Motherblog Central Directives

Sixth Blogpost Guidelines

rakli Toidze: (1943) Another in the Toidze series of recruiting posters. Source: Natalia Vorontsova-Iur eva: Live Journal

Irakli Toidze: (1943) Another in the Toidze series of recruiting posters.
Source: Natalia Vorontsova-Iur eva: Live Journal

This week we turn our attention to The Great Patriotic War (aka World War II) and the immediate post-war period.  Please use one of the modules from 1943 or 1947 in Seventeen Moments in Soviet History on-line archive. You may also use the module on Soviet Territorial Annexations from 1939.  You should consult  Ch. 12 in the Freeze text. If you are writing about something specific to the war, it would be worth considering William C. Fuller’s discussion on pp. 383-392 of Freeze about the reasons for Soviet victory. You may focus on an event, a development or an individual. Your post should use (and cite) primary sources (texts, music, or images). You may also use a particular image or primary document as a focal point for your post.  There’s plenty of action, drama, and complexity to keep us all engaged this week.  Не шагу назад!

Fifth Blogpost Guidelines

Yurii Pimenov: Everybody to the Competition! (1928)

Yurii Pimenov: Everybody to the Competition! (1928)

Welcome back to the Motherblog!  The thirties await our attention and as good Rockin’ Shockworkers, we will bring our best, most enthusiastic and most astute energies to the task at hand. No “False Shockworkers” in our collective!

For this week’s post, please choose a topic from the 1934, 1936 or 1939 section of Seventeen Moments of Soviet History and use it to examine the political, social, economic and cultural dynamics of the Soviet thirties.  (Please save the module on “Territorial Annexations” for next week, as it is directly connected to World War II.) You should also consult second part of Ch. 11 (pp. 358-373) in the Freeze text. You may focus on an event, a development or an individual. Your post should use (and cite) primary sources (texts, music, or images). You may also use a particular image or primary document as a focal point for your post.

From Civil War to the Roaring 20s

“Better fewer, but better,” Lenin once said, referring to the challenges of cultivating quality recruits into the Party and state apparatus after the Civil War. For this week’s digest we received fewer submissions, but many that were exemplary. The transition from Lenin’s leadership to Stalin’s rule and the Bolsheviks’ assault on the Orthodox church proved…

From World War I to Revolution: 1917

What an eventful week for high value contributions to the Motherblog! This edition is chock-full of posts analyzing key developments from Russia’s entry into World War I, to the revolutions of 1917, and the social cataclysm that ensued. While many people focused on military or political issues, there were also some terrific posts on the…

Fourth Blogpost Guidelines

"Artwork by El Lissitzky 1919". Via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Artwork_by_El_Lissitzky_1919.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Artwork_by_El_Lissitzky_1919.jpg

Beat the Whites with a Red Wedge “Artwork by El Lissitzky 1919“. Via Wikipedia.

For your fourth blog post, use the resources in Seventeen Moments of Soviet History (1921 and 1924) to examine a significant aspect of the Russian Revolution.  You should also consult the Freeze text (the rest of Chapter 9 and Chapter 10).

You may focus on an event, a development or an individual. Your post should use (and cite) primary sources (texts, music, or images). You may also use a particular image or primary document as a focal point for your post. In any case, your post should address some aspect of one the following questions:

How did the Bolsheviks prevail in the Civil War?

How did the Bolsheviks negotiate the transition from being revolutionaries to being rulers?

What role did nationality and religion play in the formation of the Soviet State?

How were politics and economics connected in this period (1917-24)?

1905: Revolution and Constitutional Experiment

Choosing posts for the slider this week was a challenge as there were many excellent options. This week’s submissions covered topics ranging from the career of Sergei Witte and the increasing social tensions that emerged in the wake of the state’s modernization campaign, to Lenin’s ideology, the Russo-Japanese War, Bloody Sunday, Father Gapon,The October Manifesto,…

Third Blogpost Guidelines

It’s time for more war and revolution! This week we move into range of a fabulous digital archive that will inspire us for the rest of the term. The topic of your post this week is the end of the autocracy and the two revolutions of 1917.  Use the resources in Seventeen Moments of Soviet…

Images of Imperial Russia

Welcome to the first weekly digest! We’ve had a few bumps (and the WordPress Widget gods are on strike as I type this), but our first edition is ready to go. The photographs from the Prokudin-Gorskii collection prompted a series of wide-ranging and insightful posts dealing with Imperial Russian society between the Great Reforms and…

Second Blogpost Guidelines – Updated Thursday 9/4

Our second set of blog posts will focus on the development of a revolutionary movement in Russia and the revolution of 1905. You should start by reading Freeze (Chapter 8) and then develop one of the following topics: 1) Marxism / Leninism. Use the resources in the Marxist Internet Archive to examine the development of…

First Blogpost Guidelines

Russian Railway Engine, 1909-1915

Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, photographer to Tsar Nicholas II, may have had his mobile photo-laboratory in the rail car behind this “Compound” engine. (1909-1915)
Prokudin-Gorskii Collection, LOC

For your first blog post, please select a photograph from this online exhibit at the Library of Congress and analyze it in the context of social and economic change in late Imperial Russia.  A photograph such as this one, for example, might lead you to talk about the state’s industrialization campaign, and the role of prominent statesmen such as Sergei Witte in that endeavor.  You might even want to develop a full-length post about Witte. This photograph might also raise questions about the geo-political implications of extending the railway system across the breadth of a vast empire.  Looking forward to our discussions over the next couple of weeks, you should think about how the combination of economic modernization and the autocracy’s resistance to political change would inform developments leading up to the fall of the Romanov dynasty and the rise of the Bolsheviks in 1917.

Different images in the Prokudin-Gorskii collection will prompt different lines of inquiry, of course. So choose an image that appeals to you and start digging. Some of you may want to learn more about the photographer himself and the history of photography. Or you might want to explore and feature maps in a post about historical geography and Imperial space. The Freeze text is the best place to start learning about your topic, but you may consult and cite any other reliable source as well. Just make sure to link to it or cite it in your post. You should also (always) make sure to properly acknowledge the source of the images you use.

This image is titled: Steam engine “Kompaund” with a Schmidt super-heater.

It was created by: Prokudin-Gorskiĭ, Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich, 1863-1944, photographer

The permanent record here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/prk2000000564/