James Coleman

  • Assistant Professor of Italian
  • On research leave as "Villa I Tatti" Fellow during Academic Year 2019-2020


1317 H Cathedral of Learning

Area of Interest

Medieval and Renaissance Italian literature; Classical reception; Intersections of literature, philosophy, and politics; Renaissance humanism and Islam


PhD, Italian Literature, Yale University
MA, Italian Literature, Middlebury College
BA, Classics, Yale University


Research Interests & Fields of Study

Medieval and early modern Italian literature
Early modern reception of the classics
Intersections of literature, philosophy, and politics
Orphic literature
Italian Humanism and Islam
Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio and their reception



Undergraduate courses on topics including Machiavelli, Italian theater, travel literature, Italian opera, food and culture in Italy, Galileo and the scientific revolution, and the city of Rome in literature and film, as well as Italian language courses at all levels.


Graduate seminars on topics including Petrarch, humanism, and the early modern reception of classical texts.

Selected Publications

Luigi Pulci in Renaissance Florence and Beyond: New Perspectives on his Poetry and Influence, co-ed. and introd. with Andrea Moudarres. Turnhout: Brepols, 2018.

"Translating Impiety: Girolamo Frachetta and the First Vernacular Commentary on Lucretius." Quaderni d'Italianistica 35.1 (2014): 55-72.

"Boccaccio's Humanistic Ethnography (De Canaria)." Boccaccio: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works. Ed. V. Kirkham, M. Sherberg, and J. Smarr. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

“Furor and Philology in the Poetics of Angelo Poliziano.” New Worlds and the Italian Renaissance. Leiden: Brill, 2012: 251-289.

“Observations on Vico as Reader of Lucretius.” New Vico Studies 25 (2007): 35-51.

“Mitomania e metamorfosi di Olimpia." Paragone Letteratura 48, 49, 50 (August - December 2003): 114-125.