In this course we will study in depth the major themes in the history and historiography of Russia from the early nineteenth century through the February Revolution of 1917. We will explore the exercise and justifications of authority, intellectual and cultural trends, and social life. Central to the course are questions of historical methodology and theory as well as of the historiographical interpretations of the Russian past. Among the themes to be explored are: the imperial autocracy; empire and nation; self and collectivity; political ideology, as it developed from reform and into revolution; rural society, industrialization and urban life; cultural innovation and popular cultures; religion; social conflict and cohesion; and, family and gender. Sound like a lot? These themes overlap and build upon each other. As we trace the emergence of the world’s largest land empire, we will ask about the costs of this, both to Russia’s own population and the peoples it absorbed.