What can Taylor Swift do for your Latin Prose Composition students? Using popular music to teach Latin poetry analysis skills

Kerschner, Stephen
Abstract of Article: 

This article presents a method for developing and practicing both close reading skills and compositional skills as used in an undergraduate Latin Prose Composition course. By using contemporary popular music, students can learn how to recognize, comprehend, and use as a basis for analysis rhetorical and literary devices found in Latin poetry as well as poetic compositional style. When students translate popular songs that they know and understand into Latin and then analyze them according to basic philological processes, they are able to remove barriers to understanding deriving from cultural differences between the Roman world and their modern world. Further, this assignment also offers a solution to the critical problem that many students have no facility with poetic analysis of poetry in their native language. In addition to seeing extensive development of philological methods in students performing this assignment, results were also seen in advanced reading Latin courses in the form of better class discussion and more mature term papers.