Italy Reads

Calendar of Events

Registration is required for all events. All activities are in English and are online unless otherwise specified. Please return to this page for updates during the academic year. Italy Reads offers opportunities for high school students to acquire valuable experience in the context of Percorsi per le Competenze Trasversali e per l'Orientamento (PCTO) / Pathways for Transversal Skills and Orientation.

Each year, nearly 200 teachers and their students participate in Italy Reads or one of the other Programs for High Schools offered free of charge by John Cabot University. Many students earn a significant number of hours for PCTO for their participation in Italy Reads.

See Programs for High Schools or Programmi per le Scuole for more information or contact [email protected].

Italy Reads 2023-2024 Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

All Italy Reads participants are invited to consult the page Italy Reads Resources for Teachers. This collection of resources is compiled each year by the JCU librarians. It includes the presentations of Lesson Plans on the author and the work prepared by JCU professors and by Italy Reads high school teachers who attended the relevant Professional Development Course during the preceding Spring Session.

Tuesday, September 19 and 26, 2023, 5:00-7:00pm. High school teachers of all subjects throughout Italy are invited to learn about the resources available to them and their students with JCU's Programs for High Schools. Proposed lessons for teaching Spoon River Anthology will be presented by teachers who attended the Professional Development Course last spring. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023, 6:30-8:00pm. This public event is the annual kick-off for the Italy Reads Program. Dr. Jason Stacy.  The event will take place in-person in the Aula Magna Regina, via della Lungara 233. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 4:30-5:30pm. Students Interview Keynote speaker. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 6:00-7:30pm. Master Class for Teachers with Jason Stacy. 

Friday, October 13, 2023, 10:30am-12:00pm. Italy Reads Guest Lecture Capturing Your Ideas About 'Spoon River Anthology' in a 3-minute Video with Jenn Lindsay. 

Jason Stacy

Jason Stacy, Ph.D., Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Keynote Address 

Professor Stacy is Professor of History and Social Science Pedagogy at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (U.S.A.). His interest, training, and research make him a particularly valuable Keynote Speaker for this year's 13th edition of Italy Reads. In addition to his extensive academic work on Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass was the focus of Italy Reads 2019), Professor Stacy has written Spoon River America: Edgar Lee Masters and the Myth of the American Small Town, University of Illinois Press, 2021.

Interview and Digital Newsletter Project 

Students attend public lectures, interview speakers, and work in teams to create a digital summary of their work. This activity is ongoing from October through February. Teachers interested in enrolling their students in this project should register for the Italy Reads program.

12 February, 9:00am. Deadline to submit Digital Newsletters
15 February, 3:30-5:00pm, (Online). Students will present their final work and answer questions from their audience.

Volunteer Mentors 

October through April: JCU students meet with high school students, in-person or online, to discuss (in English) Spoon River Anthology by E.L. Masters, the life of the author and the social context in which the book was written, and its relevance to today. Topics of discussions may include: the literary structure of the epitaph and the poem, comparison between the historic context and social structure illustrated in the book with today's society, the role of women, etc...

JCU students: Visit the Volunteer for Italy Reads page for more information and scheduled training sessions.

High school teachers: Register to participate in the Italy Reads Program and receive more information using the Italy Reads Teacher Registration Form. Visits to high schools by JCU Italy Reads Volunteer Mentors can be scheduled to take place in-person and/or remotely from October through April. The frequency of these meetings is based on the academic schedules of the JCU students.

Professional Development Course for Teachers

Each year, Italy Reads offers a Professional Development Course for High School Teachers who plan to include the selected work in their academic program. This 30-hour course is delivered online and is free-of-charge. Completion of this course is not required for participation in the program the following academic year, but it is an excellent opportunity for teachers to study the author and the literary work in depth with colleagues and a JCU professor.

The aim of this annual course is to prepare teachers to engage their students in the study of this work from literary and interdisciplinary perspectives. The course introduces background information on the author and the social and literary context in which they wrote. During the course, teachers exchange best practices in teaching and considerations specific to their teaching realities. 

The outcome of this course, which takes place from January through April, is specific Sample Lesson Plans developed by the recipients of this Italy Reads Scholarship for High School Teachers. In addition to the Resources for Teachers gathered by staff at JCU's Frohring Library, these Sample Lessons provide specific didactic approaches proposed by these Italy Reads Scholars. Resources for Teachers are available for use by all Italy Reads participants. 

Italy Reads 2024-2025 The Autobiography Of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
Apply before 11 January 2024 (N.B.: you will need to use a gmail address). Details, course schedule, and application form will be published on this page in October. The Professional Development Course in preparation for Italy Reads 2024-2025 will be held from January 15, through May 10, 2024 (Online, Zoom, in English, and free of charge). 

Eligibility: Teachers of all subjects at high school (Scuole Superiori di Secondo Grado) and retired former Italy Reads teachers.
Instructors: TBD
Official text: This work is in the public domain and can be downloaded in a variety of formats from the Internet Archive.
Format of course: Online seminar, weekly synchronous meetings, time: TBD
Outcome: Participating teachers will submit a Sample Lesson Plans they intend to use with their students to be shared with all teachers interested in joining the program. These presentations will be published on the Italy Reads Resources for Teachers page on the John Cabot University website.
Certification: 30 hours for Professional Development will be provided to teachers upon completion of the course and course outcome.

Student Video Contest

A Video Production Tutorial available online. Italy Reads registered teachers can request access to this material for their students. A gmail account is necessary to access this material through a dedicated Google Classroom. Write to [email protected]

31 January, 11:59pm, Deadline to submit entries. Read about the Student Video Contest and submit your video. The Italy Reads Student Video Contest is the culmination of a months of activities between high schools and JCU's Italy Reads Program centered around the work and life the selected author. Students: submit your entries following the instructions and using the Video Contest Submission Form. N.B.: One submission per video, please.

21 March, 7:00-8:00pm, Italy Reads Student Video Contest Award Ceremony.

Italy Reads Theatre 

In collaboration with Gaby Ford and The English Theatre of Rome. Performances of an adaptation of Spoon River Anthology (in English): 24 February - 10 March.   

5 December, Deadline for teachers to  purchase group tickets for their students to attend a performance. After this date, seats cannot be reserved for groups. They will be made available to the general public and will need to be purchase individually.


  • Italy Reads is featured in The Margaret Fuller Society's Newsletter Conversations, Fall 2022. The long-standing Italy Reads program is honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Margaret Fuller Society.
  • Italy Reads Professional Development Course for High School Teachers (for 2023-2024, Spoon River Anthology), Jan.-May 2023
  • Interview and Digital Newsletter project presentations by students, 22 Feb.
  • Italy Reads Student Video Contest Award Ceremony, 16 March
  • Italy Reads Video Production Workshop, at JCU, 19 Dec.
  • Guest Lecture, 14 Dec.,6pm, (Online), Cultural Diversity, Ms. Pilar Murguia, Director of Student Services, John Cabot University.
  • Guest Lecture, 23 Nov., 6pm, (Online), Indigenous Peoples of Northern America - Then and Now. Professor Andrea Lanzone, Assistant Dean for Student Academic Affairs, John Cabot University.  
  • Italy Reads Theatre performances by The English Theatre of Rome, November
  • Master Class for Teachers, 27 Oct.
  • Keynote Address, 18 Oct.
  • Teacher Training Workshop on Summer on the Lakes in 1843,  26 May, 22 Sept. 2022, 14 Oct.
  • Spring 2022 Italy Reads Professional Development Course - Teaching with Margaret Fuller's Summer on the Lakes in 1843 with Professor Jenn Lindsay.