Dr Diana Leca

Dr Diana Leca is the Robin Geffen Career Development Fellow in English at Keble College, Oxford. Her research focuses on modernist and contemporary literature. She has a special interest in twentieth-century American poetry and poetics, as well as in critical theory, aesthetics, natural history, and the environmental humanities.

Her current book project considers how short-form poems—often regarded as whimsical and politically aloof—register ecological dilemmas. In chapters on miniaturised sonnets, haiku, field notes, and monostichs, she examines the work of a variety of poets, including Lorine Niedecker, Wallace Stevens, Richard Wright, Robert Grenier, Harryette Mullen, and Kay Ryan. Additionally, she has a long-standing interest in theory, particularly the late work Roland Barthes, on whom she has a forthcoming publication in the journal Paragraph. An article on Kay Ryan’s eerie miniature sonnets will also appear in Sonnets from the American: An Anthology of Poems and Essays with Iowa Press in 2022.

Her research has received support from the Gates Foundation, the Harry Ransom Center, and most recently the Huntington Library in California, where she received the Mayers Fellowship to conduct archival work on Wallace Stevens' ecological aphorisms. She completed her doctorate at St John's College, Cambridge on literary minimalism.

Literature and criticism from the early 19th century to the contemporary.

Specific teaching interests include:

  • American poetry and prose 
  • global Anglophone literature 
  • nature writing and environmental criticism
  • modernist short stories
  • the novel and narratology
  • war literature and reportage 
  • critical theory


At Keble, I teach Introduction to English Literature (Paper 1b), Literature in English 1830-1910 (Prelims Paper 3), and Literature in English 1910-Present Day (Prelims Paper 4). I have also taught papers on close reading, the history of literary criticism, and the modernist short story, as well as lectured on contemporary Canadian poetry and poetics, including Anne Carson, Dionne Brand, and M. NourbeSe Philip.

Dissertations supervised include: E.E. Cummings and loneliness; Gertrude Stein and celebrity; Lydia Davis's short stories; bodily ailment in Joan Didion; Eileen Myles' Afterglow; James Schuyler's colour theory; and breath in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's textual and visual art.




  You can find my Keble page here.