In 1939, Winston Churchill called Russia “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Seismic historical shifts notwithstanding, Churchill’s words retain their currency today. Indeed, events like the mass protests of 2011-12, the annexation of Crimea, and Russian intervention in the recent U.S. election defy easy explanation and flout the predictions of even seasoned observers. This course examines Russia’s politics and culture since 1991 through the prism of Russian self-representation, reading public discourse and cultural production against and alongside one another. We will consider novels, films, print journalism, televised media, and the Internet, focusing on both particular representations and social institutions for their production, dissemination, and consumption. Topics of special concern include conspiracy theories, representations of Russian history, collective identity and patriotism, intellectuals and elites, gender and sexuality, consumption and wealth.