Jessica Blum-Sorensen

Jessica Blum-Sorensen

Assistant Professor

Program Director
Kalmanovitz Hall 377


Jessica Blum-Sorensen earned a PhD from Yale University in 2015, an MA and MPhil in classical philology from Yale in 2012, and a BA in classics from Trinity College Dublin in 2005. Before joining the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in 2017, she was a visiting assistant professor at Wabash College and a visiting lecturer at UC Irvine.

She specializes in imperial Latin poetry and the epic tradition, and is co-editor of The Epic Journey in Greek and Roman Literature, published in 2019 with Cambridge University Press. Her current book project, Epic Ambition: Hercules and the Politics of Emulation in Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica, examines the intersection of Roman social discourses and the epic tradition in the tumultuous political world of Flavian Rome.


  • Program Director, Classical Studies


  • PhD, Yale University
  • MA, MPhil, Classical Philology, Yale University
  • BA, Classics, Trinity College Dublin

Selected Publications

  • “Storm scenes,” co-author with Thomas Biggs, Epische Bauformen. Ed. Christiane Reitz and Simone Finkmann (De Gruyter. Berlin; forthcoming)
  • “Juno Audax: Rethinking Genre in the Argonautica,” Unity and Inconsistency in Flavian Epic. Ed. Attila Ferenczi and Andrew Zissos (Pierides Series, Cambridge Scholars Publishing; forthcoming)
  • The Epic Journey in Greek and Roman Literature. Ed. Thomas Biggs and Jessica Blum (May 2019, Cambridge University Press)
  • “‘What country, friends, is this?’ Geography and Exemplarity in Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica,” in Home and Away: the Epic Journey in Greek and Roman Literature. Ed. Thomas Biggs and Jessica Blum (Cambridge University Press, 2019)
  • “Witch’s Song: morality, name-calling and poetic authority in the Argonautica.” (Classical Journal 113.2 (2017), 173-200)
  • “Rogue Bulls and Troubled Heroes: heroic value in Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica,” (Classical Outlook 92.2 (2017), 44-53)