Seminar in Russian History
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Vene ajaloo seminar
Course title in English
Seminar in Russian History
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2018/2019  Spring semester
Karsten Brüggemann (inglise keel)
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
Lectures and seminars are meant to focus on the most important sources, processes and people in Russian history. On of the key aspects discussed during the course are Russian-Baltic entanglements
Brief description of the course
In the seven lectures the teacher gives a broad overview of particular periods in Russian history using a wide range of written and audiovisual sources. The seminars are meant to focus, with the help of scholarly texts, on certain developments that have shaped the course of Russian history in general and Russian-Baltic entanglements in particular. Thus, the course focuses on the ancient world of Kievan Rus, its Hanseatic dimension, the rise of Moscow, the years of Ivan IV and the Livonian wars, the process of „Europeanization“ under Peter I, the story of the Petersburg Empire and the Baltic provinces, the Russian revolution (also in Estonia and Latvia), Stalinism, “Mature Socialism” (also in the Baltic SSRs), the years of Perestroika and the road to Putinism in the 1990s.
Independent work
The students work independently with the literature given for the seminars by the teacher (uploaded to Moodle). They write a short essay on a topic agreed on by the teacher. They prepare a short presentation of their preliminary results for special seminars that take place close to the end of the semester. Finally they prepare for the exam (studying the materials given during the course and the obligatory readings)
Learning outcomes in the course
At the end of the course the student
- is able to discuss the major sources, processes and persons that shaped Russian history
- manages to distinguish facts from myths, especially concerning the Soviet past
- can explain certain developments in Russian history without personalising the past
- has an understanding of the relationsship between the state and the non-Russian peoples of the various forms of empire
- is able to formulate her/his views concerning Russian history orally and in written form
- has improven his/her writing skills and has become used to read scholarly literature
Assessment methods
The written exam contains some questions about facts and at least two questions where the answer requires a comparative and analytical viewpoint (75%).
The oral presentation (10-15 mins plus discussion) is meant to introduce the structure and the major theses of the essay. The written essay (9.000-11.000 characters without spaces) about a topic confirmed by the teacher is to be submitted at least one day before the exam. Without the essay submitted the student cannot take the exam.
Professor Karsten Brüggemann
Study literature
- The Cambridge History of Russia, vol. 1. From Early Rus’ to 1689, ed. by Maureen Perrie, Cambridge 2006; vol. 2, Imperial Russia. 1689-1917, ed. by Dominic Lieven, Cambridge 2006; vol. 3: The Twentieth Century, ed. by Ronald G. Suny, Cambridge 2006.
- Russia on the Baltic, ed. by Karsten Brüggemann, Bradley D. Woodworth, Cologne 2012.

soovitatud kirjandus (suggested reading, especially for the essay)
- Martin, Janet: Medieval Russia, 980-1584, Cambridge/New York 2007
- Hosking, Geoffrey: Russia. People and Empire, 1552-1917, London 1998
- Hughes, Lindsey: Peter the Great. A Biography, New Haven 2002 (Peeter Suur. Elulugu, Tallinn 2005)
- Figes, Orlando: Natasha’s Dance. A Cultural History of Russia, London 2002.
- Kappeler, Andreas: Russland als Vielvölkerreich. Entstehung. Geschichte. Zerfall, München 1992
- Fitzpatrick, Sheila: Everyday Stalinism. Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s, Oxford 1999
- Lovell, Stephen: Russia and the U