Faculty Profile

Jimmy McMenamin

Associate Professor of Italian (2009)

Contact Information


Bosler Hall Room 116


Prof. McMenamin specializes in medieval and renaissance Italian literature. He has published articles on Dante, Petrarch, and Italian lyric poetry and is interested in questions concerning medieval philosophy. In the fall, Prof. McMenamin will be teaching a medieval/renaissance survey of Italian literature (IT301: The Discourse of Love) and a beginner Italian language course (IT102). In the spring, he will teach a topics course on Dante's 'Divine Comedy' (IT322) and a Senior Seminar on Boccaccio's 'Decameron' (IT400). Prof. McMenamin has participated in the LGBTQQIA Pride@Dickinson Safe Zone Training.


  • B.A., Middlebury College, 1996
  • M.A., 1997
  • Laurea, Universit√† degli Studi di Firenze, 2001
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 2008

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

ITAL 102 Elementary Italian
Intensive study of the fundamentals of Italian grammar, with a view to developing reading, writing, speaking, and understanding skills. Laboratory and other audiovisual techniques are used. Cultural elements are stressed as a context for the assimilation of the language.Prerequisite: 101 or the equivalent

ITAL 301 The Discourse of Love
What is Love? Through a diverse selection of works from authors such as St. Francis, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Lorenzo de' Medici, Pietro Aretino, Gaspara Stampa, and Veronica Franco, students will examine the nature of love from a variety of perspectives. From the spirituality of religion to the physicality of desire and attraction, this course will confront topics such as the medieval and Renaissance ideas of love (courtly love, the Dolce Stil Novo, and love sickness), theological notions of love (charity), different expressions of love (heterosexuality, same-sex attraction and polyamory), and transgressive types of love (lust, adultery, and prostitution). This course is taught in Italian. Prerequisites: 231 and 232, or permission of the instructor. Offered every year.

Spring 2017

ITAL 231 Read/Writ Contemp Ital Culture
Designed to increase student's awareness of various rhetorical conventions and command of written Italian through analysis and imitation of model texts of a literary and non-literary nature. Two and a half hours classroom and one hour laboratory per week. Prerequisite: 201 or the equivalent.

ITAL 400 Boccaccio's "Decameron"
This course will focus on Boccaccio's Decameron with a critical eye on the construction of the text and the stylistic complexity of the individual novelle. Students will be guided to study the use of rhetoric as a means of empowerment from a variety of perspectives. The course will culminate in a research project of interdisciplinary nature that reflects each student’s personal interests.