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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 editor of the award-winning 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. This will be the central topic of my next monograph on the Italian author Italo Calvino, entitled Classics between Science and Fiction: Italo Calvino (Bloomsbury). I am also completing two other book projects. The first is a sole-edited volume entitled Anne Carson / Antiquity. 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. The second project is a monograph entitled Classical Absences across Modernity (under review), which explores characterisations of the classical in a series of authors as eclipsed, placeless, silenced, and often forgotten phenomena in their literary and cultural imagination. 

Before coming to Bristol in 2013, I worked at the University of St Andrews, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley. I have been recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for my project on "Borges' Classics" (Leverhulme Research Fellows), Visiting Fellow at Princeton, and Visiting Scholar in 2016 and 2019 at the Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard.

In my spare time, I write poetry that alludes to Presocratic thinking about the four elements and the universe. My ongoing collection of poems is called "21".

Editorial and other activities:

I am associate editor of the forthcoming Diccionario hispánico de la tradición clásica (DHTCed. Francisco García Jurado) and member of Princeton's Postclassicisms network. From 2014-19, I organised the IGRCT's Postgraduate Reading Groups on Twentieth-Century authors (Borges 2014; Calvino 2017; Walcott 2018; Anne Carson 2019).

I have several activities lined up for 2019-20. In November 2019, I'll be leading with poet Alice Oswald and my colleague Rebecca Kosick (Modern Languages) a discussion on Anne Carson's oeuvre ahead of "Finding the Edge", an exhibition at Spike Island Studio, Bristol, by Stockholm-based installation artist Meriç Algün. In May 2020, I will be organising a 'Modern Greek Poetry' Reading Group, this time under the sponsorship of the Faculty of Arts, Bristol, and the Bristol Poetry Institute. With Pantelis Michelakis, we will be screening a series of courts métrages on "Agnès Varda/Antiquity". The event will take place at the UoB's Faculty of Arts on June 9th, 2020 (please contact me for more information about these events).

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).

Research Supervision

 and Postgraduate Reading Groups on twentieth-century authors (Borges 2014; Calvino 2017; Walcott 2018; Anne Carson 2019) sponsored by the IGRCT.

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

34 Tyndall's Park Road, Room 1.02








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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