Faculty Profile

James McMenamin

Assistant Professor of Italian (2009)

Contact Information


Bosler Hall Room 116


Prof. McMenamin specializes in medieval Italian literature. He has published articles on Dante, Petrarch and Italian lyric poetry. This year, during his sabbatical, he will work on a book project entitled "The Philosophy of the Middle: Dante, Petrarch and Giordano Bruno" where he will explore the philosophical notion of the middle and its applicability in medieval and early modern Italian literature. Prof. McMenamin has participated in the LGBTQQIA Pride@Dickinson Safe Zone Training and is a supporter of the Green Dot Non-Violence Initiative.


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

2014-2015 Academic Year

Fall 2014

ITAL 116 Intermediate Italian
Intensive introduction to conversation and composition, with special attention to grammar review and refinement. Essays, fiction and theater, as well as Italian television and films, provide opportunities to improve familiarity with contemporary Italian language and civilization. Prerequisite: 104 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. This course fulfills the DIV I. b. distribution requirement. Offered every year.