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USSR 1924-1941: History students attend conference on Stalin

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A level History students attended a conference at City Temple, Holburn, on the Stalin era in the USSR this week. The event consisted of four short lectures by top historians:

  •  The Grey Blur: why did Stalin emerge as Lenin’s successor during the power struggle in the USSR in the 1920s? (Professor Chris Read, University of Warwick)
  • The failure of NEP? What motivated Stalin’s economic reforms after 1928? (Dr Daniel Beer, Royal Holloway)
  • An Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove: how did Stalin maintain his grip on the USSR in the 1930s? (Professor Robert Service, University of Oxford)
  • Thank Heaven for Uncle Joe: How important was the role of Stalin during the Great Patriotic War? (Dr Robert Hornsby, University of Kent)

“The lectures were informative and interesting,” comments student Eleanor Evans. “Dr Robert Hornsby’s lecture was particularly useful in clarifying my knowledge on Stalin’s involvement in WW2. I feel my knowledge of Stalin’s Russia has been greatly enhanced and improved.”

“I found the lecture on the Second World War and the Eastern front inspirational,” adds James Popple-Beckett. It featured a great deal of detail about the German and Russian struggle, which will help me with my studies.”

“The lectures were very informative and detailed. They covered everything about Stalin, which will be very helpful. I would recommend the event to other students,” says Hannah Spraggs.

“It was interesting to look in depth at how Stalin maintained power,” comments David Few.

“The trip was excellent: not only did it increase my knowledge, but it also gave me a taste of what a real university lecture would be like,” concludes Meghan Brannigan.

Cath Carpenter, Course Team Leader for AS History, who organised the trip, says: “The lecture day was an ideal  opportunity for students to encounter the work of eminent historians and to experience university-style teaching and learning. All the lecturers who presented on the topics are experts in Russian history so the day provided students with an excellent opportunity to consider different academic interpretations of historical events.

“This has inspired the students to develop their own skills of analysis and interpretation, which are important in the study of history at A level and beyond.”