Department of Russian History of the 20th Century

The historians of Moscow University have made a decisive contribution in the formation of a course on 20th century Russian History as an independent educational discipline. The country’s first department of history of the USSR of the Soviet Period (presently the department of 20th century Russian history) was created at Lomonosov Moscow State University, where the study and teaching of Russian history since 1917 to present was conducted. Academician of RAS, laureate of the Lomonosov premium, distinguished professor of Moscow University Y.S.Kukushkin, chairs the Department.

Presently, the following work in the department: professors S.A.Baibakov, A.I.Vdovin, associate professors A.S.Barsenkov, L.E.Grishaeva, N.V.Naumov, A.I.Ostapenko, N.L.Rogalina, I.K.Serova, T.A.Sivokhina, Y.Y.Tereshchenko, A.Y.Shadrin, Y.A.Shchetinov, senior research assistants E.N.Danilova, and junior research assistant O.N.Barkova.

The department’s faculty traditionally gives a general course of lectures on 20th century Russian history for both full time and part time students in their third year in the faculty of history, the faculty of journalism, the institute of African and Asian countries, in the faculty of sociology, and in the preparatory branch of MSU; for students of the department of 20th century Russian history the special disciplines “History of Russian culture in the 20th century” and “introduction to the foreign historiography of Soviet society” are given. Since 1999 the new lecture course “the history of modern Russia” has been given for both full time and part time students in their fourth year.

Students majoring in the department listen to special lecture courses on key problems of 20th century Russian history and are engaged in departmental proseminars on methodological problems of studying 20th century Russian history; among the numerous disciplines of specialization are source studies, historiography, archival studies, historical geography etc. Over the last few years the following proseminars have been given: “management of the Russian countryside over the last 100 years” (Y.S.Kukushkin), “history of the Soviet and Russian constitution” (S.A.Baibakov), “national policy in the USSR. 1917-1991” (A.I.Vdovin), “Russian foreigners in the 20th century” (V.M.Selunskaya), “ideological life of Soviet society in first post war decade. 1946-1955”, “The Great Fatherland War 1941-1945” (M.E.Naidenov), “political parties in post-revolutionary Russia”, “Moscow in the 20th century” (T.A.Sivokhina), “agrarian reforms in Russia in the 20th century” (N.L.Rogalina, “foreign historiography of the revolution of 1917” (N.V.Naumov), “the Russian orthodox church and state in the 20th century” (I.K.Serova), “Russia and the United Nations” (L.E. Grishaeva) etc.

The textbooks and manuals on 20th century Russian history, created by the department’s faculty are widely known: “The History of Russia. 20th Century. A Manual For Students” (Y.A.Shchetinov, 1999); “History of Russia From Antiquity to Present” (T.A.Sivokhina, co-author, 2000); “Reader on the History of Russia From Antiquity to Present” (T.A.Sivokhina, co-author, 2000); “A Basic Course in Russian History” (Y.Y.Tereshchenko, co-author, 1999); “Russian Culture 11th-20th Centuries. A Manual” (M.R.Zezina, co-author, 1996) etc.

The department’s staff has prepared “Methodological Development For the Course 20th Century Russian History” (Edited by Y.S.Kukushkin, S.A.Baibakov and O.N.Barkova, 2000).

A variety of academic problems are reflected in the subjects of the department’s proseminars. Over the last decade there have been more than 40. All of the department’s teachers and many of the research assistants supervise the preparation of students’ term papers and theses.

The department’s academic work is devoted to the study of Russian history. The concrete research of the department’s faculty is conducted in such directions, as: methodology of historical research; the fundamental stages of development of Russian and foreign historiography; history of state organization in the USSR and Russia; the general political development of Russia in the 20th century, including modern political history; socio-economic and agrarian history of 20th century Russia; history of the Russian orthodox church and religious policy in USSR and Post Soviet Russia; history of Russian foreign countries; national policy and problems of interethnic relations in the USSR and Russia; socio-political history of 20th century Moscow; history of 20th century Russian culture; foreign policy of the USSR and Russia and the history of international relations, etc.

Among the collective publications of the department is the collection of articles issued for the anniversary of academician Y.S.Kukushkin, “The Russian State and Society. 20th Century” (1999).

During the period from 1997 to 1999, the department’s faculty prepared and published the following monographs: S.A.Baibakov. “History of the Formation of the USSR: Results and Prospects of Study” (1997); N.L.Rogalina. “Boris Brutskus, Historian of the Russian National Economy” (1998); M.R.Zezina. “Soviet Artistic Intelligentsia and Authority in the 1950’s and 1960’s” (1999).

The department’s international contacts are wide and diverse. The department’s faculty are active participants in international conferences, symposiums and colloquiums; over the last decade they have gone with lectures and reports to the USA, Great Britain, France, Finland, Holland, Poland, Vietnam, China, Portugal, and Japan. Foreign students, trainees, masters degree and post-graduate students from Korea, China, Japan, the United States and other countries are enrolled in the department of 20th century history.

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The laboratory for the history of national relations in Russia (chaired by A.I.Vdovin) has operated within the department’s framework since 1979. In recent years the study of the reasons for the crisis in inter-ethnic relations and the disintegration of the USSR has occupied a significant place in the problems researched (A.I.Vdovin. “The Russian Nation: National-Political Problems or the 20th Century and the Russian National Idea” (1st and 2nd editions of the publication; 1995, 1996). Also occupying a large role in research is an explanation of features of the Russian nation’s development, the historical destiny of the Russian people, and its varying place in the system of the national relations (A.I.Vdovin, V.Y.Zorin, A.V.Nikonov). “The Russian People in National Politics. 20th century” (1998), etc.