Italy Reads

Italy Reads 2012 Archive

Italy Reads is John Cabot University's community-based reading and cultural exchange program that began in 2009 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for The Big Read Rome.

The Big Read Rome was a great success; students from nearly 20 Italian public and international high schools in Rome read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, viewed the film at JCU's "Cinema Mockingbird," attended theater productions by the English Theatre of Rome, and actively participated in book discussions with JCU students.

The success of The Big Read Rome led John Cabot University to expand this American cultural exchange program to a wider Italian high school community and create our own program which we called Italy Reads.

We are pleased to announce that the book for Italy Reads 2012 is F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. The official edition of the book is the Oxford University Press edition (ISBN 978-0199536405).

Please see our Calendar of Events for a complete list of Italy Reads activities.

To register as an official Italy Reads 2012 participant, or to receive more information about Italy Reads, please e-mail us at [email protected]  or speak with Ms. Gina Marie Spinelli at +39-06-68191223.

Participating teachers, students, libraries and book groups can attend a Keynote Address by an expert on F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby, watch the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, attend a production of the stage adaptation of the novel by The English Theatre of Rome, participate in Student Exchanges, and compete in a Student Video Contest. Participating teachers can also attend a day-long Italy Reads training workshop.

Professor Elizabeth Geoghegan is serving as Interim Coordinator for Italy Reads 2012.

ITALY READS ACTIVITIES

Keynote Address -- Participating teachers and their students will be invited to the Italy Reads Keynote Address delivered by an expert in F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby. See the Calendar of Events for details.

Film Screenings -- Participating teachers and their students will be invited to free screenings of the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. See the Calendar of Events for details.

Play Performances -- Participating teachers and their students will receive discounted tickets to The English Theatre of Rome's production of the stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby. See the Calendar of Events for details.

Student Video Contest -- Students participating in Italy Reads 2012 can enter a video contest to compete for significant cash prizes. See Student Video Contest for details.

Student Exchanges -- John Cabot University students will be available to visit schools to lead discussions of the play in a student exchange program.  Students of participating Italy Reads 2012 teachers will also be invited to participate in discussions of the novel at the John Cabot University campus. Contact Italy Reads 2012 at [email protected]  or call Ms. Gina Marie Spinelli at +39-06-681-91223 for details.

Teacher Training -- Participating teachers can take part in a day-long workshop about the novel and the use of the teaching materials gathered by Italy Reads 2012. Contact Italy Reads 2012 at [email protected]  or call Ms. Gina Marie Spinelli at +39-06-681-91223 for details.

Teaching Materials -- Through the Italy Reads 2012 website and the JCU Frohring Library, teachers participating in Italy Reads have access to a wealth of supplemental electronic materials related to the novel.  See Resources for details. Contact Italy Reads 2012 at [email protected]  or call Ms. Gina Marie Spinelli at 06-681-91223 for details.

Books for Libraries -- Participating libraries can receive a limited number of free copies of The The Great Gatsby. Contact Italy Reads at [email protected]  or call Ms. Gina Marie Spinelli at 06-681-91223 for details.       

 

Calendar of Events

You must RSVP for all events to [email protected]  or telephone 06.681.91.223. Photo ID is required for entry to the JCU campus. 

3 October 2012, Wednesday, 7:00 pm – 8:30pm, Keynote Address by Dr. Sarah Churchwell, Aula Magna, John Cabot University, Guarini Campus, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere).

4 October 2012, Thursday, 3:00 pm – 5:00pm, Keynote Address 'by popular demand, repeat of lecture given on October 3rd) by Dr. Sarah Churchwell, Aula Magna, John Cabot University, Guarini Campus, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere).

4 October 2012, Thursday, 6:30pm – 8:30 pm,Workshop for High School Teachers with Keynote Speaker, Dr. Sarah Churchwell, Aula Magna, John Cabot University, Guarini Campus, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere).

Biography

Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities. Her research and teaching expertise are in 20th-21st century and contemporary American literature and culture; American film history; gender theory; cultural studies and popular culture; and biography and autobiography. She is the author of The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe (Granta 2004), co-editor of Must Read: Rediscovering the Bestseller (Continuum 2012), and author of various articles, chapters and introductions (see research and publications tabs, above). Her new book, Careless People, about F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby, will be published in early 2013.

Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, the New York Times Book Review, the TLS, the Observer, the Times, the Telegraph, the New Statesman, the Spectator, the Liberal, the Financial Times, Glamour, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire and Psychologies, among others, and she is a contributing writer for New Statesman magazine.

Radio appearances include Any Questions, Front Row, Woman's Hour, the Jeremy Vine show, Radio Five Live, and various regional radio programmes, and a documentary for Radio 4 on the 20th anniversary of When Harry Met Sally.

She is a regular panelist on The Review Show (BBC2); other television appearances include Newsnight, This Week, The Cinema Show, ITV This Morning, BBC News and World News, Sky News, The DVD Collection, The Sharp End with Clive Anderson, The Last Word, Before the Booker, and various film documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, and SkyOne, including Arena's TS Eliot (BBC2), The Rules of Film Noir (BBC4), and Unfinished Masterpieces (BBC2).

 Italy Reads Cinema

Italy Reads participating teachers and their students will be asked to reserve their group screenings of the 1974 film adaptation of the novel in advance. JCU Italy Reads Volunteers will be invited to participate in post-screening discussions. To arrange for a screening of the film, please contact Ms. Gina Marie Spinelli at [email protected] .

Italy Reads 2012 Lectures

'The Book Was Better: A problem-solving approach to literary adaptation'.

JCU Professor Brian Thomson, who is currently teaching a course entitled 'Foundations of Digital Video Production', will be discussing the decisions filmmakers need to make in order to define their approach to the process of adapting literary material for the screen. The lecture will draw on several well-known 'adapted' films ('Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?', 'O Brother Where Art Thou/The Odyssey', 'Psycho', 'Lord of the Rings', 'The English Patient', etc.) in order to illustrate various methods of adaptation and the problems they present for filmmakers attempting to strike a balance between respect for source material and the need to communicate with audiences through a primarily visual medium.  Following a consideration of some of the particular problems posed by Gatsby the lecture will conclude with some practical screenwriting tips and recommendations for producing the best possible image with a mobile phone. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session.

Tuesday, October 9th, 5:00-7:00pm,               John Cabot University, Tiber Campus,  
                                                                                  Marc and Peggy Spiegel Student Center,
                                                                                  Lungotevere Sanzio, 12

 

Thursday, October 18th, 5:00-7:00pm,           John Cabot University, Tiber Campus,
                                                                                  Marc and Peggy Spiegel Student Center,  
                                                                                  Lungotevere Sanzio, 12

 

Monday, October 22nd, 5:00-7:00pm,              John Cabot University, Tiber Campus,
                                                                                   Marc and Peggy Spiegel Student Center, 
                                                                                   Lungotevere Sanzio, 12
 

'It's all about style: The Great Gatsby as The Great American Novel'

JCU Professor Elizabeth Geoghegan, will offer the following lecture. In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald declared his goal to write "something new—something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned" and, as a result, he produced 'The Great Gatsby'. American writers have long had the ambition to write the so-called "Great American Novel," but does one even exist? And if so, how and why does 'The Great Gatsby' qualify? This talk will explore F. Scott Fitzgerald's style, the "intricately patterned" language and lyricism that brought the novel back into literary consciousness from its premature burial in the 1920's, and won the book its status as a marvel of 20th century literature.

Tuesday, October 23rd, 4:30-5:45pm,             John Cabot University, Tiber Campus,
                                                                                   Room T.G.4 (capacity 50 people)
                                                                                   Lungotevere Sanzio, 12

Monday, October 29th, 4:30-5:45pm,               John Cabot University, Tiber Campus,
                                                                                    Room T.1.2 (capacity 25 people)
                                                                                    Lungotevere Sanzio, 12 

'The Gatsby Curve'

JCU Professor of Economics and Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, Mary Merva, will be discussing The Great Gatsby from an economist's point of view addressing the question:  Is upward social and economic mobility hindered or helped by income inequality? By exploring what is known as "The Great Gatsby Curve" we may gain some insight into this very intriguing question. 

