Melissa Chakars, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Disciplines Taught: History, International Relations
Office: Barbelin 112O
Phone: (610) 660-1745

Curriculum Vitae (CV)


B.A., Hunter College, City University of New York

M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University 

Courses Taught

HIS 100 Forging the Modern World

HIS 337 HIS  History of Russia to 1861

This course is a survey of the major political, social, economic, and cultural developments of Russia from Kievan Rus to the emancipation of the serfs. Topics will include Kievan Rus; the Golden Horde; the Rise of Moscuvy; the consolidation of the Romanov autocracy; the expansion of the empire; and the Great Reforms.

HIS 338   History of Russia and the Soviet Union, 1861-1991

This course is a survey of the major political, social, economic, and cultural developments of the Russian Empire from 1861 to 1917 and of the Soviet Union from its foundation to its break-up in 1991. Topics will include the decline of tsarism; the Russian revolutions; Stalinism; WWII; the Cold War; the “thaw years” under Khrushchev; the “stagnation years” under Brezhnev; and the reforms under Gorbachev.

HIS 339  The Mongol Empire, 1100-1500

In the 13th century, the Mongols built the largest contiguous land empire the world has ever known. This course will cover the rise, running, and fall of this empire. It will explore the society and culture of the Mongols, the world’s most famous nomadic conquerors. In addition, the course will examine how the Mongol Empire impacted the course of Eurasian history. It will explore how the empire affected not only the Mongols themselves, but also the many peoples whom they conquered.

HIS 340  Stalinism: Terror and Transformation in the Soviet Union, 1920s-1950s

This course examines the Soviet Union under the leadership of Joseph Stalin from 1928 to 1953. This period was repressive, but also transformative. The course will address not only the suffering inflicted by Stalin's steep repression, but also the social, cultural, and economic impact of his policies. Course readings will focus on the experiences of ordinary people to demonstrate that Stalin’s rule brought both opportunity, as well as great tragedy.



Russia and the Former Soviet Union


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