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Dr Laura JansenMPhil(Oxon.), PhD(Dub.)

Senior Lecturer in Classics & Comparative Literature

Laura Jansen

Dr Laura JansenMPhil(Oxon.), PhD(Dub.)

Senior Lecturer in Classics & Comparative Literature

Member of

Research interests

My research emerges at the intersections of Classics, comparative and global iteratures. 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 research on ancient and modern authors increasingly 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 current monograph on the Italian author Italo Calvino, entitled Classics between Science and Fiction: Italo Calvino (under contract with Bloomsbury). I am also editor of a forthcoming volume entitled Anne Carson/ Antiquity (also under contarct with Bloomsbury). This will be the first collective study of Carson's classicism, and it will include creative and critical essays by poets, translators, practioners, editors and scholars, as well as an interview to Anne Carson. 

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.

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).

I am currently develping a research project on 'Contemporary Poetics/ Antiquity'. The study emerges at the intersections of  Classics, Comparative Literature, Translation and Adaptation Studies, and Mathematical Sciences, and explores the classically-oriented poetics and practice of a series of contemporary poets, many of whom are translators, philosophers, academics, architects and mathematicians. These are either established (e.g. Anne Carson, Simon Armitage, Daljit Nagra, Josephine Balmer, Alice Oswald) or newly established/upcoming authors (e.g. Phoebe Giannisi, Anna Jackson, Gillian Sze, Paula Jiménez) from South America, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, and the UK. The project aims to draw attention to contemporary reconfigurations of antiquity which blend creative and academic thought and practices, as well as offering a new catalogue of poetic voices on the classical world. The first event connected with this project 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 iin Epigram).


Postgraduate Studies

I am more than happy to supervise projects on Classical literature and in connection with my areas of research, in particular those relating to Classics and:

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

I am involved in a series of training sessions for postgraduates. I run a training course on Research Trends and Skills, Greek & Latin Reading Groups, and lead some of the PGR training sessions for the School of Humanities. I am also  External Examiner for the Department of Classics at the University of Reading (2018-21) and Peer Review College member for Classics for the DTP (Doctoral Training Partnership).

Undergraduate Teaching

My undergraduate teaching includes a range of courses on Greek and Latin language and literature, culture and philosophy, as well as courses closely related to my research. All my teaching, even of Greek and Latin texts, is interdisciplinary and aims to bridge the gap between textual and visual and material culture. I teach a popular third-year unit on Classics & Comparative Literature, which invites students to explore Classics beyond the sphere of Reception Studies, and with a focus on Comparative Classicisms from a variety of twentieth- and twenty-first century world authors. I have recently directed undergraduate dissertations on Lucretius and politics, Lucretius and media theory, Ovid's Heroides and the metoo movement, Greek Tragedy in Page Du Bois and Anne Carson, and 'presentness' in Horace's Odes. On my return from research leave, I will be directing two units:

Greek C/D2: Archaic Greek Lyric: poetry, phiosophy, society and politics 

Latin C2: Atoms, Land, Love, Stars: Lucretius DRN I, Vergil Georgics I, Ovid Ars Am. I, and Manilius Astronomica I 

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

Contact Information

11 Woodland Road, Room B41








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Postal address:
11 Woodland Road
United Kingdom
Postal address:
Department of History of Art
School of Humanities
9 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB
United Kingdom