Diversifying the Latin Classroom

Director: Ian Lockey, PhD (Friends Select School)

Dates: July 18 – 29, 2022

Given the strength of the current movement to diversify the field of Classics and to teach the ancient world in a more equitable way, this program is designed for K-12 teachers to discuss various approaches that can help to make a Latin classroom more inclusive. The Classics program at Friends Select School has transitioned to included a focus on diversity and social justice, with a strong focus on finding connections and contrasts between ancient and modern worlds. Upper level courses are now taught by topic area rather than author and cover gender and sexuality, imperialism and propaganda, and race and ethnicity in the ancient world. This program offers resources and class plans, as well as providing an opportunity to have conversations together as a group about what people are currently doing and to generate ideas for what we could all do to make our programs more equitable.

Below is a brief summary of some ideas:

Possible classroom topics

  1. Strengths and weaknesses of textbooks: “the happy slave syndrome”
  2. Whitewashing in Classics
  3. Using the city: Classical reception, gendered, racial, and class-based spaces
  4. Interdisciplinary projects: cross-cultural, cross-time
  5. Comparative global cultures: dress, food, ceremony, space
  6. Storytelling and inclusion: CI practices and encouraging diversity
  7. Themed upper-level courses: race and ethnicity, Roman women, imperialism, disenfranchisement, etc.
  8. Teaching women: foreigners, foundation myths, funerary epigrams
  9. Having difficult conversations in the Latin classroom
  10. Museums in a “postcolonial world”
  11. Using archaeology to diversify the class subject matter
  12. Art in the ancient world: beyond the typical art textbook
  13. Readings and reflections
  14. How to diversify when teaching the AP: the other, imperialism


Tours will include typical site visits and discussions of the history of buildings, art, etc., but at each site there will be a reading in Latin and a final discussion of how the site may be used to teach an issue in the classroom that would help diversify the curriculum. 5 days will be spent in Rome (Centro) and 7 days in the Bay of Naples at the Villa Vergiliana. Changes to the tours are possible before the trip. Tours include:

  1. The Roman city center and Mussolini’s fascist imprint on the city; Ara Pacis and Mussolini’s monument
  2. Forum Romanum and other fora, Colosseum: control of space, marking the masculine (e.g., Lacus Curtius, Vestal Virgins, display in the forum of Augustus, architectural ornament in the Forum of Domitian)
  3. Capitoline Museum: what’s on display? what’s missing? Gauls and Dacians, Hadrian and ethne monuments; Trajan’s column
  4. Ostia: religious spaces, comparative marking of religious space, cult worship (dinner in Jewish ghetto)
  5. Cumae, Lake Avernus: immigration and the arrival of Aeneas; Baiae: pleasure and extravagance in the ancient world
  6. Pompeii: daily life in Rome, cult worship and multiculturalism, gendered and slave spaces
  7. Herculaneum: life for the non-elite; Mount Vesuvius
  8. Paestum: Greek colonialism and Roman response
  9. Capri: imperial life and luxury; Tiberius’ retreat and privilege
  10. Sperlonga: imperial life and luxury; Tiberius’ retreat and privilege

Desired Outcomes:

  • Teachers will have a list of resources put together by me before the course and added to by teachers on the course that they can refer to: blogs, websites, readings, organizations, etc.
  • Teachers will have example lesson plans that can be used with multiple topics
  • Teachers will be part of a group that can support each other in bringing more diverse topics and topics about social justice into the classroom
  • Teachers will feel empowered to keep working on these topics and making their Latin and Greek programs more welcoming to a more diverse student population
  • In addition, teachers will have a knowledge of the sites we have visited and will be able to bring that information into class as I have done after being part of two Vergilian Society tours

Cost: $3050, includes room, board, admissions, and transportation; single supplement: $85.

Electronic Payment Options

A surcharge will be assessed for electronic payment.

Deposit: $750 + $23 surcharge

Total Payment: $3,050 + $90 surcharge

Final Payment: $2,300 + $67 surcharge

Single Supplement: $85 + $15 surcharge