My research into the social and cultural history of imperial Russia has so far focused on three main areas. My dissertation and initial publications looked at the interactions between “traditional” (often conceptualized as “national”) agricultural and culinary practices and new ideas about both coming into Russia primarily from the West, focusing on the era of Russian serfdom in its most developed form (1762-1861). Second, I moved on to a major research project on social estate (soslovie) in imperial Russia. I examined how it was legislated by state authorities, how it was administered by local authorities, and how it was experienced by individuals, in imperial Russia. This project was more squarely based in social history, and extended my chronological focus back to least the era of Peter the Great (c. 1700) and forward to the revolutionary era of 1917.  I am now working on a third major project, this one looking at the palace and town of Gatchina, with a focus on the nature of autocratic authority as experienced by autocrats, their families, and those who were directly influenced by it.