UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

Dr Rachel Morley

Dr Rachel Morley

Associate Professor



Joined UCL
2nd Sep 2013

Research summary

My current research focuses on early Russian cinema (pre-1918) and in particular on the representation of gender and the development of cinematic form and language. My work in this area is fundamentally interdisciplinary and draws on a broad range of other cultural disciplines, including dance, literature, theatre, art history and socio-cultural history. Additional research interests include the early Russian film press, Soviet silent cinema and its aesthetic relationship with early Russian cinema, the resurgence of fin-de-siècle concerns and aesthetics in post-Soviet Russian cinema and contemporary female filmmakers working in Russian. I have published a number of articles and chapters on early Russian and Soviet cinema, and have been commissioned by the British Film Institute (BFI) to write introductions to Russian and Soviet films held in their collection. My monograph, Performing Femininity in Early Russian Cinema was published by I. B. Tauris in 2017.

Teaching summary

SERS0014 Russian Cinema: History, Ideology and Society (BA, Level 4)

SERS0003 Comprehension of Russian (Year 1) (BA, Level 4)

SERS0027 Russian Cinema: Men and Women (BA, Level 5)

SERS0037 Comprehension of Russian (Year 4) (BA, Level 6)

SERS0047 Contemporary Russian Cinema (BA, Level 6)

SEES0073 The Reflecting Screen: Russian and Soviet Cinema in its Cultural Context, 1896 to the present (MA, Level 7)

CMII0062 Russian Cinema: Epochs and Genres (UCL MA in Film Studies, Level 7)


University College London
Doctorate, Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy | 2016
University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2011
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 2001
University of London
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1999
Merton College Oxford
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 1992


After graduating with a BA in French Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and spending several years teaching French, I began studying Russian on the SSEES ab initio degree programme in 1995, completing here a BA, an MA and my doctoral degree. 

Between 1999 and 2009 I was a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant at SSEES, delivering BA and MA courses in Russian cinema, Russian poetry, Russian language, and Russian to English translation. I have also taught in the Department of Slavonic Studies, University of Cambridge. I returned to SSEES to take up my present post in September 2013.

I am Co-Chair of the UCL SSEES Russian Cinema Research Group, which organises work-in-progress seminars and hosts talks from scholars working in the field of Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet Cinema Studies at UCL and other British and international universities.

Between 2014 and 2018, I was the SSEES International and Affiliate Tutor, and in this role I provided academic and pastoral support both to SSEES undergraduates whose degrees include a period of study abroad and to BA and MA affiliate students who come to SSEES from partner universities overseas.