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Dr. Joe Watson

watson.jpgTeaching Fellow
Staff Organiser of the Work in Progress Series
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 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 turning my PhD thesis into a monograph on incest and bestiality in Ovid's Metamorphoses. As the thesis 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.

These interests crystallise in 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 currently working on a project about Classical queer utopias at the beginning of the 20th century, with a view to produce a monograph theorising (queer) Classical reception as a utopian instinct.

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.


  • 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
  • CX115/CX215/CX305: Latin Language (Beginners' Latin)
  • CX230/CX330: Epic and Epyllion

Administrative roles

  • Work in progress seminar series

Drop-in hours

Mondays 15:00-16:00

Fridays 13:00-14:00


Undergraduate modules

CX115/CX215/CX305: Latin Language (Beginners' Latin)

CX230/CX330: Epic and Epyllion