Etta’s experiences teaching Italian university students as a William J. Fulbright scholar, teaching US university students abroad, and her onsite research in Italian archives feed her love for All Things Italy. Gain a taste by subscribing to her newsletter and blog and following on social media. 

A Valentine’s and Presidents’ Day Book: Precious and Adored

Cover of Laskey and Ehrenhalt's book, Precious and Adored Here's a book suited for both Valentine's and Presidents' Day. No, it's not about Abigail and John Adams. Nor is it yet...
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American Literature, Science and STEM Spots

Fried's recent biography of Benjamin Rush, early American "man of science" Mel Ulm's recent review of Stephen Fried's biography of Benjamin Rush prompted me to revisit my writing and research on...
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Timothy Miller on Communes in America, 1975-2000

For anyone interested in alternative communities in the US, Tim Miller's book on the last quarter of the 20th century is a thorough and accessible read. Miller started studying and writing about communal life as...
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Traveling to Monasteries: One Part of a Larger Journey

Last month, I interviewed Paul Green, who left his job and took off on a journey to seventeen Trappist monasteries in the US. The journey resulted in a photo book, Silence is Spoken Here, but...
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Traveling to Trappist Monasteries: An Interview with Paul Green

Tina Moore, at one of many campfires she and Paul Green shared during their journey What if your partner or spouse asked you to quit your job so that you could...
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First Lady Rose Cleveland and Bishop’s Wife Evangeline Whipple: Later Vocations in Italy

Who knew that former US First Lady Rose Cleveland moved to the Tuscan town of Bagni di Lucca, Italy? Or that she lived there with Evangeline Whipple, the widow of an Episcopal Bishop? Intrigued? Historians...
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Cultural Crossings in Denver: Union Station, Ume Tsuda & Others

A few photos on Denver’s Union Station in October prompted a friend to ask for more. My initial post focused on the warm and inviting lights on a cold night, when the winds blasting by the...
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Silence is Spoken Here: Spiritual Journeys & Later Vocations

Last week I talked with friends Paul Green and Tina Moore about their experiences traveling to 17 Trappist Monasteries scattered across the US. Through this journey that zigzagged from Massachusetts to California, they not only...
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Anne Hampton Brewster: Nineteenth-Century News from Rome

Think of Anne Hampton Brewster as a precursor to NPR's Sylvia Poggioli. American, female, news correspondent in Rome,  writing stories followed by many in the US.  The similarities stop there. Brewster, a Philadelphian, left for Italy...
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Let There Be Light: Leaning in to Change

We finally have a “new” antique light in our dining room. After 18-plus years of wanting to gaze upon something other than a 1970s Victorian reproduction chandelier, we have made a change. Some of my...
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More than a Haunted Cemetery: Public Humanities Past & Present

Mausoleum Row, Mount Mora Cemetery, St. Joseph, Missouri A tour at Mount Mora Cemetery in St. Joseph last week gave me much more than a Halloween scare.  It connected me "with...
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Candace Millard and the Library Company

Candace Millard & the Library Company Candace Millard speaks at this year's Library Company of Philadelphia lecture Missouri author Candace Millard speaks at this year’s annual dinner of one of my...
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