Skip to main content
School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Isabel Jacobs, BA, MA


PhD Student in Comparative Literature



Situated at the borders of global intellectual history, philosophy and art theory, my PhD explores Russian-French philosopher Alexandre Kojève and the avant-garde. With a focus on abstract art, literature, photography and Surrealism, I analyse Kojève’s post-historical aesthetics in the context of his philosophical system. Reevaluating Kojève as a cross-cultural mediator in interwar Paris, my project seeks to elucidate how philosophy and visual practice inform each other.

In 2021, I co-hosted the international workshop “Kojève: Here and Now”. As a Fellow at the German Center for Art History in Paris, I examine various archival resources, including Kojève’s unpublished manuscripts and his extensive collection of photographs and postcards at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

I hold a MA in Russian and East European Literature and Culture from UCL SSEES (Dean’s List) and a BA in Philosophy and Slavic Studies from Heidelberg University, Germany. I am an Editor at the Journal of the History of Ideas Blog and a contributor to the East European Film Bulletin. Currently, I am co-editing a Special Issue on Kojève and Russian Philosophy, forthcoming later this year.

My research is funded by the London Arts & Humanities Partnership.

Supervisors: Prof Galin Tihanov and Prof Will McMorran

Undergraduate Teaching

COM300: The Scene of Writing


Research Interests:

Global Intellectual & Art History; Alexandre Kojève; Aesthetics; Philosophy of Science; Russian & East European Thought; Surrealism; Exile & Migration; Semiotics; Soviet Underground; Experimental Film.


“From the Inexistent to the Concrete: Kojève after Kandinsky.” Book section in Alexandre Kojève, a Man of Influence (forthcoming).

Epileptic Seismograph: Franciszka and Stefan Themerson’s Europa (1931).East European Film Bulletin 118 (2021).

Reality as Representation? Ernst Cassirer and Alexandre Kojève on Indeterminism.Journal of the History of Ideas Blog (2021).

Rediscovering Boris Poplavsky: poet, exile and enfant terrible of Russias Silver Age.” Calvert Journal (2021).

Keti Chukhrovs Practicing the Good: Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism.” Marx & Philosophy Review of Books (2021).

Communist Visions, Spectacles and After-Images.Studies in Eastern European Cinema 12, no. 4, 1858 (2021).

Soviet Parallel Cinema.” East European Film Bulletin 109 (2020).

Vasmi, Richard Rudolf'ovič.Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon. Berlin; Boston: K. G. Saur (2020).

Back to top