Classics and Community Engagement

The Paideia Institute's Aequora Program


Elizabeth Butterworth

Director of Development of the Paideia Institute

Through Aequora, the Paideia Institute partners with universities, schools, and community organizations to offer introductory Latin classes for elementary and middle school students, taught by undergraduate and high school volunteers. In 2017-2018, 22 sites will run in 12 sites. Aequora is shaped by a belief that everyone should have access to Latin and that learning Latin should be fun. 

In this presentation, the Director of the Aequora program, Elizabeth Butterworth, discusses the genesis, structure, and philosophy of Aequora. Contextualizing the program within both literature on service learning in higher education and recent work on social justice in Classics, she explores Aequora's potential to encourage Latin students to confront, in theory and practice, histories of exclusion and inequality perpetuated in and through the discipline. She also addresses the limitations of the service and outreach model which, if pursued uncritically, risks perpetuating rather than disrupting a status quo that privileges Latin as an elite subject, and outlines the ways that a vision of Classics as an inclusive, diverse, and socially engaged discipline has shaped Aequora's content and pedagogy.

The presentation includes a discussion of program outcomes and concrete suggestions for launching an Aequora chapter and developing a service-learning curriculum.