When courses moved abruptly from in person to online delivery due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Professor Angie Pitts and her students in Latn 358: Ovid, were disappointed. They had been looking forward to a visit from Dr. Bartolo Natoli of Randolph Macon College, author of Silenced Voices: The Poetics of Speech in Ovid (U. WI Press), who was scheduled to give a public lecture April 2nd on the theme of “Silenced Voices” in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Instead of cancelling the event outright after our move to remote teaching and the closing of campus, Dr. Natoli volunteered to join a synchronized teleconference meeting of the class for a roundtable discussion on the theme of “Silence” in book X of the Metamorphoses during regular synchronized meetings of the class using the Canvas Conferencing platform. Dr. Natoli’s honorarium was supported by the students of UMW’s chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics Honors Society, using “programming” proceeds the students in it earned in their fall 2019 used book sale. In return for Eta Sigma Phi’s generosity, at least one member of Classics faculty (Prof. Liane Houghtalin) has already pledged to provide at least 50 books from her personal bookshelves for the Fall 2020 annual book sale. The other two Classics faculty are planning to follow suit and donate an abundance of books, too, a wonderful story of students and faculty collaborating together to help enrich the academic life of our students during incredibly challenging circumstances.
Here is an audio recording of their full conversation with Dr Bartolo Natoli.