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Regular version of the site

198099 Saint Petersburg
17 Promyshlennaya Ulitsa, Room 107

Phone:+7 (812)786-92-49 

Postal address: 
190008 Saint Petersburg
16 Soyuza Pechatnikov Ulitsa


Department Head Alexander Semyonov
Academic Supervisor Evgeniy Anisimov
From Cotton and Smoke: Łódź – Industrial City and Discourses of Asynchronous Modernity 1897–1994

Zysiak A., Śmiechowski K., Każmierska K. et al.

Lodz University Press, Jagiellonian University Press, distributed by Columbia University Press, 2018.

Courts and Court Hierarchy in Novgorod the Great in the Late 16–Early 17th Centuries

Selin A. A., Iablokova I. V.

Canadian-American Slavic Studies. 2020. Vol. 54. No. 4. P. 432-445.

Book chapter
Climate Change from the Arctic People’s Point of View: Rhythms of Everyday Life, Infrastructures and Landscapes

Rakhmanova Lidia, Kolesnichenko L., Kirpotin S. et al.

In bk.: The Arctic: Current Issues and Challenges. Iss. Arctic region and antarctica issues and research. NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2020. Ch. 2. P. 15-55.

Working paper

Selin A. A., Байгушев С. В., Levin F. et al.

Working Papers of Humanities. WP. Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2020. No. 197.

Rethinking the Cold War

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
Department of History
Elective course
4 year, 3 module


Course Syllabus


This network course examines the Cold War, commonly treated as a period of rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. Considering a global context East-West context, we will explore the ideological conflict of communism/socialism and capitalism from late 1940s to the early 1990s. The course introduces cultural and technological dimensions of the Cold War which, as we will see, were not entirely subordinate to the political and diplomatic history of the period. This is a network course with Indiana University. Seminars will take place on zoom, and some topics will be discussed with American students. In order to complete the course successfully, students will have to prepare and present a research project on the Cold War together with students from Indiana.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • While focusing on the origins, major episodes and results of the Cold War, we will analyze recently published and declassified historical documents. This will allow discussing both traditional and novel interpretations of the Cold War from diverse and competing perspectives. Approaching the Cold War globally, we will reveal its multiple aspects from conflicts to various forms of cooperation. This will help us to acknowledge both the barriers and the bridges which the Cold War produced. Therefore, the course will overcome the dominant traditional interpretation of the Cold War as of an exclusively political conflict of two superpowers. Uncovering cultural dimensions of the Cold War, we will examine complex interactions of states, institutions, and independent actors. In doing so, we will discuss such themes as the Iron Curtain and its symbolic meanings; modernity and the Cold War; economic competition and the great divergence of the 20th century; decolonization and technological aid to the Third World; confrontation and cooperation in science, technology and culture; technology transfers and encounters of “small” actors; imagining the other; global environmentalism; globalization and confrontation; and legacy of Cold War thinking in post-Cold War world. Upon completion of the course, students will have a firm knowledge of Cold War dimensions, chronology, and historiography.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Distinguish between different perspectives by drawing on their knowledge of the discipline
  • Practice a range of research skills and scientific methods for studying history
  • Demonstrate a wide range of generic skills, including skills in communication, information processing, teamwork, critical and creative thinking, computing independent learning
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Global Inequalities and Economic Competition
  • Cold War Basics: Who Started the Cold War?
  • Cold War Ideologies
  • Modernity and the Cold War
  • Domestic Fronts of Cultural Cold War
  • Technopolitics and the Cold War
  • Cold War Engagements: Transnational Contacts during the Thaw
  • Poetics of Atom
  • Hot Art during the Cold War
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Attendance and participation
  • non-blocking Final project
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.4 * Attendance and participation + 0.6 * Final project


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Bresselau von Bressensdorf, A., Ostermann, C., & Seefried, E. (2017). West Germany, the Global South and the Cold War. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter Oldenbourg. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1639785
  • Farbøl, R. (2015). Commemoration of a cold war: the politics of history and heritage at Cold War memory sites in Denmark. Cold War History, 15(4), 471–490. https://doi.org/10.1080/14682745.2015.1028532
  • Friedman, J. S. (2015). Shadow Cold War : The Sino-Soviet Competition for the Third World. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=978177
  • HILGER, A. (2019). The Global Cold War and Its Legacies. Kritika: Explorations in Russian & Eurasian History, 20(1), 208–218. https://doi.org/10.1353/kri.2019.0014

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Krige, J., & Wang, J. (2015). Nation, Knowledge, and Imagined Futures: Science, Technology, and Nation-Building, Post-1945. History & Technology, 31(3), 171–179. https://doi.org/10.1080/07341512.2015.1126022
  • Sarantakes, N. E., & Westad, O. A. (2019). The Cold War: A World History. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.A214A659
  • Tony Shaw, & Denise J. Youngblood. (2014). Cinematic Cold War : The American and Soviet Struggle for Hearts and Minds. [N.p.]: University Press of Kansas. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=2107963