Latin has long been lauded as an ancient language spanning over millennia. It has rightly been exalted as a language of pagan poets, medieval saints, and innovative scientists. However, the standard experience for students of Latin over the centuries has been to read only male authors, despite thousands of Latin texts by women. In this presentation, Skye Shirley will share a largely unknown parallel history of the Latin language rarely explored in even the most advanced Latin classrooms. She will also share how women Latinists are deeply relevant to Latin and humanities classes today.
Skye Shirley is a doctoral student in the Latin Department at University College London, where she is writing her dissertation on four seventeenth-century collections of Latin poetry written by women. She recently spent an exchange semester at Yale University in the Italian Department, where she researched intersections between Neo-Latin and early Italian texts by women. Her love of Latin began at Lexington High School, where she was a student of Dr. Fiveash, who inspired her to become a Latin teacher. She is proud to carry on his vision of increased equity in Latin studies. In addition to her doctoral research, Skye is the founder and director of Lupercal, an international organization dedicated to increasing opportunities for women in Latin language studies. Lupercal’s first conference will take place this October 24-26 at the University of Lille in France.
The Fiveash Legacy Lecture is intended to honor and keep vital the memory and teaching legacy of Dr. Michael Fiveash, a long time and much loved Lexington High School teacher. Dr. Fiveash taught Latin, Mythology and Classics for decades at LHS, and encouraged students in the love of literature and language; inspiring them to seek substance and depth by internalizing meaning found in the myths and wisdom storehouses of Classical literature. There are now two Lexington scholarships established in Michael’s name. The first is for students intending to study the Classics at the college level, and the second is for LHS teachers who inspire the hearts and minds of students in similar ways.