Jessica Feely

Research project: History in the Philosophy of Theodor W. Adorno


My research forms a critical analysis of the concept of history in the philosophy of Adorno. This involves an examination of whether or not Adorno offers a new way of thinking about the structure of history following on from Hegel, Marx and Benjamin, and an analysis of the extent to which his construction of the idea of natural history (Naturgeschichte) offers a tool for the critique of social history. I also investigate the way in which the conception of history that underpins interdisciplinary materialism as conceived in the 1930s changes, and assess whether Dialectic of Enlightenment represents a dehistoricization of critical theory. Finally, I seek to understand how Adorno's philosophy should be read in relation to postcolonial theory; and whether or not he successfully conceptualised a so-called 'global subject' of history.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: History in the Philosophy of Theodor W. Adorno
  • Other research supervisor: Professor Howard Caygill


I undertook a BA and MPhil Stud in Philosophy at University College London before starting my PhD at CRMEP.

Areas of research interest

  • Critical theory
  • Frankfurt School
  • Philosophies of history and time
  • Marxism
  • Postcolonial theory


  • MPhil Stud in Philosophy (University College London, 2014)
  • BA in Philosophy (University College London, 2012)

Funding or awards received

  • AHRC-TECHNE funded PhD student