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Join us as professor Mike Tueller, of ASU's School of International Letters and Cultures, outlines the characteristics of the ancient Greek genre of epigram, tiny literary compositions that tried to make a big impact in just a few lines. Using epigram as a model, he discusses ways that we might understand Twitter, a medium whose brevity is not just a limitation, but a productive source of innovative expression as well.
Tueller earned a bachelor’s from Harvard University and, after a brief stint in the U.S. Navy, completed Harvard's doctoral program in classical philology. On the ASU faculty since 2008, Tueller teaches courses in ancient Greek language and literature. His reseach is primarily in the Hellenistic period, the time after Alexander the Great but before Augustus, when Greek language and culture spread broadly across the Mediterranean. At that time, the Greek people had to deal with their own disconnect (in space and time) from their heritage, and with their constant contact with very different peoples. In response, their literature became erudite, allusive, and, strangely, both nostalgic and cosmopolitan (sometimes at once). Tueller is working on a revision of the Greek Anthology (the primary source for Hellenistic epigram) for the Loeb Classical Library.
The Humanities Lecture Series, coordinated by ASU's College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, provides the Downtown Phoenix community with opportunities to analyze, discuss, and interpret current research and events. These public discussions help us understand and appreciate various points of view on political, social, and cultural issues.