HIS 242
History of Russia II

Professors Charles Evans
and Beverly Blois

Photo of Rabochii i kolkhoznitsa (Рабочий и колхозница, Worker and Farm Girl) by sculptor Vera Mukhina.

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
Professor Evans email cevans@nvcc.edu
phone 703.948.7701
college home page www.ctevans.net/College.html
Professor Blois bblois@nvcc.edu
NOVA Online telephone 703.323.3347 (1.888.435.6822)
NOVA Online fax 703.323.3392

This is the HIS 242 course syllabus (home page). On this page, you will find important information about the course and the links to the course 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:

  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Signet Classic, ISBN 9780451527097, although any edition is acceptable)
  • Mikhail Bulgakov, The Heart of a Dog (Melville House, ISBN 978-1612192888, although any edition is acceptable)

You may also choose to read Lawrence Scott Sheets, 8 Pieces of Empire (Crown Publishers, ISBN 978-0-307-39582-5; any edition is acceptable).

Please check the NOVA Online bookstore website for information on purchasing/renting your textbooks (new or used). If you wish to purchase your books in person, then you will have to travel to the Alexandria bookstore.

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 about 1900 to the present and introduces students to the developments of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Students will examine the major themes and issues that have defined Russia's recent 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 since 1900.
  2. Obtain a knowledge of the historical geography of Russia since 1900.
  3. Define the importance of key individuals and developments in Russian history since 1900.
  4. Identify the social, economic and political forces at work in the historical development of late imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet Russia.
  5. Recognize and describe the significance of some of the cultural achievements of late imperial, Soviet and post-Soviet 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:

  • It is expected that students possess college-level reading and writing skills.
  • You should also have relatively good technology and web-use skills.  Please check NOVA Online's SmarterMeasure to see if you are ready for distance learning. You can also check out our short quiz, Is A Web Course for Me?
  • I would recommend that you allot at least three hours a week of study time for this course.
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Course drop, withdrawal and incomplete policies

  • Check your specific Critical Course Deadlines. These dates can be found on the NOVA Online home page, and they are also indicated on your course schedule. Please make a note of these important dates.
    • You must withdraw before the Last Refund Date to receive a full tuition refund. This is also the last day to change your grade status to audit.
    • In unit 1, you must submit your introduction paragraph by your First Assignment Due Date to avoid being administratively deleted from the course without a refund.
    • Your Last Withdrawal Date is the last date on which you can withdraw yourself from the course without grade penalty.
    • You must complete all course assignments by your official course End Date.
  • For an Incomplete grade in the course, you must earn 500 points, pass the midterm exam and explain the extenuating circumstances for the incomplete request. 
  • Please note that your enrollment in this course is subject to NOVA Online policies and procedures. You may wish to review these now.
  • Students are responsible for knowing and following college policies in the Student Handbook.
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Course grading

Course grades are based on the following point scale:

  • 1,000-900:  A
  •    899-800:  B
  •    799-700:  C
  •    699-600:  D
  •    599-000:  F

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

For summer 2018, this is the course schedule: For spring 2018, this is the course schedule: For fall 2017, this is the course 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 Blackboard 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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Extra credit

  • There are extra credit options available in each unit of the course: (1) You may submit one item of extra credit in each unit of the course; (2) you may not submit extra credit work from a unit once that unit has been completed; (3) you may not submit extra credit work if you are not up- to-date on the course required assignments; (4) you may not submit extra credit work on the same calendar day that you submit an assignment.
  • You can also earn extra credit at any time by (a) finding a typo, spelling error or broken link (if possible find a replacement link) or (b) finding any website or web materials that are relevant to this course.  Please email that information (and the URL of the relevant course page) directly to your instructor. This is not subject to the "one assignment submitted per day" course rule.
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Late work

There are specific assignment deadlines in this course, and these are listed on the course schedule. You may submit any of the course required assignments late, but the maximum point value will then be reduced by one-half. You may not take a required midterm or final exam late.

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Submitting assignments

You must submit all of your assignments and extra credit through Blackboard. 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 Blackboard 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 Blackboard

Blackboard is used to support the course. Please review the information on Using Blackboard for instructions on assignment submission, online discussions, exams and your gradebook.

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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 Blackboard. If you have any communication problems, please contact Professor Charles Evans, cevans@nvcc.edu, professor of history at the Loudoun campus.

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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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Disabilities and accommodation

NOVA is committed to ensuring all students have an opportunity to pursue a college education regardless of the presence or absence of a disability. Information on NOVA’s Disability Support Services, including how to reach a Disability Services Counselor, can be found at www.nvcc.edu/disability-services/index.html. If you have a MoA, then it must be presented to your instructor during unit 1 of the course so that any accommodations can be worked out.

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During your time at NOVA, you may experience challenges including struggles with academics, finances, or your personal well-being. NOVA has support resources available. Please visit http://www.nvcc.edu/novacares if you are seeking resources and support or if you are worried about a friend or classmate

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Financial aid

Students receiving financial aid are expected to attend and complete all classes. Withdrawing from a class can dramatically impact your financial aid status and may require repayment. To understand the impact of withdrawing from a course please review pages 13-17 of the Financial Aid Handbook.

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Emergency preparedness

Information on what to do in case of an emergency can be found on NOVA’s Office of Emergency Planning and Management (OEPM) website at www.nvcc.edu/emergency.

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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.)

All materials on this site are copyright © 2009-19, C. T. Evans.
For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu.
See my college and history projects home pages.