Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Dr. Joe Watson

watson.jpgTeaching Fellow in Latin Literature and Language
Staff Organiser of the Work in Progress Series
Departmental EDI Representative
Email: joe dot l dot watson at warwick dot ac dot uk

Room FAB2.03
Faculty of Arts Building
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL


I hold a BA in Classics from the University of Reading (2017) and a Classics MA from Durham University (2018). I completed my PhD at Durham in 2022, with a thesis entitled 'Narrative Nefas and the Taboos of Incest and Bestiality in Ovid's Metamorphoses' which explored extreme sexualities from a psychoanalytically and narratologically informed perspective. In addition to university teaching, I used to be a secondary school Latin teacher in the North East and am a Higher Latin tutor at the JACT Durham Greek and Latin Summer School. I use he/him/his pronouns.

Research interests

I am principally a Latinist who focuses on the poetry of the Augustan period, especially Ovid, and am in the process of producing a monograph on incest and bestiality in Ovid's Metamorphoses. As this topic may suggest, I am interested in the full range of sex, sexuality and gender in both the ancient world and its receptions, from the extreme to the everyday; in particular, I work on the queerness of gender and sexuality in literature, ancient and modern. My next major research project will explore the various poems of the Appendix Virgiliana from a queer perspective, thinking about the queerness of the App. Virg.'s worlds, but also the queerness of engaging with these odd, 'appendiceal' poems from the vantage of the twenty-first century.

These interests also lead me to a focus on queer Classical reception in early-20th century literature, especially in the poetry of C. P. Cavafy. I have published on Cavafy and am currently preparing an edition, translation and commentary of his Poetical and Ethical Notes.

I am also passionate about pedagogy, especially pedagogy that is tailored to the needs of specific groups. I focus on the groups with which I have particular experience—queer and neurodiverse people—and have work forthcoming on this.


  • Forthcoming. ‘Worlds at Angles: Sappho, Cavafy and the Queer Potentialities of Utopia’, in E. Perry, M. Haworth & D. Machado eds. A Just Classics. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

  • Forthcoming. ‘Running out of Genres: Atalanta, Elegy, and Epic in Ovid’s Metamorphoses’, in C. Panayotakis, D. Longrée, F. Nolfo & P. Pietquin eds. Collection d’Études Classiques.

  • Forthcoming. ‘Classical Cavafy and Cavafy among the Classicists’, in T. Kayalis & V. F. González eds. Cavafy as World Literature. London: Bloomsbury.

  • 2022. ‘Bodies Out of Time: Sculpting Queer Poetics and Queering Classical Sculpture in the Poetry of C. P. Cavafy’, International Journal of the Classical Tradition. 29.2, 190-213.
  • 2022. ‘Of Late I Dream of Lesbos: Renée Vivien’s Queer Utopias in the Aeolian Mode’ in K. Moore ed. The Routledge Companion to the Reception of Ancient Greek and Roman Gender and Sexuality. Abingdon: Routledge, 58-83.
  • 2021. ‘Reframing Iphis and Caeneus: Trans Narratives and Socio-Linguistic Gendering in Ovid’s Metamorphoses’, Helios. 48.2, 145-74.

Teaching and supervision

Undergraduate modules

Administrative roles

  • Work in progress seminar series organiser
  • Departmental EDI representative

Drop-in hours

Mondays 15:00-16:00

Wednesdays 10:00-11:00


Undergraduate modules

CX115/CX215/CX305: Latin I

CX101/CX201/CX301: Latin II

CX289/CX389: Roman Sexual Poetics: Navigating Sex, Sexuality and Gender in Latin Poetry (2023-2024)

CX230/CX330: Epic and Epyllion (2022-2023)

Teaching on (guest lecturer)

CX114: Encounters with Latin Texts

CX112: Ancient Thought: Philosophy, Politics, Science