Isabelle West


As a current PhD student in the Arts and Humanities School, I am specialising in representations of human migration and displacement in the visual culture of late Imperial Russia. My seminar for second-year LEAP undergraduates at the University of Leeds focused on human migration in twentieth and twenty-first century art and photography. The workshop entailed a comparative study of discourses on migration in the visual culture of The Great Migration and the Windrush Generation for Black History Month 2021. 

As a PhD tutor, I have also catered to the needs of pupils with SEND and pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, as part of my work in the charity sector (The Brilliant Club) and for the National Tutoring Programme during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have delivered high-quality virtual and in-school teaching (in line with the national curriculum for GCSE English Language and Literature and KS2 Art History) and liaised with teachers and programme officers to improve the attainment of 31 disadvantaged pupils and to widen access to Higher Education. 

Over the summer of 2021, I designed a course on depictions of refugees and migrants in visual culture, and how this visual culture can help us understand the nature of their experiences and assess political and social categorisations of migration. I interviewed and liaised with photographers, artists and the team at Create London about related projects for the course. 

Research interests

My research interests centre on discourses on the universal human condition, social injustice and human migration in art and literature. I also specialise in Migration History and Russian History, particularly the social, ethnographic, demographic and agricultural history of Siberia. 

  • Migration Studies
  • Cultural Geography
  • Digital Humanities
  • History of Siberia
  • Russian History 
  • Social History 


  • Masters by Research in Comparative Literature and Culture
  • First-Class BA (Hons) Humanities with Literature