Imperial Russia Engages the World, 1700-1917 (HIH1037)
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks;|
The principal aim of this module is to examine Russia’s foreign policy initiatives, the interplay of domestic and international factors among which they transpired, and the continuity and change of the values and ideologies that motivated them. The secondary aim is to take a broad view of activities that engage the world outside a state’s territorial borders and concern broad swathes of the population beyond leaders, armies, and diplomats. We will accomplish these goals by pairing contextual readings with a range of primary sources to consider a variety of documents that give insight into historical events, processes, and transformations. These primary sources will include political tracts, pamphlets, petitions, letters, geographical and travel narratives, memoirs, legal treatises, treaties, visual representations, material objects, administrative records, and government documents. Our approach to these sources will assess their intended audience, their reliability, and their role in constructing Russian policy.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Understand and assess the main developments in the Russian Empires visibility on the international stage and engagements with bordering regions, major international powers, and foreign groups and individuals.
- 2. Work critically with a range of written and visual sources relating to the topic.
- 3. Assess the sources in relation to the historical debates, purposes for which different contemporary sources were produced, and analyse and evaluate their reliability and usefulness for the study of imperial Russias role in global history.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. utility, limitations, etc, and compare the validity of different types of sources.
- 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
- 6. Present work orally, respond to questions orally, and think quickly of questions to ask other students.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Conduct independent study and group work, including the presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
- 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment.
- 9. Work with others in a team and to interact effectively with the tutor and the wider group.
- 10. Write to a very tight word-length.
Weekly seminar topics may vary, but can include: Russia’s interactions with nomadic and steppe communities in inner Eurasia; economic and political exchanges with the Ottoman and Qing Empires; war, diplomacy and ritual with European powers; Pacific geopolitics over exploration in the Far East; the role of religion in construction Russian politics; Russia’s leading role in construction of international law.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||2||2 hour lecture: Introduction to module|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||20||10 x 2 hour seminars. At a meeting of the whole class generally a different group of 3-4 students will give a presentation to the whole class, followed by class discussion and working through the sources for that week carefully. Additional sources may be issued in the class and the lecturer will also use the time to set up issues for the following week|
|Guided independent study||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing five source commentaries and an essay and preparing one group presentation in the course of the term|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Group presentation (3-4 students)||10-15 minutes||1-4, 6-7, 9||Oral|
|Lowest mark from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|4 highest marks from portfolio of 5 source commentaries||60||2000 words (500 per commentary)||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
|Essay on Sources||40||1500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||4 highest marks of portfolio of 5 source commentaries||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period|
|1500-word essay||1500-word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||Referral/deferral period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Andrei Zorin, By Fables Alone: Literature and State Ideology in Late-Eighteenth – Early-Nineteenth-Century Russia (Brighton, MA: Academic Studies Press, 2014).
Lucien J. Frary, Russia and the Making of Modern Greek Identity, 1821-1844 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).
Roger Bartlett, Human Capital: The Settlement of Foreigners in Russia, 1762-1804 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979).
Clifford Foust, Muscovite and Mandarin: Russia’s trade with China and its setting, 1727-1805 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1969).
Ilya Vinkovetsky, Russian America: An Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire, 1804-1867 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).
Ryan Tucker Jones, Empire of Extinction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).
Eileen M. Kane, Russian Hajj: Empire and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015).
Peter Gatrell, A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War I (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999).
Dominic Lieven, Russia Against Napoleon (London: Allen Lane, 2009).
Michael Khodarkovsky, Russia’s Steppe Frontier: The Making of a Colonial Empire, 1500-1800 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002).
Andrew Robarts, Migration and Disease in the Black Sea Region (London: Bloomsbury, 2017).
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Key words search
Russian Empire, foreign policy, international law, diplomacy, migration, population politics.