Classics Scholar Mira Seo '95: Liberal Arts Pioneer
The Chronicle of Higher Education: 6 Paths to Yale-National U. of Singapore
For some of the new hires, the appeal is returning to the classroom. For others, it's the chance to teach in an environment without disciplinary walls. For still others, the prospect of a position at a top-flight institution close to family and their childhood home was too good to pass up. And for all the inaugural faculty at Yale-NUS College, the new Asian liberal-arts institution, getting in on the ground floor of this unusual academic experiment was an opportunity they didn't want to miss....
Position at Yale-NUS: Associate professor of humanities
Most recent position: Associate professor of classical studies and comparative literature, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ...
For Seo, who is part of the National Forum for the Future of Liberal Education, sponsored by the nonprofit Teagle Foundation, much of the appeal is getting to dive headlong into developing a new liberal-arts curriculum. "I'm looking forward to thinking about what's important for the liberal arts going forward and not just tinkering with the models of the past," she says.
At a time when she worries about the marginalization of the humanities in the United States, she says she is energized by the interest in the liberal arts in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia. "It's so intriguing for me to be on the frontier where the liberal arts is expanding, not contracting," she says.
Seo, a classics scholar whose specialty is Roman poetry of the imperial period, earned a Ph.D. in classics from Princeton University after graduating from Swarthmore with high honors in Latin and Greek.