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Russia and the West

Russia and the West

(Dr Hubertus Jahn)

Since the reforms of Peter the Great, the relationship between Russia and the West has been a constant point of reference in Russian politics, society and culture. It was closely linked to the development of and the struggle about a Russian national identity and it had profound effects on the modernization of the country (or the lack thereof). Starting with Peter’s reign and his introduction of Western ways, this course Option will examine European influences in Russia until the Revolution of 1917 by focusing on such diverse issues as architecture, philosophy and ideology, literature, art, music and mass culture. It will consider political reforms, revolutionary and reactionary movements, social transformation, imperial symbolism, national stereotypes and nationalism. By implication, any study of foreign influences will also highlight native peculiarities. This course therefore provides a solid base for further study of imperial Russian history. Very good reading knowledge of either Russian or French or German is highly recommended for this course.