Dr Jacob Blakesley

Dr Jacob Blakesley


I received my PhD in Italian from the University of Chicago in 2011. I subsequently taught at the University of Manchester, and Durham University, before arriving in Leeds in 2014 as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. I am now a University Academic Fellow in World Literatures, and (as of 2018) 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; and reception and translation of Dante. 


  • Co-Director, Leeds Centre for Dante Studies
  • Programme Manager for BA Comparative Literature and English
  • 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.

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).

I edited the volume, Sociologies of poetry translation: emerging perspectives (Bloomsbury, 2018).

I have co-edited two special issues, one on poetry translation with Jeremy Munday (Translation & Literature, 2016) and one on Tony Harrison, with Rachel Bower (English Studies, 2018).

<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>