Wednesday, October 10th, 12:45-3:00pm,       John Cabot University, Guarini Campus,
                                                                                     Room G.K.1.2, (capacity 20 people)
                                                                                     Via della Lungara 233 

Tuesday, October 16th, 11:30-12:45pm,           John Cabot University, Tiber Campus,
                                                                                     Room T.G.2, (capacity 25 people)
                                                                                     Lungotevere Sanzio, 12

Tuesday, October 16th, 5:00-7:00pm,                John Cabot University, Tiber Campus,
                                                                                     Marc and Peggy Spiegel Student Center,
                                                                                     Lungotevere Sanzio, 12

Italy Reads/ The English Theater of Rome
Italy Reads participating teachers and their students will be asked to reserve their group screenings in advance.

RSVP for all events to [email protected]  or telephone 06.681.91.223.  Photo ID is required for entry to the JCU campus. For tickets to the English Theatre of Rome's productions please e-mail [email protected] .

SOLD OUT 26 October 2012, Friday, 8:00pm, Opening Performance,The English Theatre of Rome production of The Great Gatsby, Aula Magna Regina, G.G.1 and Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere). To reserve seats or for more information, email [email protected]  or [email protected]

SOLD OUT 27 October 2012, Saturday, 6:00pm, The English Theatre of Rome production of The Great Gatsby, Aula Magna Regina, G.G.1 and Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere). To reserve seats or for more information, email [email protected]  or [email protected]

28 October 2012, Sunday, 6:00pm, The English Theatre of Rome production of The Great Gatsby, Aula Magna Regina, G.G.1 and Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere). To reserve seats or for more information, email [email protected]  or [email protected]

2 November 2012, Friday, 8:00pm, The English Theatre of Rome production of The Great Gatsby, Aula Magna Regina, G.G.1 and Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere). To reserve seats or for more information, email [email protected]  or [email protected].  

3 November 2012, Saturday, 6:00pm, The English Theatre of Rome production of The Great Gatsby, Aula Magna Regina, G.G.1 and Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere). To reserve seats or for more information, email [email protected]  or [email protected]

4 November 2012, Sunday, 6:00pm, The English Theatre of Rome production of The Great Gatsby, Aula Magna Regina, G.G.1 and Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere). To reserve seats or for more information, email [email protected]  or [email protected]

10 November 2012, Saturday, 6:00pm, The English Theatre of Rome production of The Great Gatsby, Aula Magna Regina, G.G.1 and Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere). To reserve seats or for more information, email [email protected]  or [email protected]

11 November 2012, Sunday, 6:00pm, The English Theatre of Rome production of The Great Gatsby, Aula Magna Regina, G.G.1 and Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere). To reserve seats or for more information, email [email protected]  or [email protected]

19 November 2012, Monday, 4:00pm, Deadline for submissions to the Italy Reads Student Video Contest . Submissions of videos to the contest must includes a note or message that includes: name of school, name of teacher, list of students involved in making video (both those appearing in and those involved in other aspects of the production), email address and contact information for person submitting the video. Please see our webpage dedicated to the Student Video Contest for rules and regulations.

4 December 2012, Tuesday, 5:00pm, Italy Reads Student Video Contest Award Ceremony, Aula Magna Regina, G.G.1 and Secchia Terrace, Guarini Campus, John Cabot University, Via della Lungara 233 (Trastevere).

 Help Support Italy Reads

John Cabot University welcomes monetary contributions in support of Italy Reads. If you would like to contribute to Italy Reads you can find more information by clicking here.

Resources for Teachers

General Resources

The Great Gatsby (NEA Big Read)
This section of the NEA Big Read website is dedicated to The Heart Great Gatsby and gives access to a teacher's guide and a reader's guide. 

Wikipedia: F.S.Fitzgerald
Wikipedia entry for Francis Scott Fitzgerald, with biographical information and the list of his works. 

Wikipedia: The Great Gatsby
Wikipedia entry for The Great Gatsby.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Centenary site
This site by The University of South Carolina has many links to follow, including one to a picture of his briefcase, and one to his (sadly all too-often used) flask.

