At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, Lupercal has changed my professional life. Like most Latin teachers, I love the Latin language and I love teaching Latin but wanted to become a better reader and a speaker of the language.
Then in 2018 a colleague told me about Lupercal and how much she thought I’d enjoy it. So on a hot and sticky May afternoon, with my infant son in tow I headed to Newton with to read and speak Latin. While we read Boccaccio we also practiced some good teaching/reading techniques. All along, I nursed my son, ate snacks and felt at ease! I continued to attend monthly meetings as best I could. Eventually, the readings became easier and the speaking a little more natural.
Lupercal opened my eyes to the world of active Latin and provided a safe space to try new techniques. Through positive encouragement and acceptance, the women within Lupercal showed me that spoken Latin is possible - not just something reserved for “naturally gifted” students. Lupercal has created a welcoming, positive environment that fosters equity within the discipline- something I hope I can replicate within my own classroom!
~Lauren Downey, Needham High School Latin Teacher
I'm a rising college senior at Princeton University. I'm considering pursuing a career in Latin education or Classics more broadly. I've seen firsthand the gender bias in spoken Latin; my school offered a spoken Latin class last fall which I was unfortunately unable to take, but in conversations with friends I was surprised and saddened to see how male-dominated that environment was.
~Kirsten Traudt, Princeton group leader
This is the type of thing that would have made me feel more comfortable in the field when I was in college and maybe it would have given me the confidence to go to grad school back then instead of giving in to the feeling that I would never quite fit in so why try. I now realize what you know: if there isn’t a space for you to do what you love, you just go ahead and make that space for yourself!
~Elaine Zamonski, Lupercal donor
I am so grateful that Lupercal exists and is growing. I just finished attending a conventiculum and although I knew it was going to be male-dominated (like most living Latin spaces), it was much more male-dominated than I initially expected.
All the teachers, with their excellent, fluent Latin were male and alumni of/connected with the Vivarium Novum, an academy in Italy which offers young men, not women and other gender minorities, a year-long immersive Latin environment for free. In the more advanced group of the conventiculum, there were only four women and maybe twelve female students as a whole out of nearly forty attendants.
Many famous men in the Latin-speaking community were openly disdainful of my concerns about the role of the Vivarium in creating the situation we were together at the conventiculum and of the solutions to these problems that I suggested in my understandable, but not fluent Latin.
I read a lot, I learned a lot about all ages of Latinitas, but the whole experience showed me how necessary it is for Lupercal to grow more and more for female and non-binary Latinists.
~Anonymous Lupercal member
As a young female Latin teacher, Lupercal has been integral for helping me to meet experienced mentors and feel more confident teaching Latin. The group make me feel like I have a voice in the classical community in a way that I never felt comfortable or heard before. Lupercal has helped me to understand how much female representation is missing in the classics, but also how many women there really are that want to connect and close this gap. I have learned so much from other women on the group and I know that I am a better teacher because of being a part of it. Classics can often feel like an isolating profession, but Lupercal allows female Latin teachers to really feel like they are a part of something important.
~Michele Becker, Boston Lupercal member