Dr Julia Vassilieva


Julia joined Film and Screen Studies at Monash University in 2008. Currently she is an ARC DECRA research fellow based in FSS at Monash (ARC DECRA 2016-2018 DE160101138). She holds a BA (Hons) degree from Moscow University, a DPsych from Swinburne University and a PhD from Monash University. Her PhD work was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award, while her thesis was awarded best 2012 thesis in CCLCS prize. 

Julia is an author of two monographs –  Life. Narrative. Event. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and Re-thinking the Experience of Immigration: From Loss to Gain, (Saarbrucken, Germany: VDM Verlag, 2010). Her essays have appeared  in leading national and international journals including Camera ObscuraScreening the Past, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural StudiesHistory of PsychologySenses of Cinema and ROUGE.

In her PhD thesis, Julia explored how narrative theories operate in different fields—film theory, literary theory, psychology and philosophy—drawing on both Anglophone and Russian traditions of scholarship. The thesis developed a unique interdisciplinary methodology to analyse these fields comparatively and brought together a previously dispersed range of primary sources, many of them little known and preserved in archives. At the same time she gained substantial research experience working in the archives of revolutionary Russian director Sergei Eisenstein and scholars who formed his intellectual circle—literary critics, linguists and psychologists.  This research led to the publication of Eisenstein’s late works which were previously inaccessible to the broader public and laid the foundation for her current DECRA project – Cinema and the brain: Eisenstein-Vygotsky-Luria’s collaboration. This project will uncover new knowledge about a unique collaboration between a leading twentieth century filmmaker, a neuroscientist and a psychologist who aimed to understand how mind, brain and cinema work together. It will identify what the neurosciences can offer to film theory and outline ways in which film scholarship can contribute to the study of the brain.