Articles and Reviews

"The Great Gatsby"- Encyclopedia of the Novel
A reflection upon the function of the symbolic narrative structure and the use of the first person narrator in a novel which is both modernist and traditional. 

Tuning in to conversation in the novel: Gatsby and the Dynamics of Dialogue
A critical approach to the interpretation of conversations inside the novel. 

The Great Gatsby: Satire or Tragedy?
The article points out that the novel should be read as a tragedy and not as a satire.

Analysis: the Great Gatsby
The article discusses underlining meaning and symbolism behind The Great Gatsby 

The Great Gatsby resonates with urban adolescents
The author, Sara Rimer, highlights the importance of The Great Gatsby's message for the urban adolescents, especially immigrants, who look at the characters in the novel as an example to follow as if they were celebrities. 

The Demise of 1920s American Dream in The Great Gatsby
Discussion on the various cultural elements reflected in The Great Gatsby which led to the downfall of the 1920s American Dream. 

The Migrant in New York: in Pursuit of an American Dream
A critical interpretation of The Great Gatsby as a Jazz Age text and as expression of the American Dream in relation to another novel The City of Refuge published in the same year and set in the same city: New York. 

Gatsby: False Prophet of the American Dream
Fitzgerald's expression of the American Dream lacks the optimism and the sense of fulfillment of his predecessors (W .Whitman, R. W. Emerson, T. Jefferson and B. Franklin). 

Getting it Right
M .J .Bruccoli deals with the errors (categorized as internal and external) in The Great Gatsby.

Under Control: Patriarchal Gender Construction in the Great Gatsby
The article deals with the passive and submitted role of the female characters against the archetypal male figure of Tom Buchanan. 

Jordan Baker, Gender Dissent and Homosexual Passing in The Great Gatsby
The article is about the intersections between racial and gender transgression and about the ways patriarchal capitalism constructs gender and sexuality. 

Was Gatsby Black?
New questions about Jay Gatsby's identity. A literary professor, Carlyle V. Thompson has found textual evidence that Gatsby was black. 

Jay Gatsby, Dreamer, Criminal, Jazz Age Rogue, is a Man of our Times
The article makes an analysis of Gatsby's negative characteristics affirming that it is through these flaws that he is a modern man. 

Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby's heroine, is she retarded?
Daisy is seen through her weaknesses. 

Gatsby: the greatest of them all
The author, Jonathan Yardley, after writing about Hemingway's reaction to the novel, asks himself what he would have thought of Gatsby if he had been a reader in 1925 and concludes saying that if he could have only one book, this would be The Great Gatsby.  

Trimalchio an early version of The Great Gatsby
A review of Trimalchio as a distinct work of art and a comparison to The Great Gatsby. 

Lavish Gatsby Loses Book's Spirit
A critical review of J .Clayton's film (1974). According to its author, V. Canby, the film is not faithful to the book's spirit. 

Mimsy Review: The Great Gatsby
The author, J. Stratton, recommends the book because it is easy to read and because it is a story which resembles real life. 

The Sexual Drama of Nick and Gatsby
In this review the author, E. Wasiolek, writes about the main characters in The Great Gatsby in relation to sex and to the psychic disorders common to the dichotomy between the real and the ideal. 

Study Guides

Bookrags
Study guide containing information on the novel and its author. It includes characters description, chapter summaries, and activities. 

Cummings Study Guides
Study guide of The Great Gatsby including plot summary, character and theme analysis, and essay topics.  

Harper Collins
Reading guide of the novel with discussion questions on Harper Perennial website. 

Spark notes
This site will help students with an understanding of themes and characters. It includes chapter summaries, character analysis, and study questions. 

Web English Teacher
Lesson plans for teaching 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald: biography, background on the American Dream, reading comprehension, vocabulary, activities, prompts, and more.

Francis Scott Fitzgerald's Biographies

The Big Read – About the Author (NEA Big Read)
Fitzgerald's biography available on the NEA Big Read website. 

The Big Read – Historical Context (NEA Big Read)
This NEA web page offers information on the life and times of Scott Fitzgerald. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald's Biography
Brief online biography of Scott Fitzgerald.  

