From people harvesting tea in Georgia, to railway construction in the northern city of Murmansk, this first round of posts highlights the ethnic and geographic diversity of Imperial Russia at a time when the world seemed both very traditional and in flux. This first edition of our course digest includes an abundance of featured content, touching on everything from sword making, bridge construction and industrialization to the changing fortunes of peasant women in central Russia and modern day Turkmenistan.
The semester’s first student’s choice award goes to a marvelous discussion of the lived experiences and imagined futures of a peasant girl holding a bowl of strawberries. Please enjoy these posts and the whole weekly edition. We’ll be back with news about the life after the 1917 revolutions in a few weeks!
Sergeĭ Mikhaĭlovich Prokudin-Gorskiĭ, “Nadgrobnyĭ Kamenʹ Na Mogilie Khadzhi-Khusein-Beka, Dostavlennyĭ Tamerlanom,” still image, 1910, //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/prk2000000803/.
For your first blog post, please select a photograph from this online exhibit at the Library of Congress and analyze it in the context of social and economic change in late Imperial Russia.
A photograph such as this one, for example, might lead you to explore the religious, ethnic and economic diversity of this vast country. Looking forward to our discussions over the next couple of weeks, you should think about how the combination of economic modernization and the autocracy’s resistance to political change would inform developments leading up to the fall of the Romanov dynasty and the rise of the Bolsheviks in 1917.
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