I’m a professor and chair of history at the University of Toronto, where I’ve taught since 2006. My initial work focused on food history in imperial Russia, a topic I’ve recently returned to. My second major research focus was an examination of social estate (soslovie), focusing on the act of changing soslovie. Most recently, I’ve been interested in what research focusing on one particular place can tell us about imperial Russia. I’ve published a series of blog posts on the village (and eventually town) of Ivanovo, and am now conducing research on the palace, town, and rural region of Gatchina.
In particular, I’m looking at the many ways that individual subjects of the Russian empire interacted with the autocracy–what I’m calling the lived experience of autocracy (borrowing from historians of religion in Russia).
My CV is available here (last updated March 2021): Smith Alison K CV March 2021