Maja grew up in Zagreb, Croatia (former Yugoslavia), and moved permanently to Australia in 1987. Her research and publications focus on issues of national identity, borders, transnationalism, digital technologies, new media, popular culture and everyday life, with a focus on Europe's eastern peripheries.

Maja studied Italian, English and comparative literature at the University of Zagreb, Croatia (BA Hons, MA); English at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA (MA) and Italian Renaissance history at Sydney University in Australia (PhD). Her most recent publications include 'The island monastery of Valaam in Finnish homeland tourism: Constructing a “Thirdspace” in the Russian borderlands' (Fennia-International Journal of Geography 2013), 'Highways of Desire: Cross-Border Shopping in Former Yugoslavia, 1960s-1980s' (CEU Press 2010) and a compendium of Key Concepts in Cultural Studies (Palgrave MacMillan 2008).

She teaches in the Cultural Studies and International Studies programs at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. From 2013 to 2015, she is based at the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Nottingham Trent, and travelling extensively to conduct fieldwork for this project.