Conventiculum Dickinsoniense 2023

CONVENTICULUM DICKINSONIENSE

July 16-21, 2023

The Conventiculum Dickinsoniense is an immersion seminar designed for those who want to acquire some ability at ex-tempore expression in Latin. A wide range of people can benefit from the seminar: professors in universities, teachers in secondary schools, graduate students, undergraduates, and other lovers of Latin, provided that anyone who considers applying has a solid understanding of the grammatical essentials of the Latin language. A minimum requirement for participation is knowledge of Latin grammar and the ability to read a Latin text of average complexity – even if this reading ability depends on frequent use of a dictionary.  But no previous experience in speaking Latin is necessary. Sessions will be aimed at helping participants to increase their ability to use Latin effectively in spoken discourse and to understand others speaking in Latin. After the first evening reception (in which any language may be spoken), Latin will be the language used throughout the seminar. Participants will be involved in intensive activity each day from morning until early evening (with breaks for lunch and mid-afternoon pauses). They will experience Latin conversations on topics ranging from themes in literature and art all the way to the routines and activities of daily life, and will enjoy the benefits of reading and discussing texts in the target language. Activities will involve both written and spoken discourse, both of which engage the active faculties of expression, and each of which is complementary to the other. The seminar will not merely illustrate how active Latin can be a useful tool for teachers, it will show how developing an active facility in Latin can directly and personally benefit any cultivator of Latin who wishes to acquire a more instinctive command of the language and a more intimate relationship with Latin writings.

Moderators:

Prof. Milena Minkova, University of Kentucky

Prof. Terence Tunberg, University of Kentucky

We can accept a maximum number of 35 participants. Deadline for applications is June 1, 2023. The participation fee for each participant will $400. The fee includes lodging in a single room in campus housing (and please note that lodging will be in a student residence near the site of the sessions), two meals (breakfast and lunch) per day, as well as the opening dinner, and a cookout at the Dickinson farm. Included in this price is also the facilities fee, which allows access to the gym, fitness center, and the library, as well as internet access. The $400 fee does not include the cost of dinners (except for the opening dinner), and does not include the cost of travel to and from the seminar. Dinners can easily be had at restaurants within walking distance from campus.  Please keep in mind that the participation fee of $400, once it has been received by the seminar’s organizers, is not refundable.  This is an administrative necessity.

Registered participants should plan to arrive in Carlisle, PA on July 16, in time to attend the first event of the seminar. This first event is an opening dinner and welcoming reception for all participants, which will begin at about 6:00 p.m., in which all languages are acceptable. The actual workshop sessions (in which Latin will the exclusive language) will begin early the next morning on July 17.

For more information and application instructions write to: Professor Terence Tunberg:

terence.tunberg@gmail.com

 

Dickinson Digital Latin Workshop July 12-15, 2023

What: Dickinson Digital Latin Workshop

When: July 12-15, 2023

Where: Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania (in person only)

Intended for: all Latin teachers and students over 18 year of age. Requires no prior experience with computer programming. Intermediate and advanced programmers will still benefit from rethinking coding fundamentals through either a philological or a pedagogical lens.

Registration and fees: to register, please email Mrs. Stephanie Dyson, Classical Studies Academic Department Coordinator (dysonst@dickinson.edu). A fee of $200 is due by June 15, 2023 in the form of a check made out to Dickinson College, mailed to Stephanie Dyson, Department of Classical Studies, Dickinson College, Carlisle PA 17013.  The fee includes lodging in campus housing (and please note that lodging will be in a student residence near the site of the sessions), two meals (breakfast and lunch) per day, as well as the opening dinner on the 12th.

Registered participants should plan to arrive in Carlisle, PA on July 12, in time to attend the first event of the seminar. This first event is an opening dinner and welcoming reception for all participants, which will begin at 6:00 p.m. The actual workshop sessions will begin early the next morning, on Thursday, July 13. The final event will be lunch on Saturday, July 15.

Content: 

  • teaches fundamentals of computational text analysis in the Python programming language using a corpus-driven, “exploratory” approach with activities focused on vocabulary and other formal textual features.
  • introduces participants to the basics of computer programming while also demonstrating how learning to code can help with everyday tasks in the Latin classroom. Learn to write just enough code to build vocabulary lists, count frequent (and infrequent!) words, search texts in flexible and “fuzzy” ways, generate reading drills and exercises, build up a collection of word games, and more.
  • helps participants develop computational skills useful for working with projects such as Dickinson College Commentaries and The Bridge.

Instructor

Patrick J. Burns, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

headshot of man wearing glassesPatrick J. Burns is Associate Research Scholar for Digital Projects at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, working previously at the Quantitative Criticism Lab at the University of Texas at Austin and the Culture, Cognition, and Coevolution Lab at Harvard University. Patrick is working an online book to be titled Exploratory Philology: Learning About Ancient Languages Through Computer Programming, a code-first introduction to Ancient Greek and Latin as well as a core contributor to the Classical Language Toolkit, a natural language processing framework for working with ancient-language text. Patrick has given workshops on digital and computational Classics topics at many venues, including Stanford, Yale, Dartmouth, NYU, Tufts, UT-Austin, Universität Rostock, and the Institute of Classical Studies.

Description

What is the best way for Latin teachers and students to get started with computational approaches to working with texts? This three-day workshop introduces participants to the basics of computer programming while also demonstrating how learning to code can help with everyday tasks in the Latin classroom. Learn to write just enough code to build vocabulary lists, count frequent (and infrequent!) words, search texts in flexible and “fuzzy” ways, generate reading drills and exercises, build up a collection of word games, and more.

