Revolutionary Poster

About the Project

The Assignment

Revolutionary Poster

Over the past 3 years, the timeline has been populated with student research built from various modalities. Please refer to the 3 separate cohorts below to understand the assignments and learning goals.

Cohort 1-2010 four dots

In order to focus student research goals, we assigned each student a role (activist, worker, soldier, or peasant) and a limited time period (February-March, April-May, June-July, August-September, October-November). We then gave them a list of books and on-line sites where they could find primary sources for their particular group in their time line. Delimiting the students’ roles and time periods allowed us to gain greater coverage of the reach of the revolution. This group of documents and analysis are not and cannot be considered complete. Rather they represent a best practice of sampling to give both the students involved in the project and later viewers some insights into the complexity of this revolution, in terms of both numbers of actors and variety and complexity of issues.

Link to Cohort 1 assignment pdf


Cohort 2-2011 red-dot

The next student group was asked to concentrate on the leading events of the Russian Revolution. Students each researched an individual event, incorporating primary and secondary sources that related to the event as well as writing a paper that delved deeper into related issues.

Link to Cohort 2 assignment pdf


Cohort 3 & 4 - 2012-2013 red-dot

The third cohort concentrated on analysing a specific document from the point of view of one writer, taking into consideration the writer's perspective on the many conflicts during 1917.

Link to Cohort 3 & 4 assignment pdf


Project Goals and Purpose

This project aims to tap into the extraordinary wealth of primary sources now available in print and on the Internet. Our hope is to show viewers some of the immense complexity of actors and issues being mobilized over this eight-month period from February to October 1917. By creating an innovative digital timeline, we hope to showcase three kinds of sources: primary sources from the time, secondary analyses written by historians, and student papers commenting on one or more themes that they have gleaned from reading primary sources. Viewers have an opportunity to read this site across time (what historians call diachronically) or across social groups (historians call this a synchronic reading). This kind of interconnection among sources is one we hope will serve as a model for other pedagogical innovations in the new field of Digital Humanities.

How to use the site

Lissitzky PosterThis website consists of a number of data points, each representing a particular document or a event. Clicking on any given date will open a summary box that describes the significance of that event or document. Each box also contains a link to an in-depth analysis written by a student (you can see a copy of their assignment below), as well as links to primary documents (written at the time by observers) and secondary articles (written later by historians analyzing what was happening).

The website can be read either horizontally or vertically (or both). Horizontally the site consists of five lines: events (which covers a basic chronology of what happened as the story is usually told by historians); activists (those named individuals who helped promote or impede various agendas during this complex period); workers (those working in factories); soldiers (both at the front and in the rear); and peasants (working the land). Vertically the site is organized in the traditional way by dates (from late February to mid-November). Reading the timeline horizontally means following the events or one of these groups in the population to see how their views and issues changed over time. Reading the timeline vertically means examining different social groups and their issues at a given moment in time (e.g., February-March or April-May).