Dr Laura 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 hybrid literatures. I work on Greek and Latin languages, literature and philosophy, with a specific focus on 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) and volume editor of Anne Carson/ Antiquity (Bloomsbury, 2021) and The Roman Paratext: Frame, Texts, Readers (Cambridge, 2014 and paperback edition 2017). I am also general editor of the monograph series Classical Receptions in Twentieth-Century Writing (Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Literary Studies blog). 

Before arriving at Bristol in 2013, I held postdoctoral positions at St Andrews, Stanford, and UC Berkeley.

Current book projects

My work on ancient and modern authors currently looks at the interplay of literature, physics, philosophy of science, ecology and information technology from the perspectives of speculative fiction and combinatorial classicisms. This is the topic of my forthcoming monograph, entitled Classics between Science and Literature: Italo Calvino (Bloomsbury, funded by a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant, 2021-23). Together with this monograph, I am editing two collections: Susan Sontag's Tangential Classics (under contract with OUP, Classical Presences), which traces the oblique connections and references to antiquity in Sontag's polymathic style and  problematises the idea of the classical as a tangible presence, and Anne Carson's Euripides: Takes on H of H Playbook and The Trojan Women (2021), which explores Carson's most recent engagement with Euripides from the perspectives of myth-design, (self)repetition, soundscapes, comedy and play, ecopoetics, and the haptic (for a special issues of Classical Antiquity, UC Press).  

I also undertake research on the field of Absence Studies. I recently published an article exploring archives of classical absence in twentieth and twenty-first century authors and visual artists (Classical Receptions Journal). The piece showcases parts of my third monograph in progress, Hellenic Absences: Modern Archives of Erasure, Forgetfulness and Loss. The book explores the flip side of the notion of a 'classical presence', tracing dynamics of memorialisation of the archaic and classical Greek past as a dispersed, eclipsed, forgotten and silent form, as well as disclosing some of the ways modernity has contributed to the erasure and/ or occlusion of ancient lives, texts, and ideas.

Fellowships and grants

2022-23– Research Fellowship, Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard 
2022-23 – University Research Fellowship, Bristol
2021-23 – British Academy Small Grant 
2019 – Visiting Research Grant, Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard 
2016 – Visiting Grant, Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard
2015-16 – Leverhulme Research Fellowship 
2015-16 – Visiting Fellowship, Princeton

Editorial activities and other projects

I am associate editor of the Diccionario hispánico de la tradición clásica (DHTCed. Francisco García Jurado) and was collaborating member of Princeton's Postclassicisms network (2015-20). Between 2014-2019, I led the IGRCT's Postgraduate Reading Groups on Twentieth-Century authors (Borges 2014; Calvino 2017; Walcott 2018; Anne Carson 2019; and Susan Sontag 2020). 

I regularly organise and lead public events:

 Finding the Edge: The Writings of Anne Carson: an in-conversation event with poet Alice Oswald and Rebecca Kosick (Modern Languages, Bristol) at Spike Island Studios.  November 2019 (see article in Epigram).  

Translation as Poetry/ Poetry as Translation: an international event to launch my colleague and friend Rebecca Kosick's new book of poetry Labor Day. January 2020.

'Modern Odysseys': a book event in conversation with Michelle Zerba, author Modern Odysseys: Cavafy, Woolf, Césaire and a Poetics of Indirection, and Richard Armstrong, Casey Dué, Laura Jansen, Patrice Rankine and Adam Lecznar. Center of Hellenic Studies, Harvard. 10 March 2022. 

Anne Carson's Euripides: Eight Takes on Trojan Women (2021) and H of H (2021), coorganised with Mario Telò (Berkeley) and Sarah Nooter (Chicago), April 21, 2022.

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. I teach a new, popular 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, James Baldwin, Zen buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, and Anne Carson. I have recently directed undergraduate dissertations on Lucretius and politics, Lucretius and media theory, Page Du Bois and Sappho, 'presentness' in Horace's Odes, and spatiality in archaic Greek lyric. 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 Director for the School of Humanities. In Classics, I currently direct PhD theses on "Anne Carson's Classical Crossings: Paratexts, Visuality, Materiality" (Eugenia Nicolaci) and "Eros and Melancholia: Archaic Greek and Posthuman Traditions" (Emily Tubb, beginning 2022).

I welcome projects on Greek and/or Latin literature in connection with my areas of research, in particular those relating to antiquity and:

  • Comparative modernisms
  • 20th and 21st century writing
  • Global Literatures
  • Speculative Fiction
  • Scientific Thought

Contact Information

11 Woodland Road, Room B41

University of Bristol, Bristol. BS81TB










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