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Laura I Jansen, MPhil(Oxon.), PhD(Dub.)

Senior Lecturer in Classics & Comparative Literature

Laura Jansen

Laura I Jansen, MPhil(Oxon.), PhD(Dub.)

Senior Lecturer in Classics & Comparative Literature

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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 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 Literature: Italo Calvino (under contract with Bloomsbury). I am also editor of a forthcoming volume entitled Anne Carson/ Antiquity (also under contract 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 with 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. 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). The next reading group will be dedicated to the oeuvre of cultural critic Susan Sontag (details to be announced in August 2020).

I also lead events at Spike Island Studios. 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). Forthcoming is a screening event on Agnès Varda's Antiquity, now scheduled for autumn 2020.

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








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