CANE 2014 Meeting Highlights

ver appropinquat, and that means that convention season is upon us! The annual meeting just happened, NECTFL is swiftly approaching, and the summer brings the ACL Institute and (let’s not forget, the CANE Summer Institute; registration open now!). Since Emily just wrote on the importance and value of attending conventions, I thought I might share about all the great presentations, lectures, and opporunities you might have missed if you couldn’t make it to CANE this past weekend.
Like many of us, I drove to frigidly lovely Manchester, NH and the campus of St. Anselm’s. I only got lost twice, so that’s a bit of a record in this day of GPS and Google Maps. Most of the conference took place at the New Hampshire Insitute of Politics, long a nexus for the famous, ambitious, and powerful to make their mark on public life. And so, amongst photographs and other memorabilia of campaigns past, I sat down for what turned out to be one of the best CANE meetings in years.
Great Workshops
My day started with Joseph Delany and Thomas Pandolfini’s sequel to last year’s “Teaching through Art.” They discussed art’s use as historical narrative and a desire to make connections between the past and present, from depictions of Washington as Cincinnatus to Jacque-Louis David’s Roman paintings which are really commentaries on the French Revolution. Email Thomas Pandolfini for more details and materials they shared.
Though I didn’t make it to Lydia Fassett and Katy Reddick’s “Why Twitter?” workshop, the room itself was bursting with people learning the artem breviloquendi (first found at Cic. Epistulae ad Atticum, not that he’d ever limit himself to 140 characters). If you’re interested, check out #CANE2014 to find people’s comments, discussion, and pictures of the annual meeting.
Ruth Breindel, CANE’s Treasurer and long-time ludimagistra at the Moses Brown School in Providence, RI, treated participants to the story of Daniel and how his stories have come down through the ages in music, dance, and theater. My favorite was the swing version of Asrach, Mesach, and Abednego and the production of the medieval Daniel play at the Cloisters (Metropolitian Museum of Art – website review), which inspired Ms. Breindel’s students to do their own version. Interested in details? Ruth is happy to share; just email her and send her a flashdrive for a cornucopia of Latinity!
I also didn’t go to the UMASS Amherst grad-student “Multiculturalism in the Latin Classroom,” though fama est the lessons presented were amazing. Like me, you can see everything they did by pointing your device to their Google site.
Anne Mahoney (Tufts) presided over a fascinating forum magistrorum, where participants shared lessons, activities, and projects. Ben Revkin, fellow CANEns editor and stalwart webmaster, set up a shared Google Drive folder that you can raid for great ideas. My favorites are Allyson Bunch’s “Aftermath of Caesar’s Assassination”, which I’m already planning on using this week (because Ides!), Jocelyn Demuth’s “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse in Latin”, and Sara Allen’s “Latin Uno” ready-made cards. Take a look and, if you want, add something of yours in exchange!
Kevin Ballestrini, of Operation LAPIS and Card-Tamen fame, shared with us the modern language technique of the “embedded reading,” where you take an original text and simplify in several tiers to end up with a text that your students can understand easily as Latin, and then work backwards until the students are reading the original. You can see his presentation slides or look directly at a sample embed of De bello Gallico 5.37.
Great Lectures
This year had some very interesting topics – here are some of the highlights of what I heard.

  1. a whole series of lectures on Ovid, including a great talk by Keeley Schell on the connections between Hyacinthus and the story of Tarquin’s message to his son, and Karen Mower’s discussion of how Circe uses the “amorous” techniques of earlier stories in her own quest for Picus.
  2. a series of lectures on meter, including Anne Mahoney’s ruminations on half-lines explaining the placement noun-adjective pairs, and Andrew Sweet’s use of Garage Band to explain metrical rhythym and ictus/accent mismatch through rap back-beats (see Sweet’s blog for more).
  3. Mary Papoutsy’s talk on Lesbos and the archaeological work being done there (those pictures make me want to take a vacation there!), Jim Capreedy’s use of maps to teach concepts in ancient history (peruse a mapping program he and a friend cooked up), and Jocelyn Demuth’s use of storytelling to enliven and build interest in a middle school Latin program.

All of this are samples of the great things being offered at the CANE Annual Meeting, and of course there was much more I didn’t see or have the space to write about. As you can see, there’s something for everyone – professors, college students, teachers of classics at all levels. I hope to see you at the annual meeting next year, and don’t forget about other regional conferences coming soon (NECTFL, CAM spring meeting, ACL Institute, and the CANE Summer Institute)!