Universität Wien FIND

070368 PS BA-Proseminar - Russia and the Sea (2021S)

European Encounters Around the Baltic Rim

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 7 - Geschichte
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung


Hinweis: Ihr Anmeldezeitpunkt innerhalb der Frist hat keine Auswirkungen auf die Platzvergabe (kein "first come, first served").


max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Dienstag 09.03. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 16.03. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 23.03. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 13.04. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 20.04. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 27.04. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 04.05. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 11.05. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 18.05. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 01.06. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 08.06. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 15.06. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 22.06. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital
Dienstag 29.06. 14:00 - 15:30 Digital


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

The demise of Sweden’s Baltic Empire and the Russian breakthrough to the Baltic coastline marked a turning point in Russian and European history. The practically landlocked Russian Tsardom gained access to an ice-free port and transformed it into an imperial capital and Baltic metropolis, which gained significance as Russia’s “window to Europe”. Incorporating the formerly Swedish possessions of Estonia, Livonia, Courland, and later even Finland, the newborn Russian Empire gained access to strategically and economically important territories and a range of conveniently located seaports. The confrontation with decidedly European, German- and Swedish-speaking local elites and a non-Slavic peasant population, however, stressed the inherently non-Russian features of the lands along the Baltic rim, which would preserve their “foreign” and thus threatening character throughout the persistence of the Russian Empire and the USSR. The aim of the course is to approach Russian and Soviet history from its northwestern peripheries, combining the borderland perspective with a focus on maritime history, which is an important, albeit often neglected aspect of the history of the Russian and Soviet Empires. Addressing Russia’s maritime history beyond the narrowly defined field of naval warfare, the seminar will touch upon imperialist expansion, territoriality, and foreign policy, but also the shifting dynamics of center-periphery relations. This approach aims to give agency to the borderland populations and to reveal the significance of the littoral lands along the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea as a bridge to Western Europe, but also as a setting of conflict and geopolitical rivalries.

The seminar is conceptualized as a survey course on the history of Russia/the Soviet Union as a multinational state and as a regional and European great power covering the time span from the early eighteenth century to the early twenty-first century. The aim of the course is to discuss a number of specific key topics in the field of Russian/Soviet history such as territorial expansion, the mechanisms of pragmatic and dogmatic imperial rule, and the post-imperial legacy. By the end of the seminar, the students are expected to be able to demonstrate an understanding of general patterns of center-periphery dynamics in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, the significance of the access to the Baltic Sea in Russian and Soviet geopolitical thought, and the long-term consequences of Russia’s westward expansion under Peter the Great for the populations around the Baltic rim and Europe at large.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Students will be expected to:
- prepare a short oral presentation
- draft and present an outline of their seminar paper
- submit a final seminar paper

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

To successfully pass the course, students are expected to:
- regularly attend the scheduled classes (a minimum attendance of 80 percent is required)
- actively participate in class and group discussions based on the reading assignments for each session, as in-class performance will be reflected in the final grade
- hand in their assignments in due time


- in-class presentation of 15 minutes
- outline of the seminar paper (1 page + bibliography)
- seminar paper (40,000 characters (+/- 5% incl. blanks, footnotes, cover page, table of contents and bibliography, excl. graphs)
The final grade is a result of the assessment of in-class participation (20%), the oral presentation (20%) and the seminar paper incl. the outline (60%)


The obligatory readings for each session will be announced and provided one week in advance by the instructor or via Moodle.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

BA Geschichte (2012): Zeitgeschichte (5 ECTS)
BA Geschichte (2019): M6 (5 ECTS)
BEd UF Geschichte: Osteuropäische Geschichte, Globalgeschichte, Historisch-kulturwissenschaftliche Europaforschung (5 ECTS)

Letzte Änderung: Do 23.03.2023 00:16