Category Archives: Teaching Russian History

Demons

“Every extremely shameful, immeasurably humiliating, mean, and, above all, ridiculous position I have happened to get into in my life has always aroused in me, along with boundless wrath, an unbelievable pleasure.” – Nikolai Stavrogin, in Demons (692) I gave … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching Russian History, Terrorism, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Visualizing the 1897 Census in Pie Charts

A couple years ago one of my Soviet history students, Jessy Mwarage, said he wanted to do a bit of extra work at the opening of the semester, so I gave him some Russian census data from 1897 to play … Continue reading

Posted in Imperial Russia, Teaching Russian History | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Russian Census of 1897 as teaching tool

This week Pietro Shakarian posted an article on Russia Direct that addresses the issue of the ethnic composition of the Russian Empire in 1897 as it relates to current crises in Ukraine, Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and Trans-Caucasia. To my mind it … Continue reading

Posted in Crimea, Imperial Russia, Teaching Russian History | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On cheese

Who knew, when I started writing about the Swiss cheese master Tinguely last November, that cheese would become the star of its own foreign policy drama? And yet, here we are. Type “cheese” and “Russia” into twitter’s search field and … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Imperial Russia | Leave a comment

The 1936 Guide Book of the Soviet Union

A few years ago Steve Barnes was visiting Hawaii to give a talk on his work on campus here at UH. He spent a bit of time at our Library, and came across an unusual find in our special collections, … Continue reading

Posted in Russian History in Popular Culture, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Stalinism, Teaching Russian History | 1 Comment

History in the Crimea & Ukraine Today

History is being blithely tossed about these days by everyone from Vladimir Putin himself to Sarah Palin and John McCain. What is the real story? Is there a real story? To answer that question, I invited two eminent historians – … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Crimea, Current events in the Putin Era, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russia in World History, Russian History in Popular Culture, Teaching Russian History, Transnational History, Ukraine, Uncategorized, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Amnesties of Tsar Vladimir

It seems obvious that President Vladimir Putin has chosen to issue the recent amnesties of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Maria Alokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and probably the Greenpeace 30 as a way to generate good will on the eve of his great personal … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Historiography, Imperial Russia, Post-Soviet Russia, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Win a beautiful book of posters!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by The New Press and offered a copy of their new publication, Koretsky. The Soviet Photo Poster: 1930-1984, for a prize draw to be launched from this site.  This beautiful edition includes 200 … Continue reading

Posted in Russian and Soviet Art, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | 26 Comments

Russia and ‘Homosexual Propaganda’

Over the past couple of months, I have been following with increasing apprehension the news from Russia about its treatment of its gay population. Yesterday, a blogger at Gawker summarized the recent events in a good (but disturbing) entry.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Post-Soviet Russia | Leave a comment

Mikhalkov as monarchist and Slavophile – his 2010 Manifesto “Right and Truth” (Право и Правда)

In October 2010 influential filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov published an extensive “Manifesto of Enlightened Conservatism” which was published as “Right and Truth” in polit.ru. (Read in Russian here.) The defense of serfdom attributed to Mikhalkov, which I posted yesterday, may well … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Films, Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russia in World History, Russian History in Popular Culture, Russian Orthodoxy, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov Praises the “Wisdom of Serfdom”

According to a website called “Tsenzor.Net” filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov told a group of journalists that he is preparing to make a film praising serfdom as “the wisdom of the nation.” His comments show a romanticization of history that is pretty … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Films, Historiography, Imperial Russia, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Russian History in Popular Culture, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

MOOCs and the Future of Russian History in America

At the most recent Slavic Studies convention, I was talking with an old friend about the advent of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). We teach similar courses at different institutions – he teaches at a university with global name recognition, … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Russian History, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Watching October

I have an uneasy relationship with using films in my classroom.  Since I most often teach early modern history, I tend to avoid the whole genre because I’d prefer to avoid ahistorical images in my classroom.  When I teach modern … Continue reading

Posted in Films, Russian and Soviet Art, Teaching Russian History | 1 Comment

900 Days

The Nazi siege of Leningrad began on September 8, 1941. It ended 874 days later, one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history. The Soviets won at the cost of more than 1 million soldiers killed, captured, or … Continue reading

Posted in Archives, Films, Nostalgia and Memory, oral history, Russian History in Popular Culture, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History, World War II | 6 Comments

Video Conference Class with HSE

In an interesting interview, Irina Filatova, a professor of African history at the National Research University-Higher School of Economics (HSE), offers her thoughts about the continued importance of de-Stalinization for Russia and discusses a new course she and I will … Continue reading

Posted in Teaching Russian History | 3 Comments

Pussy Riot as Modern Day Skomorokhi

This is a guest post by Sean Guillory that originally appeared on Sean’s Russia Blog. The trial and conviction of Pussy Riot has sparked a number of historical analogies. Never wanting for hyperbole, the Washington Post, among others in the … Continue reading

Posted in Current events in the Putin Era, Medieval Russia | Leave a comment

“Under the beneficent rays of Soviet national policy…”

I spent some time this past week preparing for my fall class on the Soviet Union.  Each time I’ve taught it here at Hawai’i, I’ve made use of an unique resource at our Library, the “Social Movements Collection,” which is … Continue reading

Posted in Soviet Era 1917-1991, Stalinism, Teaching Russian History, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Death and Redemption – On Images

First, I must thank my colleague and co-blogger Andrew Jenks for setting up this blog conversation here at Russian History Blog. As an academic author, I have found the wait for journal reviews of my book to be excruciating. The … Continue reading

Posted in Death and Redemption, Gulag, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Stalinism, Teaching Russian History | 3 Comments

Policing Sexuality in Medieval Russia

The Center for Medieval Studies has a very visible presence at Fordham University where I teach. In the history department alone, medievalist faculty and graduate students maintain a healthy and vibrant intellectual life. Although I am a historian of modern … Continue reading

Posted in Gender and Sexuality, Imperial Russia, Medieval Russia, Teaching Russian History | Leave a comment

Three Songs About Motherland

My university (California State University, Long Beach) is screening a number of documentary films about Russia this semester, including three films from the esteemed documentary film maker Marina Goldovskaya: A Taste of Freedom (1991, 46 min.), A Bitter Taste of Freedom … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Films, Nostalgia and Memory, Post-Soviet Russia, Soviet Era 1917-1991, Teaching Russian History | 1 Comment