Mira Seo

Humanities (Literature)

Associate Professor of Humanities
Email: mira.seo@yale-nus.edu.sg

Professor Seo received her BA with High Honours at Swarthmore College in Latin and Greek (1995); BA in Literae Humaniores at the University of Oxford (1998); and her PhD in Classics at Princeton University (2004). Previously, she was an Associate Professor in the departments of Classical Studies and Comparative Literature, having joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2005 after a year at Swarthmore College as a Visiting Assistant Professor.

Research Interests

Professor Seo specialises in Roman poetry of the imperial period, with particular interests in Roman literary characterisation and discourses of self-construction in ancient philosophy and oratory; the rhetoric of money in Roman poetry; neo-Latin poetry in 16th-century Spain; and classical reception in popular culture. Her monograph, Exemplary Traits: Reading Characterization in Roman Poetry is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. She has also co-edited and contributed to several other volumes. She has published articles on a wide range of Roman and neo-Latin poetry, most recently in American Journal of Philology, Materiali e Discussioni per l’Analisi dei Testi Classici, and in African Athena: New Agendas (Oxford University Press). Professor Seo’s scholarship has been recognised numerous times, including receipt of a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellowship at the W.E.B. Du Bois Center for African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and grants from the Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan.

Teaching and Residential Life

Included among Professor Seo’s teaching are Great Books, a fundamentals course on the Greek literary tradition for the Honors College; Epic and the Mafia, on the classical epic tradition and Mafia film; Rome and the Contemporary Imagination; and a graduate seminar on Money and Literature from Ancient Rome to Modernity. Her faculty leadership positions at the University of Michigan included service on the Chair’s Advisory Committee, job search advisor, and undergraduate advisor in Classical Studies. She has served on fellowship committees for Rackham Graduate School and the American Philological Association. Currently, she is a member of the National Forum for the Future of Liberal Education, sponsored by the Teagle Foundation.

On Joining Yale-NUS College

As the child of Korean immigrant parents, I am delighted to be pursuing my love of teaching ancient literatures in a new cultural context at Yale-NUS College. Hybridity and innovation are at the heart of Roman success, and a small liberal arts college in Singapore is the ideal environment to explore these themes in new ways. I am intrigued by the opportunity to question the boundaries between antiquity and futurity as well as traditional notions of East and West in our classrooms and in our community.