A 2016-17 Engaged Faculty Fellow, Michael Fontaine is an associate professor of Department of Classics in the College of Arts and Sciences. His project, “The Rebirth of Living Latin,” will help Cornell undergraduates take advantage of exciting and unique opportunities offered by The Paideia Institute for Humanistic Study. To learn more, follow Michael on Twitter @M_S_Fontaine or read his Cornell faculty profile.
About the Project
Paideia is a wildly successful startup. It’s a nonprofit that teaches undergraduate students to speak, read and write Latin and ancient Greek, in Rome and in Greece, and at the highest possible level. Since Latin and Greek are dead languages, these are life-changing opportunities that students can’t get anywhere else. This project aims to cover their costs — every penny goes to the students. When those students return to Ithaca, they’ll help all of us build on a distinct and growing area of academic excellence.
In His Own Words
“Some communities you’re born into; others you have to create. The benefits of learning Latin actively rather than passively are gigantic, obvious and the way of the future. The enthusiasm is huge, too, but there just aren’t enough teachers. In just a few years, however, some of our students will be professors or teachers themselves. If we show them how to do it now, we’ll reap the benefits for generations.
“If we’re going to reach critical mass in this new community, we’ve got to prime the pump — and Paideia’s programs are the best way to do that. And because Paideia takes our students to foreign countries, where they study amid ancient monuments and new cultures, the experience changes their lives forever. That’s the essence of a liberal arts education.”
The People Who Are Bringing Latin to Life (The Wall Street Journal)
Latin Lives (The Nation)
Living Latin in Rome (The Paideia Institute)
Engaged Cornell Grants
Engaged Opportunity Grant: Selling the Past in Modern-Day Greece
Engaged Opportunity Grant: The Rebirth of Living Latin
Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program
A yearlong cohort program in which faculty dive deep into the theory and practice of community-engaged learning; meet monthly to discuss readings, share projects and workshop challenges; and help transform what it means to teach at Cornell