The workshop builds on the forthcoming book Exploratory Philology: Learning About Ancient Languages Through Computer Programming, a collection of text-analysis experiments designed to introduce coding to anyone interested in the Latin language and its literature. Building on Nick Montfort’s exploratory paradigm of learning how to “think with computation” as well as Marina Umaschi Bers’ pedagogical work on “coding as a playground,” Exploratory Philology offers a code-first, immersive and improvisational way of working with ancient-language text such that mutually reinforces the reader’s language skills and programming skills. While drawing extensively on material from Exploratory Philology, this workshop reframes the experiments from the book to address the specific pedagogical interests of Latin teachers and students, including by helping participants develop computational skills useful for working with projects such as Dickinson College Commentaries and The Bridge.

Agenda/Activities

  • Day 1 (4 hours)
    • Workshop overview / introductions
    • Counting words, aka “exploratory philology” in medias res
    • What is “Exploratory Philology”?
    • Introduction to Classical Language Toolkit and CLTK Readers
    • Breaking texts into smaller units (paragraphs, sentences, words, characters, and more)
    • Making lists, making tables, making plots
  • Day 2 (4 hours)
    • The four Ds of Exploratory Philology w. coding activities
      • Describe: Counting specific terms, spec. animals, colors, and more in Virgil
      • Discover: Searching for alliteration in Ovid
      • Deform: Autogenerating Latin sentence drills using Cicero
      • Divert: Making Latin word scramble puzzles using Catullus
    • Participant “Free Play” with the 4 Ds / Presentation Development
    • Tips and tricks for Latin text analysis using the Natural Language Toolkit
  • Day 3 (2 hours)
    • Participant presentations
    • Workshop conclusion/overview and participant feedback

Materials

The workshop uses several hands-on coding activities designed to help participants learn to read, write, and refactor computer programs for philological and pedagogical ends. All materials for the workshop are developed as Jupyter code notebooks and will be hosted in a public GitHub repository for participants’ reference after the workshop. Participants will also have the option of consulting the Exploratory Philology online book for further skill development.

Participants

The workshop has been designed for Latin teachers and students who can benefit from working with Latin text at scale and with greater automaticity and flexibility. No prior experience with computer programming necessary. All materials are provided as working code that participants are encouraged to revise and refactor for their own research and pedagogical applications. While the workshop is written in a way to be open to participants with no prior computer programming experience, intermediate and advanced programmers will still benefit from rethinking coding fundamentals through either a philological or a pedagogical lens.

Dickinson Summer Latin Workshop 2023: Navigatio Brendani

Dickinson Summer Latin Workshop 2023: Navigatio Brendani

July 7-12, 2023

The Dickinson Workshops are mainly intended for teachers of Latin, to refresh the mind through study of an extended text, and to share experiences and ideas. Sometimes those who are not currently engaged in teaching have participated as well, including students, retirees, and those working towards teacher certification.

old book page with ship on top of large fish

St. Brendan and crew celebrate Easter on a whale.
Anonymous after Hendrick Goltzius, Stranded Whale at Zandvoort, 1594. Harvard Art Museum, Light Outerbridge Collection, Richard Norton Memorial Fund; British Library Manuscripts Harley 3244 & 4751.

The text for 2023 is the legendary Christian tale of sea adventure, Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis (“Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot”). This Irish epic, a narrative masterpiece, was recorded in Latin prose sometime between the mid-8th and early 10th century. According to the Navigatio, Brendan makes an astonishing Atlantic journey with other monks to the “Promised Land of the Saints” (later identified possibly as the Canary Islands), which he reaches after a prolonged search. The Navigatio was enormously popular in the Middle Ages, surviving in about 125 manuscripts, and the story was retold in Anglo-Norman, Dutch, German, Venetian, Provençal, Catalan, Norse and English.

We will read the Latin text with the help of the new commentary and vocabulary by Prof. William Turpin (Swarthmore College), which is forthcoming in Dickinson College Commentaries.

Moderators:

William Turpin, The Scheuer Family Chair of Humanities, Swarthmore College

Christopher Francese, Asbury J. Clarke Professor of Classical Studies, Dickinson College

The participation fee for each participant will $400. The fee covers lodging, breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Dickinson cafeteria, the facilities fee, which allows access to the gym, fitness center, and the library, as well as wireless and wired internet access while on campus. The fee does not cover the costs of books or travel, or of dinners, which are typically eaten in the various restaurants in Carlisle. Please keep in mind that the participation fee, once it has been received by the seminar’s organizers, is not refundable. This is an administrative necessity.

Lodging: accommodations will be in a student residence hall near the site of the sessions. The building features suite-style configurations of two double rooms sharing a private bathroom, or one double and one single room sharing a private bathroom.

The first event will be an introductory dinner at 6:00 p.m., July 7. The final session ends at noon on July 12. Sessions will meet from 8:30 a.m. to noon each day, with the afternoons left free for preparation.

Registration and fees: to register, please email Mrs. Stephanie Dyson, Classical Studies Academic Department Coordinator (dysonst@dickinson.edu). A fee of $400 is due by June 1, 2023 in the form of a check made out to Dickinson College, mailed to Stephanie Dyson, Department of Classical Studies, Dickinson College, Carlisle PA 17013. 

For more information please contact Prof. Chris Francese (francese@dickinson.edu)