Biographical Info of José M. González

José M. González studies and teaches Greek poetry, ancient rhetoric and literary criticism, performance and ritual studies, Greek religion, Greek dialects, and historical linguistics. His research explores how performances of song and poetry, as symbolic expressions of culture, intersect and co-evolve with other modes of social performance like rituals and festivals. His book The Epic Rhapsode and His Craft examines how the cultural role and profession of the rhapsode, the ancient Greek performer of Homeric poetry, developed in dialectic tension with the related performance domains of oracular poetry, dramatic acting, and oratorical delivery.

     Professor González, a native of the Canary Islands, Spain, received his PhD in Classical Philology from Harvard University and joined the Duke faculty in 2007. He first came to the United States to study physics, and holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Princeton University. His decision to delve into Greco-Roman antiquity, with a particular interest in philology, tapped into his fascination with languages as systems.

      Professor González has taught courses on ancient Greek science and technology and ancient Greco-Roman medicine. These courses explore the socially embedded study and practice of ancient science and the complex ethical questions its practitioners faced. Their goal is to help us grapple with our own ethical challenges and to deepen our understanding of the scientific, cultural, and social meanings that shape our lives.