its Aftermath

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module seeks to explore the Social, Economic, Political and Cultural history of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), and the late Stalinist period (1945-1953). The Soviet Union’s victory in 1945, after the catastrophic defeats of 1941 and 1942, was one of the most remarkable turnarounds in a society’s military efforts and war effort in modern history. However, the Great Patriotic War was won at a terrible economic and social cost. Approximately 27 million Soviet citizens died during the war, and vast swathes of Soviet territory, including some of its most economically advanced regions lay in ruins. This module examines how the Great Patriotic War was won, the ways in which waging modern industrialised warfare transformed Soviet Stalinism, and last effects of the war on late Stalinist society. The module will examine both the effects of the war on high politics, government and the planned economy, as well as the lives of ‘ordinary’ citizens. The seminars will explore the wide and vibrant recent scholarship of the war and the immediate postwar period, as well as a variety of primary documents, including official reports, visual propaganda, memoirs, letters, literature and statistics.

The module aims are:
1) For students to have a detailed knowledge and understanding of the history of the Soviet war effort and the reconstruction of Soviet society from the start of the war in June 1941 through to Stalin’s death in March 1953.
2) For students to have an in depth understanding of the historiographical debates surrounding the political, economic, social and cultural history of the Soviet war effort and the reconstruction of Soviet society.
3) For students to consider to what extent the experience of the Great Patriotic War relaunched the Soviet project.
4) For students to conduct research using primary sources (including visual sources, documents in translation from Russian, and materials originally produced in English) that engaged with historiographical debates.

Outline Of Syllabus

Outline syllabus, intended as a guide only: week-by-week topics might be slightly different to the following:
1.Introductions
2.Stalinism at War – The Course of the War and Changes to the Soviet Political Order
3.Why did Stalin’s soldiers fight? – The Soviet Frontline Experience / Partisans
4.The Soviet Home Front and the Mobilization of Soviet Society
5.Soviet Propaganda, Public Culture and Popular Opinion during the War / The Russian Orthodox Church
6.The Siege of Leningrad and its Aftermath
7.Demobilising the Red Army, Veterans and the War Disabled in Postwar Society
8.The Soviet Family at War and Peace: Soviet Women During and After the War
9.Postwar Reconstruction: Urban and Rural Comparisons
10.Postwar Soviet Politics and the Relaunch of the Soviet Project.
11.Making Sense of War: The Great Patriotic War, Memory, Monuments and Commemoration
12.Revisions Session and Surgery Hours.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion551:0055:001/3 of independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 of independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching113:0033:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Revision lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Surgery hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study541:0054:001/3 of independent study
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminars are designed to encourage students to engage directly with a wide range of primary and secondary source materials, and to raise and discuss the issues that these present for themselves.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1801A75N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M25An essay of 2,000 words (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MStudents will deliver a presentation on a prearranged theme, providing a written handout to accompany & structure the presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Exams test acquisition of a clear general knowledge of the subject plus the ability to think and analyse a problem quickly, to select from and to apply both the general knowledge and detailed knowledge of aspects of the subject to new questions, problem-solving skills, adaptability, the ability to work unaided and to write clearly and concisely.

Documentary commentary exercises and examinations test knowledge and understanding of the texts set for the module. The ability to compare and contrast related source texts on a common subject. The ability to expound and criticize a textual extract lucidly, succinctly and with relevance in a relatively brief space, and, in an exam, under pressure of time.

Seminar preparation will help students to develop the skills required to select, prioritise and interpret a wealth of evidence and then use this evidence to support their arguments. All students will deliver a presentation on a prearranged theme, and provide a written handout to accompany and structure that presentation.

Work submitted during the delivery of the module forms a means of determining student progress.

Submitted work tests intended knowledge and skills outcomes, develops key skills in research, reading and writing.

This module can be made available to Erasmus students only with the agreement of the Head of Subject and of the Module Leader. This option must be discussed in person at the beginning of your exchange period. No restrictions apply to study-abroad, exchange and Loyola students.
All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.
Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.

Reading Lists

Timetable