Christine Ruane

Professor of HistoryDirector of Graduate Studies in HistoryChapman Hall 238
(918) 631-3841

My intellectual interests center around the study of modern Russian and European history. My first book analyzes the professionalization of men and women city schoolteachers from 1860 to 1914. In particular, I look at how teachers' attempts to form a profession contributed to Russia's revolutionary crisis. My second book tells the story of the Russian fashion industry from 1700 to 1914. In 1700, Peter the Great declared that all urban residents and civil servants must abandon traditional Russian dress and wear European fashion. My book is the first in any language to explain how Russians manufactured and sold European clothing, and how they learned to feel comfortable in their new clothes. My new project is a social and cultural history of kitchen gardening in Russia. Kitchen gardening has been and remains a central activity of most Russians. My study will use the humble kitchen garden as a way to understand the complex role of religion, science, gender, economics, culture, and politics in Russian life.

Education and Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Modern European History, University of California at Berkeley, 1986 
  • MA, Russian History, SUNY Binghamton, 1977
  • BS, Russian, Georgetown University,1974

Previous Teaching Experience

  • Gettysburg College, 1986-1988
  • Washington University in St. Louis, 1988-1995

Professional Affiliations

  • American Historical Association
  • American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies
  • Association for Women in Slavic Studies

Courses Taught at TU

  • European Women's History (HIST 2053)
  • Seeing Through Clothes; A History of Clothing and the Body in Europe (HIST 2343)
  • Imperial Russian History ( )
  • Men and Women at War: A History of Europe in the Twentieth Century (HIST 4133)
  • Twentieth Century Russian History
  • Readings in Comparative Social and Cultural History (HIST 5713)
  • Gender in History ( )
  • Consumerism

Awards & Recognition

  • Honorary Mention for the Zelnik Prize for best book in Russian history, 2010
  • Heldt Prize for best book in Slavic women’s studies, 2009
  • Toronto Star’s Top 100 books for 2009
  • 1991 and 1995 Heldt Prize for best article in Slavic women's studies.


  • The Empire's New Clothes: A History of the Russian Fashion Industry, 1700-1917
    (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009).
  • European Fashion in Russia
    in Picturing Russia: Essays on Visual Experience, eds. Valerie A. Kivelson and Joan Neuberger (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008).
  • Spreading the Word: The Development of the Russian Fashion Press
    in Producing Fashion: Commerce, Culture, and Consumers (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007).
  • Одежда и идентичность в имперской России (Clothing and Identity Politics in Imperial Russia)
    in Гражданская идентичность и сфера гражданской деятедьности в Российской империи (Civic Identity and the Public Sphere in Late Imperial Russia), eds. Bianka Pietrow-Enner and Galina Ulianova (Moscow: Rosspen, 2006), 278-305.
  • Subjects into Citizens: The Politics of Clothing in Imperial Russia
    Fashioning the Body Politic: Dress, Gender, Citizenship, ed. Wendy Parkins (New York: Berg, 2002), 49-70.
  • The Development of a Fashion Press in Late Imperial Russia: Moda: Zhurnal dlia svetskikh liudei
    An Improper Profession: Women, Gender, and Journalism in Late Imperial Russia, eds. Barbara T. Norton and Jehanne M. Gheith (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001), 74-92.
  • Gender, Class, and the Professionalization of Russian City Teachers, 1860-1914
    (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1994)