Faith Hillis is an historian of imperial Russia, with a special interest in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century politics, culture, and ideas. She studies how Russia’s peculiar political institutions—and its status as a multiethnic empire—shaped public opinion and political cultures, as well as considering where the Russian experience belongs in the broader context of European and global history.
Her first book, Children of Rus’: Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation, was published by Cornell University Press in 2013. Children of Rus' argues that it was on the extreme periphery of the tsarist empire—a region that today is located at the very center of the independent nation of Ukraine—that Russian nationalism first took shape and assumed its most potent form.
In the book that she is currently researching, Europe’s Russian Colonies: Politics, Community, and Modernity across Borders, she studies the diverse yet close-knit settlements of tsarist émigrés that sprung up in western Europe’s large cities, university towns, and spa resorts over the long nineteenth century, providing the first synthetic history of pre-1917 traffic between Russia and Europe.