A Brief Life of Fitzgerald
by Matthew J. Bruccoli, The F Scott Fitzgerald Society. The author Matthew J. Bruccoli is considered to be the most renowned Fitzgerald scholar. The same biography is available as A Brief Life of Fitzgerald on the University of South Carolina website.

A Fitzgerald Capsule History
This site, made by Minnesota Public Radio, commemorating Fitzgerald's 100th birthday, provides a chronology of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life. 

A Fitzgerald Chronology
This site provides a chronology of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life. 

Fitzgerald's Obituaries
Fitzgerald's obituaries were mixed. There was a general tendency to associate him with the excesses of the Twenties. The respectful obituaries expressed a sense of regret for Fitzgerald's failure to fulfil his promise. None of the assessments predicted that Fitzgerald would be accorded a safe place among the greatest American authors. 

The Fitzgeralds
This site primarily contains biographical information about F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald.

 
Lesson Plans and Activities

This is a suggested teaching schedule for a study of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

It is based on the Big Read suggested lesson plan, with additions from Professor Carlos Dew's course on The Great Gatsby, held at John Cabot University of Rome in 2012.
Audio Guide CDs are available only for the communities participating in The Big Read.
Non-participating communities can listen to the full audio online.

FOCUS: Biography
Activities : Listen to The Big Read Audio Guide, Track One.

Read Reader's Guide essays Write on D'Invilliers quote, which serves as an epigraph.

Homework : Discuss significant details from Fitzgerald's life that influenced the content and or themes revealed in the Great Gatsby.

FOCUS: Setting the scene
Activities: Listen to The Big Read Audio Guide, Track Two.

Go to http://www.neajazzintheschools.org/home.php and listen to Louis Armstrong.
Read Handout One and Handout Three.

Watch the documentary on the Prohibition era at http://www.pbs.org/Kenburns/prohibition.

Homework: Write about the relationship between the cultural era and the novel

FOCUS: Narrative and Point of View
Activities: Explore Nick's narration. Draw Nick's moral profile in the context of the play.

Identify Nick's reactions to the several narrated or acted examples of "misconduct" in the novel.

Compare them to Nick's self-presentation at the beginning of Chapter I and to his statement that "Gatsby turned out all right in the end".

Homework: Write about Nick as a narrator and as a character.

FOCUS: Characters
Activities: Explore the protagonist and antagonist. Examine minor characters who serve as foils. Write about the antagonist. What different male and female models does the novel feature?

Group work: Describe the different characters with reference to social background, social behavior, attitude, moral profile and ambitions.

FOCUS: Figurative Language
Activities: Review the novel, identifying instances of figurative language.

Homework: Write a personal story using techniques of imagery, simile, and metaphor.

FOCUS: Symbols
Activities: Discuss the symbols in the novel. Also see the section on themes, motifs and symbols in www.sparknotes.com . Watch the video C-span video library about God in the great Gatsby www.c-Spanvideo.org/program/169696

Homework: Write an essay on the symbols in the novel.

FOCUS: Character Development
Activities: Explore how characters change within the story. Examine whether the landscape reflects point of view. Read Handout Two.

Write about the novel as a coming-of-age story.

Homework: Chapter 7.

FOCUS: The Plot Unfolds
Activities: Chart a timeline of the story. Develop a plot for the sequel.

Homework: Chapters 8 and 9.

FOCUS: Space in the Great Gatsby
Activities: Analyze different types of space in the novel, external and domestic, and their symbolic often dichotomous character.

Group work: Using pictures from magazines or films students can prepare oral presentations on this topic.

FOCUS: Themes of the Novel
Activities: Have students propose five potential themes to examine more closely. Develop an interpretation based on one of the themes.

Homework: Begin essays. Complete outlines for next class.

FOCUS: What Makes a Book Great?
Activities: Explore the qualities of a great novel and a voice of a generation. Examine the qualities that make Fitzgerald's novel successful. Peer review of paper outlines and drafts
.
Homework: Essay due during the next class period. 

