Aesopic Conversations: Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention of Greek Prose
Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature Leslie Kurke specializes in archaic and classical Greek literature and cultural history, with emphasis on archaic Greek poetry in its social context, Herodotus and early prose, the constitution of ideology through material practices, and the relations of economics and literature. Her latest book, Aesopic Conversations: Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention of Greek Prose (Princeton University Press, 2011), offers a portrait of what Greek popular culture might have looked like in the ancient world.
This book explores the anonymously authored Life of Aesop and argues that the traditions surrounding this strange text, when read with and against the works of Greek high culture, allow us to reconstruct an ongoing conversation of "great" and "little" traditions spanning centuries.
Professor Kurke will speak briefly about her work, read a short excerpt, and then open the floor for discussion.