As forewarned, this was a pretty dry reading on the whole, but riddled with demographic trends. For some reason I really enjoy studying demography, so although the reading was dry I managed to maintain some focus, but I digress. Reading this article, at least for me, was the first time I was really able to see the differing ethnicities that comprise(d) Russia. the demographic knowledge at the author’s disposal, Kappeller manages to differentiate between these ethnic groups with this demographic knowledge because it is what the author had to work with to explore these differences.… Read the rest here

Black & Grey

The Slavophiles and Westernizers were both “reformist” intellectuals who, on different ideological avenues, envisioned changes for the future of Russia that would progress the state to new plateaus. The Slavophiles were upperclassmen who expressed a fundamental vision of integration, peace, and harmony among men (Riasanovsky 362). They were strict followers of the Russian Orthodox Church and believed it was their mission to help the church reclaim power it had lost. A notable Slav – Constantine Aksakov – described the Slavophiles as a “moral choir” (363).… Read the rest here

Grade A

According to the rubric, an ‘A’ paper keeps the thesis clear and is original in thought. This paper does both exceptionally well. The author lays out all of the documents he/she will present in the paper (no surprise documents) prior to the thesis, and uses these documents as a nice segue into the thesis statement. Every point the paper is carried by an affirmative assertion followed by solid blocks of evidence used to back these assertions, each linked together in a good flow.… Read the rest here

Stewards and Manners

The Domostroi clearly sets out each person’s role in a household. It is very clear on how one should carry themselves and how to act in various situations. In chapter 35, the focus is on how servants should conduct themselves while running errands. They are supposed to be very conservative and follow every instruction given. They are told not to gossip at any point, and to give the utmost respect to whoever they are sent to.… Read the rest here


It seems like the Kievan Rus’ empire just dissolved under unfavorable circumstances. The general population became dissatisfied with their Grand Prince in Novgorod, and the Mongols’ invasion of the region further extinguished the flame of Rus’ society. Kievan Rus’ again proved to be highly religious in its political endeavors, and although a split between Prince Ivan and his people occurred – it arguably proved to be a step in the right direction for Rus’ society. Even Kaiser and Marker argue that the kingdom of Rus’ deserved the pummeling it received by the Mongols as punishment for the careless and selfish princes who ignored the wise words of Iaroslav (100).… Read the rest here

My stern opinion

While reading Stearns’ full work, I couldn’t help but feel the same lack of faith towards delving into ‘history-ing’ children as a discipline, because I again found Stearns’ focus to be more about the impacts adults and society had on children during their respective eras rather than of the childhoods themselves. For example, Stearns spends a good deal of time examining various punishments enacted on children for misbehaving acts. Similar to our discussion last week, studying punishments (frankly) is convenient!… Read the rest here

Utah Rus’

While reading the Russkaia Pravda, I couldn’t help but laugh a little to myself because in my leisure time I’ve been reading a book called Under The Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer, which is a profile of the crazy, extreme Mormon sects that routinely practice kidnapping, rape (statutory & not), marrying girls and women off inappropriately. These are simply a few of the horrible atrocities committed by these extreme Mormon sects. What took me by storm, was how many offenses listed in the Russkaia Pravda were applicable to these mormons.… Read the rest here

Foggy History

As a historian in a relatively new field, Mary Jo Maynes’ work reiterates the notions discussed in Stearn and Mintz although with a feminist angle. Maynes narrows her focus down to the history of females, but again (and more importantly), discreetly points to the lack of direct (children’s) historical evidence in this newly developing history. Maynes directly notes this when she writes, “life stories provide a unique perspective on the intersection of individual, collective, institutional, and societal evolution as captured in narratives” (119).… Read the rest here