Digital Materials

The Great Gatsby - 2000
Shot in Montreal, Quebec, The Great Gatsby, in 2000 by Robert Markowitz – a made-for-TV movie starring Toby Stephens, Paul Rudd and Mira Sorvino.( 16 parts)

The Great Gatsby - 2012
Official trailer of The Great Gatsby, written and directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Carey Mulligan,  Tobey Maguire. Shot in Sidney, the film is set to be released in cinemas on December 25, 2012 by Warner Bros. Pictures.

The Great Gatsby - ebook
From the on line free library of the University of Adelaide (Au), the ebook is only one of the F.Scott Fitzgerald's section, with all the other finished novels and collection and more than 50 short stories. Supported by most eReader (ePub format)

The Great Gatsby - Audiobook
Recorded Book's anabridged reading of The Great Gatsby narrated by Frank Muller. 

F.Scott Fitzgerald: The Great American Dreamer
This documentary on the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald not only gives insight into Fitzgerald's life, but also gives some background into what was the roaring 20s. (A&E Biography documentary - 4 parts)

American Masters F. Scott Fitzgerald Winter Dreams
This 85-minute biography takes a solemn look at F. Scott Fitzgerald's life and literary legacy. (American Masters – 9 parts)

The Great Gatsby Audio Guide
From the The National Endowment for the Arts' site, here is the guide narrated by Dana Gioia, featuring Matthew J. Bruccoli, Maureen Corrigan, Andrew Sean Greer, Gish Jen, Robert Redford and Sam Waterston.

The Great Gatsby: a summary and Life of Gatsby
Two video summaries by Spark Notes.

Great Gatsby Suite
John Harbison's etudes from the suite ( 1999) commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Great Gatsby's Video Game
Video Game for Nes. From the cover "...It's the roaring '20s and troubles in store for Nick Carraway. It's hard to enjoy a party when you are being chased by wacky waiters, dizzy drinkers, crazy dancers. Now you have to find Gatsby..."

Additional Resources

Fitzgerald's Bibliography
A list of F. Scott and Zelda's publications and of works about them - University of South Carolina.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Centenary Home Page
Several resources including general and bibliographic information.

F. Scott Fitzgerald dies of a heart attack in Hollywood seventy years ago today
Blog post dedicated to F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Reader's Almanac: The Official Blog of the Library of America.

An introduction to F. Scott Fitzgerald and links to his works
Introduction to Francis Scott Fitzgerald with updates by the Open Knowledge Foundation site. 

Pictures by Montgomery related to the Fitzgeralds and Zelda's paintings
From the site Southern Literary Trail: celebrating writers of classic southern literature of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, the diary of the stay of the Fitzgeralds in Montgomery ( Zelda's home town) in October 1931.

Out of Minnesota: Mythography and Generational Poetics in the Writings of Bob Dylan and F. Scott Fitzgerald by Bloom, James D.
A paper comparing two generational writers, Bob Dylan and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Prohibition
A three-minute documentary about Prohibition in the USA in the 20's.

The Jazz Age
A two-minute silent video that captures the spirit  of the 20's.

Flappers and the roaring twenties
A six-minute video about young girls living in the 20's.

Volunteer for Italy Reads

Your international voyage will help others on theirs!

Click here and listen to what some of our Fall 2012 volunteers had to say about their volunteering experience.

 

What is Italy Reads?

Italy Reads is John Cabot University's community-based reading and cultural exchange program that began in 2008 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for The Big Read Rome.

The Big Read Rome was a great success; students from nearly 20 Italian public and international high schools in Rome read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, viewed the film at JCU's "Cinema Mockingbird," attended theater productions by The English Theatre of Rome, and actively participated in book discussions with JCU students.

The success of The Big Read Rome led John Cabot University to expand this American cultural exchange program to a wider Italian high school community and create our own program which we call Italy Reads.

What does a volunteer do?

Teams of JCU student volunteers visit Italian high schools to participate in discussions of the selected novel in English. During the fall semester, volunteers also assisted Italian students in producing a short English-language video on the novel as part of our Italy Reads Video Contest. Students also helped in one of the many events such as the adaptation of the novel for the stage by the Rome English Theatre.

The minimum time commitment expected is about 4 hours during the semester for a high school visit – you are always welcome to do more!

By volunteering, you become more integrated into the Italian community, have the opportunity to consider a significant moment in your own country's history from within an international context, and experience how foreigners interpret American culture. You'll meet Italians and form friendships that we hope will follow you through your life's travels. All volunteers receive a certificate of recognition from John Cabot University to include on their international resumes.

How do I become an Italy Reads volunteer?

First you need to read an American novel! We are pleased to announce that the book for Italy Reads 2012 is F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. The official edition of the book is the Oxford University Press edition (ISBN 978-0199536405).

What next? Follow these quick and easy steps:

Step 1: Fill in the registration form and sign up for the online training course.

Step 2: Read the book.

Step 3: Complete the required on-line training course, which lasts less than 10 hours, before you arrive in Rome. You can find the link below and you will also receive an email with instructions. Once you have completed the short training course, you're ready to volunteer! The training course is designed to familiarize you with the novel so that you can participate in cultural exchange activities with Italian high school students and their teachers during which you will discuss the novel and its author.

When you arrive in Rome, JCU will host an orientation reception for all of the Italy Read volunteers! JCU Staff will guide you along your volunteer experience and place you with a local Italian high school. At the end of your service, you will receive an official certificate of participation.

Eligibility: Italy Reads volunteers, who should be fluent in English, must be enrolled as John Cabot University students. Study abroad students: You are ideal volunteers as this provides you with international service learning experience!

Student Video Contest

Winners of Italy Reads 2012 Student Video Contest Announced!

A joyous crowd of Italian high school students and teachers were in the Aula Magna Regina on December 4th for the Italy Reads 2012 Student Video Contest Awards Ceremony. JCU Professor of Creative Writing, Elizabeth Geoghegan, who coordinates the Italy Reads, welcomed everyone to this established annual film event. Prof. Geoghegan pointed out the extraordinary enthusiasm, creativity, linguistic capability, acting and technical skills demonstrated by these students. Italy Reads received 20 entries to the contest this year from 13 different secondary schools.

Students from high schools in Rome, Anzio and Naples, led by teachers and assisted by trained JCU student volunteers participating in Italy Reads 2012, created short films of their interpretations of Francis Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby. There were two divisions of the contest: one for English language schools and one for non-English language schools (including Italian, French, and German high schools). Professor Elizabeth Geoghegan and Gina Marie Spinelli, JCU Academic Administrative Assistant and Coordinator of Italy Reads, announced the winners of the contest. Each first prize winner received 500 Euros to be spent on a project or activity chosen by the class as a group and approved by the Italy Reads participating teacher. The prize funds must be spent before June 2013 and a report on how the award was spent must be submitted to Italy Reads 2012 by the end of June 2013. All participating classes received a Certificate of Participation.

 Italy Reads 2012 Student Video Contest Award winners in the following categories were:

For English language schools division, there was a tie between two classes. The 1st prize of 500 Euros will be shared equally by:

'The Great Gatsby' , submitted by students of the 9th year and their teacher Anna Madden at St. George's British International School Rome, and

'Shadows of a Page' , submitted by students of the 12th year and their teacher Anna Madden at St. George's British International School Rome.

For Italian Licei division, the 1st prize of 500 Euros was awarded to:

'Two Sides of a Dream' , submitted by students of the V-B and their teacher Fortuna Pappalardo at Liceo Scientifico Statale 'Innocenzo XII'. Judges commented, 'This is hands-down the winner, English institution or no. They adapted the story in order to address a contemporary response to Gatsby and they did it with excellent production values, solid acting (particularly for non-native speakers of English), and editing that was well-paced'.
'It is a more mature story than most.' 

Finalist in this category was awarded to 'The Great Gatsby' , submitted by students of the IV-D and their teacher Cinzia Cetraro at Liceo Scientifico Statale 'Isaac Newton'. Judges commented, 'It was clever to look at Gatsby from a point of view of 20 years after'. 

Best Production Design: 'Dreaming of Gatsby' , submitted by students of the III-E and their teacher Antonella Guaia at Liceo Classico 'Benedetto Da Norcia'.

