David Freeman: Final Reflection

What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?

I have found the biggest issue is researching primary sources and gaining an understanding of the primary material available. This has been due to the limited timeframe allowed by a university module as well as the unfortunate issues of the ongoing lockdowns.

What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?

I found that familiarising myself with the secondary literature was certainly helpful before approaching primary sources. Alongside this, the reading available on methodologies helped me understand the theoretical principles I should apply to primary sources research.

What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?

This module has helped in a variety of ways in preparing for the dissertation. The first way which comes to mind is that it has provided me with a solid foundation from which I can continue researching over the summer in order to have a understanding of the topic which will assist in writing the dissertation next year.

Which aspects of the 9X6 module have been the most useful in helping you get your project ready to start?

I have found the parts of this module were we worked in break-out rooms to evaluate or analyse pieces of text very useful. Especially looking at exemplars or sample texts of either our assignments or example dissertations. This has enabled me to consider the work as far more attainable than before. Seeing examples of a previous dissertation especially at this stage has helped me visualise the end goal of this research project.

David Freeman Annotated Bibliography

The topic I will be researching is how the Russian Revolution’s impact on gender roles specifically in reference to Leadership roles in work and politics. 

Primary Sources

Bisha, Robin, Jehanne M Gheith, Christine Holden and William G Wagner. Russian Women, 1698-1917: Experience and Expression, An Anthology of Sources. Bloomington: Indian University Press, 2002.

The edited collection cited above by Bisha Et Al. is one which provides a holistic look at the gendered experiences in Russian society leading up to 1917. Thus, it serves as a standard by which the changes experienced can be understood. Parts of this text are more relevant than others as some parts of the book focus outside of this project’s scope. However overall it is relevant to consider as background to be understood.

Farmbrough, Florence. With the Armies of the Tsar: A Nurse at the Russian Front in War and Revolution, 1914-1918. New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 2000.

Additionally, Farmbrough’s book provides a personal account of the ways in which the war changed gender roles in Russia as women were nurses helping the Russian military during the First World War. A key point of interest is that this account shows women being brought into military service after the February Revolution. 

Kollantai, Alexandra. “New Woman” from The New Morality and the Working Class. Translated by Salvator Attansio and Chris Clayton. Accessed February 5, 2021. https://www.marxists.org/archive/kollonta/1918/new-morality.htm 

Alexandra Kollantai, in this chapter and in her other writings, provides an understanding from inside Lenin’s government of the attempted changes to make Russia more meritocratic and how successful these changes were. This is only one example of many archived pieces of Kollantai’s work. Her memoirs and other writing is important as it chronicles some of the failings of the early Soviet government specifically in relations to women and work.

Secondary Sources

Clements, Barbara Evans. “Working-Class and Peasant Women in the Russian Revolution, 1917-1923.” Signs 8, no. 2 (1982): 215-35. Accessed February 2, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3173897.

Moving onto the secondary sources, Clements provides an explanation of how peasant women in Russia were treated before and after the revolution. This text also provides a strong explanation of how women contributed to the revolution in a perspective not only of a class struggle but also a struggle against the limiting gender roles of Russian society. 

Galili, Ziva. “Women and the Russian Revolution.” Dialectical Anthropology 15, no. 2/3 (1990): 119-27. Accessed February 4, 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/29790341.

Galili provides a detailed account of the failings of the Soviet government to reform gender roles after the revolution. They discuss the prioritisation of industrial reform and casual reinforcement of gender stereotypes in this time. Therefore it provides a useful analysis of the years after the revolution. 

Introduction – David Freeman

Hello I am David Freeman, I am from Edinburgh but live in Stirling. I have been considering writing a project about the rise of populist politics before the Russian revolution but I need to decide over the next week if it would be practical to study this as a topic. I have been finding online learning difficult though after doing the modules last semester I feel more confident about this module.