HIST235-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Tsardom to Empire: Russian History 1480 to 1917

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


This course explores aspects of social, political, economic, cultural, religious, and intellectual history of Russia prior to 1917, with a particular emphasis on the autocratic tradition as developed from 1480 onwards. The course also investigates the making of the Russian Empire while also examining ways in which political forces unique to Russia shaped the country's cultural specificity in the European context.

The course provides a critical survey of Russian history from medieval times to the fall of the monarchy in 1917, with particular emphasis on the Russian autocratic tradition from Ivan the Terrible to the last Romanovs. It examines how Russian tsars and emperors single-handedly ruled the country's vast Eurasian expanses, often bringing about enormous political and social transformations by decree. In this class, our driving questions will be: what held the empire together for so long and what eventually tore it apart? We will give particular attention to: the interactions between reform and revolution; the growth of Russia’s multi-ethnic, multi-confessional empire; political terrorism and socialism; and the vexed question of Russia’s identity as а Eurasian polity.  We will reflect on these political forces in Russian culture, particularly where they contributed to Russian cultural specificity and distinguished the Russians from other European nations.


Any 15 points at 100 level in HIST, EURA, or
RUSS, or
CLAS120, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


HIST138, HIST335, RUSS111, RUSS235RUSS335, EURA235, EURA335

Equivalent Courses

Course Coordinator

Evgeny Pavlov

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All HIST235 Occurrences

  • HIST235-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021