by Ruby Blondell
The University of Washington Classics Department is proud to announce that our distinguished alumna Yurie Hong has been named one of YWCA Mankato's Women of Distinction for 2020.
Professor Hong received her PhD in Classics in 2007, with a dissertation on “Gendered Conceptions: Reproductions of Pregnancy and Childbirth in Greek Literature.” Since then she has been on the faculty of Gustavus Adophus College in Minnesota, where she has enjoyed an extraordinary career as a scholar, professor, and educator in every sense of the word.
In addition to perceptive and stimulating scholarship, and tireless work as departmental chair and administrator, Professor Hong engages ceaselessly with her communities and the wider world. Intertwining local, national, personal, and academic politics, she is dedicated to making that world a better place both through and for the study of other cultures, whether ancient or modern. Never self-righteous or judgmental, her intellectual and political endeavors are alike based on reason, compassion, and empathy, which combine to produce a fierce and formidable fighter in the many causes of justice.
Professor Hong is living proof that studying the classics does not mean cutting oneself off from the contemporary world and its problems, and in fact, can energize and sustain us in addressing those problems. You can gain some idea of her extraordinary character and intelligence from her YWCA interview in this video, starting at minute 48 (it lasts about 10 minutes). She is also profiled here.