University of Notre Dame

Russia Between East and West

What’s going on with Russia today? Why does Putin clash so frequently with the United States and European Union, and why are efforts to “reset” relations between Russia and the West so often thwarted? Many of these issues trace back to Russia’s position straddling both the East and the West. Students in this class will learn about Russia has become both “Eastern” and “Western” over its history — a history that informs the uniqueness of the Orthodox Church, the revolutionary changes enacted by Peter the Great to Soviet internationalism, Cold War culture clashes, and even the war in Ukraine and debates surrounding election meddling today. Over the course of the semester, we will explore a range of materials, including classics works of Russian literature, science-fiction dystopias, graphic novel style journalism, and film.

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