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    Vassar College
  Nov 24, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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HIST 126 - Terrorism in Russia and Eurasia

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
Terror is a tactic as old as warfare, and it creates many dangers in the present. Sectarians and revolutionaries, powerful states and small regimes, guerillas and jihadists all have carried out bloody attacks and assassinations in the name of religion, liberation, politics, identity, and empowerment. This course explores the use and legacies of terror starting in 1789. We investigate nihilism, Lenin and the Bolsheviks in Russia, the anti-Nazi resistance and guerilla movements, anti-Soviet Afghanistan, Shamil Basaev and Chechnya, Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, and contemporary global suicide terrorism, taking care to elicit historical connections and breaks between them. We encounter leaders and ordinary people engaged in acts of violence, as well as their victims; we discuss scholarship on the invention of modern terror and state terror, and using their own texts and acts as evidence, we investigate how violent practitioners represent themselves and make claims of transcendence and social transformation. How have they been perceived? What happens when such movements come to power? How do violent campaigns end? Michaela Pohl.

Two 75-minute periods.

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