Terence Tunberg

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Terentius on the last day of the Conventiculum Latinum of 2004 addresses the audience.

Terence O. Tunberg is a Professor of the Latin language and literature at the University of Kentucky (USA) and husband of Jennifer ("Guenevera") Tunberg.

Terence Tunberg's research and teaching is devoted to the principle that Latin literature is not a phenomenon pertaining just to the ancient Romans, but is in fact a vast literary tradition that has continued without ever experiencing a total interruption from the Romans virtually up to the present, and that some post-Roman periods (such as the Renaissance and early modern era) saw Latin's richest literary production. Tunberg argues that with this perspective we can appreciate the Latin literary heritage as the largest and most fundamental literary tradition of all the European languages, and that teachers of Latin should regularly teach representative works of all the great periods of Latin without discrimination.

Tunberg's scholarly research and publication focuses on the history of Latin prose style from Cicero down to early modern times, and also on theories of Latin eloquence and persuasion ranging from extempore discourse to formal speech making -- again from the Roman authors down to early modern times. He has published extensively on the history of Latin prose styles from Cicero up to and including the Renaissance. One of his special interests is the phenomenon in humanist Latin known as ‘Ciceronianism’, on which he published a seminal article in 1997. He has published many scholarly works in both Latin and English, and is also well known for translating, in collaboration with his wife Jennifer, of several works by Dr. Seuss into rhythmical Latin verse.

Convinced of the potential of active use of Latin in speaking and writing to enhance the teaching and study of Latin he founded in 1996 the Conventiculum Latinum, an annual summer immersion workshop in spoken Latin held on the campus of the University of Kentucky. It was the first secular (i.e. not tied to any specific religious organization or denomination) convention or seminar devoted to Latin as an active language founded in North America since World War II. Today the Conventiculum Latinum draws 60-80 people each year from many parts of North America and the world, and it is the largest and longest-running seminar for active Latin in North America. Together with Milena Minkova, another pioneer in the revival of spoken Latin, Tunberg directs the Institute for Latin Studies, a special graduate certificate curriculum in the MA program in Classics at the University of Kentucky, which joins active use of Latin (speaking and writing) with graduate-level course work.

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