About Laura Isakov
Laura Isakov, a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, colleague, and doctoral student in Germanic Studies, died suddenly on November 19, 2020. Laura is missed by all of us. We remember her warm generosity of spirit and skill as a good listener. She helped forge a sense of community through her kindness, service, and presence in the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies (CENES). We remember Laura’s great intellectual curiosity about almost every topic.
Laura became interested in German language and literature as a way of connecting with her German heritage and family history. In 2005, she received a BA Advanced Degree in History with a Minor in German Language and Literature from the University of Manitoba. Later, Laura continued her studies with coursework in History and German Studies at UBC, then pursuing graduate studies in CENES. She received an MA in Germanic Studies from UBC in August 2016. Her thesis, “Intelligent Weiblichkeit: The Correspondence of Charlotte Schiller and Henry Heron,” examined issues of gender and epistolary culture during the period 1780-1810 and represents the first scholarly analysis of Schiller’s novel Wallberg.
Laura entered the CENES PhD program in Germanic Studies in the fall of 2016. She was interested in pursuing a project that united her interdisciplinary interests in history, science, ethics, and media. During the summer of 2020, she was preparing for her candidacy examinations and developing a dissertation proposal about treason narratives in German literature and film, 1945-2000, with a focus on the intersections of identity, agency, individuality, and control.
Laura was an active, generous, and energetic colleague. Over the course of her time in CENES, she worked on undergraduate programming, coordinating monthly Tatort screenings from 2018 to 2020 so students could practice their German comprehension. She also co-organized the 2017 CENES Graduate Student conference. Laura chose her service work with an eye to benefitting the department and university community. She co-founded the UBC Orthodox Christian Fellowship student group. In addition to serving as a representative for the graduate students in CENES from 2016 to 2018, she served as CENES department representative to CUPE 2278 from 2014 to 2020 and was a union trustee from 2015 to 2016. Most recently, from 2018 to 2020, she served as a graduate representative on the search committee that helped select our new Department Head.
Laura was a dedicated teacher whose enthusiasm for the subject matter was infectious. In CENES, she worked as a Teaching Assistant for courses in German literature and culture as well as Russian literature and culture. She had worked for several years as a certified Writing Tutor at Douglas College before coming to CENES and used the skills she developed there to help CENES students improve their writing. Laura was actively involved as a Research Experience Mentor for undergraduate humanities students participating in the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference at UBC. She was also a member of the 2019-20 cohort for the UBC Certificate Program in Advanced Learning and Teaching.
Laura Isakov’s Scholarly Accomplishments (Selection)
Laura collaborated on several new editions of women’s dramatic works: Sophie Albrecht’s Theresgen (Wehrhahn Verlag, 2016) and Charlotte von Stein’s Die zwey Emilien (Wehrhahn Verlag, 2020).
She began translating Charlotte von Stein’s Dido into English, which has appeared in a bilingual edition of the work in 2021.
Laura presented initial work on her doctoral project at a departmental graduate colloquium in March 2018 as well as the annual conference of the Canadian Association of University Teachers of German (now German Studies Canada) in 2019.
A scholarly article related to her project on treason narratives, “Vertrauensbruch: Maria Stuart, Schiller und Zweig,” is published in the volume The Queen’s Two Bodies, a special edition of Jahrbuch für internationale Germanistik, in 2021.Read More
The impact of your support
To honour Laura’s life and accomplishments, her friends, family and colleagues in the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies will be establishing the Laura Isakov Memorial Fund. Your gift will pay tribute to Laura through a graduate scholarship in her memory in the hope that such a scholarship will keep her spirit, her generosity, and her compassion alive. Final decisions on the award description and student eligibility will be made in consultation with the Department of Central, Eastern, and Northern European Studies.
List of Donors
Anonymous and Offline Donations