HIS 241
History of Russia I

Professors Charles Evans and Beverly Blois

St. Basil Cathedral Moscow

Photo of the Pokrovskii Sobor (popularly known as Sobor Vasiliia Blazhennogo, i.e., St. Basil's Cathedral), Moscow on Red Square, constructed between 1555 and 1561 by architect Postnik Yakovlev.

PS.  I am always looking for photographs, images, slides, artifacts, etc. that I can use in my courses.  If you have anything that you think might be of use or interesting to me, please let me know.  I credit all images/materials used in the course.

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Contact information for your specific course section instructor will be in Canvas.

Contact information for Professor Evans, course author
Email: charles.t.evans@gmail.com
Web page: www.ctevans.net

Professor Blois: bblois@nvcc.edu

This is the HIS 241 home page. Here you will find information about the course and links to the course weekly assignment schedules.

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Required books

The text for the course is Nicholas Riasanovsky and Mark Steinberg, A History of Russia, 9th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2019, ISBN 9780190645588). Earlier editions of this textbook cover much of the same material but lack coverage of Russian events over the last twenty years. If you wish, you can read my Explanation of why I choose this text.

There are two short paperbacks required:

Please check Canvas course syllabus for more information about purchasing your books.

If you are wondering whether you must buy the textbook, then please watch this short video.

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General course purpose

This course reviews the history of Russia from earliest times to about 1900 and introduces students to the developments of medieval and imperial Russia. Students will examine the major themes and issues that have defined Russia's past and also study some Russian cultural achievements in areas such as art, architecture, music, theater, dance, literature and philosophy.

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Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to::

  1. Establish a chronology of historical events in Russia before 1900.
  2. Obtain a knowledge of the historical geography of Russia up to 1900.
  3. Define the importance of key individuals and developments in Russian history before 1900.
  4. Identify the social, economic and political forces at work in the historical development of medieval and imperial Russia.
  5. Recognize and describe the significance of some of the cultural achievements in medieval and imperial Russia.
  6. Analyze complex Russian historical sources and materials and reach conclusions based on interpretations of those materials.

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Course prerequisites

Although there are no formal prerequisites for this course, please consider:

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Course drop, withdrawal and incomplete policies

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Course grading

Course grades are based on the following point scale:

Make sure that you check the very IMPORTANT Explanation of Assignments and Grading, which has information about grading in the course. There are Special Course Grading Requirements that you must meet to successfully pass the course.

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Links to course assignment schedules

a typical seven-week schedule

a typical eight-week schedule

Each week of your schedule will list the course units and assignments that you are required to complete that week. Each course unit will list what you are required to read and submit for that unit. Each unit will also usually have some extra material that you may look at and some possible extra credit work that you can complete. Please make sure that you check out all the linked information for each course unit.

Please make sure that you double-check your official course registration to verify the specific section of the course that you signed up for.

You are expected to make regular and steady course progress by completing your assignments and exams on time.  Please check your Canvas gradebook for your grades and feedback.  You can always finish faster than your course schedule. Once you begin this course, it is your responsibility to withdraw.  If you do not withdraw and if you do not finish your course assignments, then you will receive an "F."

Be sure to check out the list of available course aids.

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Submitting assignments

You must submit all of your assignments and extra credit through Canvas. See the Submitting Assignments in Your NOVA Online History Course instructions.  (No more than one item per calendar day will be accepted.) Feedback on your work will be posted to the Canvas gradebook, usually within 24-48 hours. You should follow the same directions if you are resubmitting an assignment.

When you have any questions about the course or your assignments or when you want to send a draft of an assignment for informal feedback, please contact your instructor by email using your student email account.

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Using Canvas

Canvas is used to support the course.

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Contacting your instructor

Find your instructor's name and contact information at the top of this page and also when you log into your course on Canvas.

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Plagiarism, cheating and student conduct

NOVA does not tolerate academic dishonesty. See the information on the Canvas course syllabus (also known as the college's Academic Integrity Policy).

Please make sure that you read the course policy on plagiarism and cheating. You are expected to abide by the student conduct provisions of the college's student handbook, and it is expected that you will be courteous in all conversations and assignments in this course.

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Writing in the course

Proper grammar, spelling and style are an inherent part of each assignment in this course, and please check Charlie's History Writing Center for more information about specific writing style expectations. (You can also watch the short YouTube video about the center.)