Images of Stalinism (HIH1600)
|Staff||Dr Matt Rendle - Convenor|
|Duration of Module||Term 2: 11 weeks;|
The aim of the module is to introduce students to the rich range of sources available to study the immense political, social, economic and cultural developments that characterized Stalin’s Russia. Individual seminars will focus on various sources, from ‘traditional’ written sources (such as decrees, memoirs, diaries, and letters) to other, more diverse sources (such as posters, photographs, cartoons, adverts, architecture, art and literature). Students will be encouraged to conduct their own research into these sources, consider their value and reliability, and use them to explore particular topics and themes. In doing this, the module will help students develop skills in source analysis and research that will provide a foundation for future historical work.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the main developments of this period in Russian history.
- 2. Assess critically the range of sources emerging from Soviet Russia.
- 3. Assess the sources in relation to the numerous debates surrounding this period.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 4. Identify the problems of using historical sources, e.g. bias, reliability, etc, and to compare the validity of different types of sources.
- 5. Answer a question briefly and concisely.
- 6. Present work orally, to respond to questions orally, and to 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 organize 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. To write to a very tight word-length.
1. Introduction to Soviet History, 1924-1953
2. The Stalinist State: Decrees, Speeches and Statistics
3. Picturing the ‘Official’ Image: Posters and Animation
4. Filming Stalinism: Documentary Films
5. Impressions: Diaries and Letters
6. Memories: Autobiographies and Interviews
7.Capturing the Truth? Photographs and Art
8. Building Stalinism: Architecture and Monuments
9. Ambiguous Images: Adverts, Cartoons and Literature
10.Stalinism on Trial: Surveillance Reports and Trial Testimony
11. Fellow Travellers? The Experiences of Foreigners
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|
|Lecture||2||Introduction to module|
|Workshop||20||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 learning||128||Students prepare for the session through reading and research; writing a weekly source 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, 6-9||Oral feedback|
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|
|Portfolio of seven essays||77||400-500 words||1-5, 7-8, 10||Mark and written comments|
|Essay||23||1000 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|
|Portfolio of seven 400-500 word essays||Portfolio of seven essays||1-5, 7-8, 10||August/September assessment period|
|1 x 1000-word essay||1 x 1000 word essay||1-5, 7-8, 10||August/September assessment period|
You will be required to submit the same written work as for the summative assessment; if you are referred your mark will be capped at 40%.
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
E. Acton, The Soviet Union: A Documentary History (2 volumes, 2005-06)
A. Applebaum (ed.), Gulag Voices: An Anthology (2011)
V. Bonnell, Iconography of Power: Soviet Political Posters under Lenin and Stalin (1997)
P. Boobbyer, The Stalin Era (2000)
K. Clark and E. Dobrenko (eds.), Soviet Culture and Power: A History in Documents, 1917-1953 (2007)
V. Garros et al. (eds.), Intimacy and Terror: Soviet Diaries of the 1930s (1995)
J. Gheith and K. Jolluck, Gulag Voices: Oral Histories of Soviet Incarceration and Exile (2011)
B. Groys, Total Art of Stalinism (1992)
D. King, Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin’s Russia (1999)
B. Lewis, Hammer & Tickle: A History of Communism told through Communist Jokes (2008)
L. Lih et al. (eds.), Stalin’s Letters to Molotov (1995)
P. Radetsky, The Soviet Image: A Hundred Years of Photographs from Inside the TASS Archives (2007)
R. Sakwa, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991 (1999)
L. Siegelbaum and A. Sokolov, Stalinism as a Way of Life: A Narrative in Documents (2000)
J. Von Geldern and R. Stites (eds.), Mass Culture in Soviet Russia: Tales, Poems, Songs, Movies, Plays and Folklore, 1917-1953 (1995)
S. White, The Bolshevik Poster (1988)
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Various websites containing Soviet posters, and images of art and architecture. Some examples:
Indicative learning resources - Other resources
Earth (dir. A. Dovzhenko, 1930)
Man with a Movie Camera (dir. D. Vertov, 1929)
Soviet Propaganda: Russia’s Animated Propaganda War (2 DVDs, various)
Available as distance learning?
Last revision date
Key words search
Stalinism, Images, Russian history, Soviet Union