Division: Russia & Central Asia
Graduate study is offered on a wide range of topics pertaining to the history of Russia and the USSR since 1861. Content of the field is determined through consultation with the professor. Students may choose to focus on a "modern Russia" field from ca. 1861 to 1991 or to prepare a field that focuses only on the Soviet period (1917 to 1991) and its legacy. No matter what the chronological parameters of the field are, students are expected to master basic historiography, reading a common "canon" of core works; but they are also encouraged and expected to prepare specific emphases (e.g., gender, religion, ethnicity and nationalism, foreign policy, to give just a few of many possible thematic examples) that will be useful to them in teaching and/or research. But the specific emphases on which students focus may also be chronological (e.g., the 1940s) or theoretical (e.g., historiography that engages, both positively and critically, with the "new cultural history.")
Students prepare a field on "modern" or Soviet Russia for different reasons. Such a field will be very helpful for teaching surveys on European and world history. Because the historiography of the Soviet period has become especially innovative since 1991, especially in the way that it has drawn upon a variety of theoretical perspectives, preparing such a field could be of considerable value to those whose primary field of research pertains to other polities shaped by Marxism-Leninism.
Students will not be expected to read Russian, or other pertinent languages (e.g., Ukrainian, Uzbek, Estonian, among many others) unless their dissertation projects require reading proficiency in one of the languages of the region.