This is the first book-length study of masculinity in Imperial Russia. By looking at official and unofficial life at universities across the Russian empire, this project offers a picture of the complex processes through which gender ideologies were forged and negotiated in the Nineteenth Century. Masculinity, Autocracy and the Russian University, 1804-1863 demonstrates how gender was critical to political life in a European monarchy.The book focuses, in particular, on the reign of Tsar Nicholas I (1825-1855), the so-called apogee of autocracy. During these decades, the government turned to the universities as an instrument for the cultivation of obedient, respectable men, ideal servitors of the Russian autocratic state. But even as students learned to act as administrators as universiy regulations demanded, they also created their own social spaces and forged and transmitted their own masculine ideals, which were often at odds with official prescriptions. Even at the height of autocratic control, men were agents in their own making.

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