Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stalin's Giving Me A Hard Time

Well it was bound to happen sooner or later, I have reached a part of the degree course that I did not find easy.  I dare say as I add modules and move on to stage 2 and 3 work I'm going to find quite a lot of the work quite hard, but until the Stalin chapter yesterday everything seemed to be going quite well.

Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev, January 1936.
Krushchev and Stalin

Our task in the Stalin chapter of Reputations is to examine the myth of Stalin, both the story he built up about himself, and then the counter-myth spun by Krushchev, this is done by examining the conclusions of different historians.  This is a very different way to learn history than I am used to, this isn't at all the rote learning of dates and events I can remember from school, along with the very definite 'this is what happened' approach. The methods we are being trained to use to examine history is much more 'so X occured, but the reason might be Y according to Smith, or Z according to Jones', and then it's up to us to sort it out.

I have managed to complete the Stalin chapter, and did all the exercises within, but it was tough going, and when I read the suggested answers for each question, I had not made half so many connections and conclusions as I had been doing in the earlier parts of the course.

There isn't an essay to do on Stalin, for which I am quite grateful.  My Cleopatra essay is almost completed, just the bibliography to do, and I have my Cezanne vs. Zurburan essay in rough form ready to copy up. Looking to the next chapter of the course, it's music, focusing on the diva, and taking in Maria Callas, Madonna, Puccini and Luzzaschi, who as far as I am aware at the moment, plays inside left for AC Milan.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment