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 is forthcoming from I. B. Tauris in 2016.

Teaching summary

SERS1013 Russian Cinema: History, Ideology and Society (BA)

SERS1003 - Comprehension of Russian (Year 1) (BA)

SERS2011 - Russian Poetry from Pushkin to Brodsky (BA)

SERS2012 Russian Cinema: Men and Women (BA)

SERS4001 - Comprehension of Russian (Year 4) (BA)

SERS4017 Contemporary Russian Cinema (BA)

SEESGR30 The Reflecting Screen: Russian and Soviet Cinema in its Cultural Context (MA)

FILMG004 - Russian Cinema: Epochs and Genres (UCL MA in Film Studies)


University College London
FHEA, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education | 2016
University College London
PhD, Russian Studies | 2011
University College London
MA, Russian and East European Languages | 2001
University of London
BA, Russian Language and Literature | 1999
Merton College Oxford
BA, French and Lietrature | 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. My PhD thesis, written under the supervision of Professor Julian Graffy and Professor Pamela Davidson, examined the representation of the figure of the female performer in early Russian film and culture.
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.
I am currently the SSEES International and Affiliate Tutor, and in this role I provide 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.