HISTORY 195 - The Writing of History
Fall 2021, Section 003 - Russian-American Relations Before the Cold War
Instruction Mode: Section 003 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Other Course Info:
This course may not be included in a History major. F.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


In the light of the recent political events, it is easy to overlook the fact that alongside the many differences between the United States and Russia, there are about as many similarities. In the last several hundred years, the two nations expanded to the vast spaces of their respective continents; both went through rapid and at times painful industrialization and became the two great superpowers of the world, each representing one of the two major ideologies of the 20th century: Capitalism and Communism. Moreover, part of what is now the United States was first colonized by the Russian empire. The two wings of Europe, as Martin Heidegger once called Russia and America, were allies in the two world wars, only later to become deadly foes contending for the hegemony over the rest of the world. What leads to this rivalry, and was it inevitable? In this class, we will look at the development of Russian-American relations throughout the centuries and will see how these two not-quite European countries built themselves in constant, yet somewhat complicated, dialogue.

This class is not intended to be a thorough exploration of formal international relations (although, of course, we will touch on this topic) but rather will focus on the cultural history of the contacts and likenesses between the two nations. We will try to see how both Russia and the US helped one another to define the very foundations of their respective national self-understanding and how it lead to them becoming foes during the Cold War. Starting from the early contacts between the countries in the late 18th - 19th centuries, we will move on to the early Soviet era when those contacts intensified and the stakes raised rose as the two countries started to represent the two rival ideologies.


HISTORY 195 - The Writing of History
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
 In Person
6Enrollment Management
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (REC)
 In Person
6Enrollment Management
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
003 (REC)
6Enrollment Management
WF 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: Section 003: This class will be remote until further notice. Please refer to Aug 31 email from the instructor for Zoom instructions.

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