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Module

HIS3337 : Russian Cities and Culture from Peter the Great to the Revolution

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Stella Ghervas
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module is an invitation to visit key Russian cities through their history and culture, from Peter the Great to the Bolshevik Revolution. We will make extended stays in the two Russian capitals, Moscow and St. Petersburg; in Kiev, the capital of the ancient Rus and today’s Ukraine; in the new city of Odessa on the Black Sea; in the provincial city of Nizhny Novgorod; and in the two merchant cities of Kazan and Rostov-on-Don. During our journey, we will ask a number of questions: How were these cities created? Why did they evolve in the way they did, sometimes dramatically? What types of populations lived there and what were their cultural expressions? To answer these questions, we will examine critically a variety of primary sources written by those who planned, ruled and lived in these cities, by foreigners who visited them and by authors who re-imagined their life and history in literature.

The module goals are:
1.       To provide historical and geographical background on the varied urban realities of Russia, as well as to show commonalities and comparisons with other European cities.
2.       To impart the methods of historical research on cities and an insight on the range of themes that this research subject may cover, within and beyond Russia.
3.       To introduce students to handling translated primary sources on the history of Russian cities.
4.       To encourage students to read widely and critically in the secondary literature, and to develop their capacity for independent study.
5.       To enable students to focus on specific issues of interest and develop their own interpretations of sources.
6.       To encourage students to think about their own communities and how they have developed over time.

Outline Of Syllabus

Using works of history, literature, and film we will cover such topics as: the rationale for the location of cities; the circumstances of their foundation; trade routes; populations and demography; architectural and cultural productions; religious institutions and practices; music and theatre; and the perception of these cities in Russian culture and literature, as well as by foreigners who travelled or lived there. We will examine these topics in relation to the cities of Novgorod, St Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, Nizhny Novgorod, and Kazan. Each city presents an opportunity to explore specific themes in the history of cities more broadly.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable