Summer 2023 - HIST 334 D100

The Making of Imperial Russia (4)

Class Number: 3240

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Jun 19, 2023: Tue, Thu, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history. Recommended: HIST 106.



An examination of major themes in Russian history up to the Revolution of 1917, including the emergence of the modern Russian state; the organization of the empire at the center and the periphery; the contest between imperial, national, and religious identities; social, economic, and cultural transformations; and the Russian Empire's involvement in world politics.


The Making of the Russian Empire

Content: This is a study of Russia from 1721 to 1917. After a brief consideration of the earlier period of Russia’s development, we will spend most of the semester examining the Russian Empire from the time of its proclamation under emperor Peter I (also known as “Peter the Great”) in the early 18th century until its collapse during the First World War.

On the grander level, we will pay attention to the organization of the empire at the centre and the periphery; the tensions between imperial, national, and religious identities; and debates among the Russians about the destiny of their country and its place in the world. We will examine the Russian Empire’s social and cultural transformations, multiethnic character, territorial expansion, imperial and colonial policies, economic strategies, and role in world affairs. But as we pay attention these broader developments and contexts, we will also look at the lives of some ordinary folks, and ask ourselves: what was it like for them to live in this country?


  • Tutorial/participation 20%
  • Response papers 15%
  • Midterm 30%
  • Final 35%


There will be four short response papers and two in-class tests (a midterm and a final). Grading breakdown as above. 



Paul Bushkovitch, A Concise History of Russia.
Olga Semyonova Tian-Shanskaia, Village Life in Late Imperial Russia.
Leo Tolstoy, Hadji Murat. Vintage, 2012.
Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons.  Oxford Paperbacks, 2008.

These books are available in physical form and also in e-format on VitalSource.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

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