Photo of Laura I Jansen

Dr Laura I Jansen

MPhil(Oxon.), PhD(Dub.)

  • Department of History of Art School of Humanities 9 Woodland Road Bristol BS8 1TB

    United Kingdom

  • BS8 1TB


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Personal profile

Research interests


My research emerges at the intersections of Classics, comparative and global literatures. I work on Greek and Latin languages, literature and philosophy, with a specific focus on comparative classicisms, and the tradition of classical antiquity in twentieth-century writing. I am the author of Borges Classics: Global Encounters with the Graeco-Roman World (Cambridge, 2018, funded by the Leverhulme Trust), volume editor of The Roman Paratext: Frame, Texts, Readers (Cambridge, 2014 and paperback edition 2017), and general editor of the monograph series Classical Receptions in Twentieth-Century Writing (Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Literary Studies blog). 

My current research on ancient and modern authors looks at the interplay of literature, physics, sociology, and the natural world from the perspectives of speculative fiction and global comparativism. This is the topic of my forthcoming monograph on the Italian author Italo Calvino, entitled Classics between Science and Literature: Italo Calvino (under contract with Bloomsbury). I am also editor of a volume entitled Anne Carson/ Antiquity (forthcoming with Bloomsbury in 2021). This is the first collective study of Carson's classicism, and it includes creative and critical essays by poets, translators, practioners, editors, and scholars, as well as an interview with Anne Carson. As I end this project, I am now focusing on my next edited collection on Susan Sontag: from Plato's Cave to Sarajevo, which will feature a diversity of contributions from practioners and academics of multiple disciplines and interests.

Before coming to Bristol in 2013, I worked at the University of St Andrews (2008-11), Stanford University (2011-12), and UC Berkeley (2012-13). I have been recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for my project on "Borges' Classics" (Leverhulme Research Fellows 2015-16), Visiting Fellow at Princeton (2015-16),  and Visiting Scholar at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard, in 2016 and 2019. Currently, I hold a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant for my book project on "Classics between Science and Literature: Italo Calvino". 

Editorial activities and other projects

I am associate editor of the forthcoming Diccionario hispánico de la tradición clásica (DHTCed. Francisco García Jurado) and member of Princeton's Postclassicisms network. Since 2014, I have led the IGRCT's Postgraduate Reading Groups on Twentieth-Century authors (Borges 2014; Calvino 2017; Walcott 2018; Anne Carson 2019; and Susan Sontag 2020. The next reading group will be dedicated to 'Agnès Varda's Antiquity' (now scheduled for September 2021).

I also lead events at Spike Island Studios, Bristol. The first event was "Finding the Edge: The Writings of Anne Carson", which I held in conversation with poet Alice Oswald and my colleague Rebecca Kosick (Modern Languages) at Spike Island Studios in November 2019 (see article in Epigram). 

Undergraduate Teaching

My undergraduate teaching includes a range of courses on Greek and Latin language and literature, poetry and philosophy, and the history of ideas. In 2020-21, I am teaching a course on 'Philosophies of Eros', which invites students to explore desire as a form of wisdom and a cultural construction from Greek poetry and philosophy to the writings of George Bataille, Marguerite Duras, Pablo Neruda and Anne Carson. I have recently directed undergraduate dissertations on Lucretius and politics, Lucretius and media theory, Page Du Bois and Sappho, and 'presentness' in Horace's Odes. I currently direct three units:

  • Greek C/D2 – Archaic Greek Lyric: poetics, philosophy, desire, and politics 
  • Greek B2 – Sophocles' Antigone
  • Philosophies of Eros: Ancient and Modern

In 2018-19, I was shortlisted for the Bristol student-led award for the Outstanding Teaching in the Faculty of Arts

Postgraduate Studies

I am Postgraduate Research Officer for the School of Humanities. In Classics, I currently direct (as first supervisor) MPhil and doctoral theses on "Derek Walcott: Classics from Caribbean to Global Forms" (Grace Carroll), "Narratives of the Native City: Ovid and Joyce" (Cian Kinsella) and "Anne Carson's Catullan Translations" (Eugenia Nicolaci, as from September 2020).

I welcome projects on Classical literature in connection with my areas of research, in particular those relating to Classics and:

  • Comparative modernisms
  • Twentieth-Century writing
  • Global Literatures
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Classical Ideology in Modernist and Postmodernist Literature
  • Geopoetics and the senses
  • Paratextuality 

Contact Information

11 Woodland Road, Room B41

University of Bristol, Bristol. BS81TB








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Research Output

Anne Carson/Antiquity

Jansen, L., 2021, (In preparation) Bloomsbury Academic.

Research output: Book/ReportEdited book

Anne Carson’s Classical praxis

Jansen, L., 2021, (In preparation) Practice: Encounters with Antiquity. Edinburgh UP, Edinburgh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Classics between Science and Literature: Italo Calvino

Jansen, L., Sep 2021, (In preparation) Bloomsbury Academic.

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book


British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant

Jansen, Laura I (Recipient), 20 Mar 2020

Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

  • Leverhulme Research Fellowship

    Jansen, Laura I (Recipient), 1 May 2015

    Prize: Other distinction


    • 11 Invited talk
    • 9 Participation in conference
    • 9 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
    • 1 Membership of external research organisation

    Keynote lecture on "Lightness, quickness, multiplicity. Three memos for Classicists"

    Laura I Jansen (Participant)

    6 Apr 2022

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk

    ‘Classics and "Literatura incompleta": Borges’

    Laura I Jansen (Participant)

    28 May 2021

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Global Classics

    Laura Jansen (Participant)

    31 Jan 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesInvited talk