The amazing creators of the “classic” hits Vice Verba and Hoi Polloi Logoi ancient language apps have been awarded the Elaine Fantham Award in Public Engagement by the Classical Association of Canada.
It has been really wonderful to see that enthusiasm for the ancient languages continues to thrive in what might seem like an unlikely medium, digital technology.
Dr. Pauline Ripat
UWinnipeg’s Dr. Pauline Ripat (Department of Classics) and her colleague, Dr. Christina Vester, Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Waterloo, created the apps as a fun way to help strengthen Latin and Greek language skills for their students in classics.
“As a classics professor I found the students had difficulty with retention of memorized verb forms in Latin,” explained Ripat. ”It has been really wonderful to see that enthusiasm for the ancient languages continues to thrive in what might seem like an unlikely medium, digital technology.”
The apps have been downloaded by students from around the globe, including Asia, Europe, and North America.
“Dr. Ripat and Dr. Vester’s innovative mobile apps have been downloaded by thousands of people around the globe. They show us that classics reaches outside the classroom and into the always-online and networked world,” said Dr.Peter J.Miller, Associate Professor and Chair of UWinnipeg Classics. “And they show us that classical languages are popular!”
The Elaine Fantham Award in Public Engagement honours Classics Association Canada members for their exceptional projects, performances, or events that address communities outside the academy and engage those communities with the ancient world, its reception, and/or individual research into these fields.
The award committee was impressed by the global impact of both apps, which make these ancient languages more accessible to a wider public, not just students.
“Both make Greek and Latin available to an international audience and will surely generate renewed interest in the ancient languages and introduce Greek and Latin to a future generation of scholars and enthusiasts,” shared Dr. Allison Glazebrook (Brock University), the chair of the awards committee. “As stated in the nomination letter, ‘Bringing core skills in classics to a digital platform which reaches users on six continents is a pioneering and valuable form of outreach.’”