History, Culture, and Society of Russia and the Soviet Union

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 2EU000

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Eurasian Studies A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 24 January 2019
Responsible department
Department of Informatics and Media

Entry requirements

Enrolment in the Master Programme in Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Learning outcomes

After the course the student should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • independently be able to demonstrate from a critical, scholarly perspective an understanding of the problems and issues that are central to historical research regarding the post-Soviet region;
  • demonstrate an understanding of history, culture and societal developments during the Tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet periods.

Competence and skills

  • independently analyse and compare texts related to developments in history, society, and culture during the Tsarist, Soviet, and post-Soviet periods, both orally and in writing;
  • plan, implement, and present (orally and in writing) small research assignments.

Judgement and approach

  • critically assess and problematise different perspectives on historical phenomena and processes that are presented in the course literature;
  • critically reflect upon the views and uses of history in present-day Russia and the post-Soviet region.


The course is comprised of two main parts. In the first part, the course will examine the historical developments in Tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation from medieval times to the present, focusing on central problems and themes. In the second part, a comparative reading of texts from different historical periods will analyse central themes and issues in the developments of society and culture in the region from a variety of perspectives. The assigned readings will also provide an opportunity to discuss methodological issues related to the disciplines of history and cultural studies.


Instruction is in the form of lectures and seminars.

The language of instruction is English. Depending on the language proficiency of individual students, occasional readings in Russian may be used in the second part of the course.


The course is examined by active participation in seminars, oral presentations, and written assignments.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator or a decision by the department's working group for study matters.