Dr Jacob Blakesley

Dr Jacob Blakesley


I studied literature and philosophy at St. John’s College (Santa, Fe, New Mexico, USA), where I received my B.A. in Liberal Arts (2000). I subsequently earned an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Chicago (2003). I then received my PhD in Italian from the University of Chicago, with a dissertation examining poetry anthologies (2011).

I subsequently taught at the University of Manchester, and Durham University, before arriving in Leeds in 2014 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. From 2015 to 2019, I was a University Academic Fellow in World Literatures at Leeds.

I am now an Associate Professor in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation, along with being a Co-Director of the Leeds Centre for Dante Studies.

I welcome potential PhD candidates especially in subjects relating to poetry and literary translation; comparative and world literature; sociology of literature and sociology of literary translation; modern Italian poetry; reception and translation of Dante; and projects at the intersection between literary study and digital humanities.

I am also a published translator, both of fiction and poetry. I won a 2018 NEA Literary Fellowship for my project to translate the Italian experimental poet Edoardo Sanguineti. 


  • Co-Director, Leeds Centre for Dante Studies
  • Director of Comparative Literature
  • Grant Advisor

Research interests

I research and teach topics in literary translation, world literature, Italian literature, and the sociology of literature and translation. 

My first book, Modern Italian Poets: Translators of the Impossible, was published by the University of Toronto Press in 2014. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Italian-Poets-Translators-Impossible/dp/144264642X/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Jacob+blakesley&qid=1580819842&sr=8-2.

Following my Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2014-2017), I published a second monograph, A sociological approach to poetry translation: modern European poet-translators (Routledge, 2018). https://www.routledge.com/A-Sociological-Approach-to-Poetry-Translation-Modern-European-Poet-Translators/Blakesley/p/book/9781138616035.

I edited the volume, Sociologies of poetry translation: emerging perspectives (Bloomsbury, 2018). https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/sociologies-of-poetry-translation-9781350043268/.

I have co-edited two special issues:

one on poetry translation with Jeremy Munday (Translation & Literature, 2016): https://www.euppublishing.com/toc/tal/25/1.

and one on Tony Harrison, with Rachel Bower (English Studies, 2018): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0013838X.2018.1403154.

Many of my articles can be read here: https://leeds.academia.edu/JacobBlakesley and https://jacobdblakesley.wordpress.com/articles/.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Italian (University of Chicago)
  • MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (University of Chicago)
  • BA in Liberal Arts (St. John's College, NM, USA)

Student education

I convene postgraduate modules in literary translation, translation studies and specialised translation, as well as an undergraduate module in comparative literature. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Translation Studies
  • Translation
  • Centre for World Literatures
  • Centre for Translation Studies
  • Leeds Centre for Dante Studies

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>