Vida Johnson received her B.A. in Russian History and Literature from Radcliffe College and her M.A. and PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. For many years she has been Professor of Russian language, culture, and film as well as the Director of the Russian Program at Tufts University in Boston. She has been a long-time consulting editor or co-editor for film for the Russian Review.
She is the author of articles and reviews on literature and film and co-author with Graham Petrie of The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue (1994). Her current areas of research are contemporary Russian and Central Asian cinemas as well as the cinemas of the former Yugoslavia. Her most recent contributions are a special edited issue on Serbian Cinema in kinokultura.com, and a co-edited dual language collection of film articles by young Serbian critics titled Introducing Youth: Self-Reflections on Serbian Cinema (Uvodjenje mladosti: Sami sebe naslikati.), published by Film Center, Serbia (2008).