Best Cinematography: 'Black and White Dream' ,submitted by students of the IV-D and their teacher Marialuisa Garruba at Liceo Scientifico Statale 'Marcello Malpighi'.      

Best Direction and Best Editing: 'Stay moment, you're beautiful - The Great Gatsby' , submitted by students of the III-D and their teacher Rossella Manni at Liceo Ginnasio Statale'E. Q.Visconti'. One of the judges commented, 'I'm fairly certain that this director will make a million dollars well before I do'.   

Best Screenplay: 'Interview after Gatsby's Death' ,submitted by students of the V-CL and their teacher Claudia Cacciò at Liceo Ginnasio Statale 'Immanuel Kant'. The judges commented: 'This is very amusing and original take on the subject.'

Best Actress:

awarded to two students, one from each of the two divisions of the contest:

Eleonor Carpigo from 'Shadows of a Page' , St. George's British International School Rome. Judges said, 'Eleanor Carpigo was a standout among the English speakers with a very fluid and natural delivery.

'Alessia Appignani, from 'Two Sides of a Dream' , Liceo Scientifico Statale 'Innocenzo XII'.

Best Actor:

Nikola Bialkov from 'Two Sides of a Dream'  Liceo Scientifico Statale 'Innocenzo XII'.           

Best Supporting Actresses:

'The Yellow Girls' from 'Interview after Gatsby's Death' , Liceo Ginnasio Statale 'Immanuel Kant'. The judges commented, 'The Yellow Girls delivered very nice comic turns, which is quite a rare talent!'

Best Scenery:

'Interview after Gatsby's Death' , Liceo Ginnasio Statale 'Immanuel Kant'.

On behalf of JCU President, Franco Pavoncello, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Mary Merva, our distinguished selection panel and JCU Italy Reads Volunteers, we would like to congratulate all participants for your impressive work. 

We received many interesting and noteworthy submissions to the Student Video Contest, and we were impressed with the variety of approaches to the task, the skill in production as well as the enthusiasm and dedication with which you worked together to reach your goal. With the limited time available and current civic activities in many of your schools, you all managed to work together to produce a final product of which you can be proud. Our selection panel found it difficult to choose the winning videos from the many entries. 

Thank you again for your participation, and we look forward to working with you all again with Italy Reads 2013. We will soon announce the novel that will be the focus of Italy Reads 2013!

Sincerely,

Gina Marie Spinelli, A.B.
Academic Administrative Assistant
Coordinator for Italy Reads

Click on the title of each video to enjoy the other entries to the Italy Reads 2012 Student Video Contest.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the The International School of Naples and their teacher Toni Sepe.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the II-E, indirizzo linguistico at the 'Istituto Vittoria Colonna di Roma' and their teacher Annalisa Attento.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the II-B at Liceo Ginnasio Statale 'Immanuel Kant' and their teacher Anna Maria Sartori.

  'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the III-B at Liceo Ginnasio Statale 'Immanuel Kant' and their teacher Anna Maria Sartori.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the 5-C Liceo at ISIS 'Enrico De Nicola' (Naples) and their teacher Lolito Peduto.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the 5-A Liceo at ISIS 'Enrico De Nicola' (Naples) and their teacher Lolita Peduto.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the 5-B at ISIS 'Enrico De Nicola' (Naples) and their teacher Lolita Peduto.

'The Great Gatsby'  submitted by students of the 10th year class at St. George's British International School Rome and their teacher Anna Madden.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the IV-DL at Liceo Ginnasio Statale 'Immanuel Kant' and their teacher Alessandra Tedeschini.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the I-D at Liceo Ginnasio Statale 'Dante Alighieri' and their teacher Carla Mummolo.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students of the II-C at Liceo Ginnasio Statale 'Augusto' and their teacher Maria Teresa Ciaffaroni.

'The Great Gatsby' submitted by students at Liceo Ginnasio Statale 'Virgilio' and their teacher Rosamaria Corradi (N.B.: This entry, unfortunately, did not satisfy the contest regulations. However, we were happy to submit it for consideration by the panel of judges outside the competition).