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Michael Papio

Professor and Graduate Program Director of Italian Studies

(413) 545-2314

306 Herter Hall

     M. Papio served as the Director of Italian Studies and as a member of the departmental Executive Committee at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 2006 to 2012. He was director of the Five College Medieval and Renaissance Seminar and a member of the steering committees of the Medieval and Renaissance Certificate Program and the Massachusetts Renaissance Center. He served as the Interim Director of Spanish and Portuguese at UMass Amherst (2011-12) and President of the American Boccaccio Association (2011-14) in addition to serving as the Associate Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures (2012-15), the largest single department in the university. He was also the winner of an NEH Scholarly Editions and Translations grant for 2015-17.


BA, Italian and Spanish, Florida State University
MA, Italian Studies, University of Virginia
PhD, Italian Studies, Brown University

Work in Progress

  • A Critical Edition and Translation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s De montibus, silvis, fontibus, lacubus, fluminibus, stagnis seu paludibus et de nominibus maris (On Mountains, Woods, Springs, Lakes, Rivers, Swamps or Marshes, and on the Names of the Sea), with A. Lloret. To be published, upon final approval, by Cambridge University Press.
  • Editor of: Wlassics, Tibor. Dante’s Inferno: An English Terza Rima Translation for the Close Reader.
  • Giovanni Boccaccio and the Philosophers. A book-length study of Boccaccio's understanding and use of philosophy in his contributions to the development of the theories and practice of literary interpretation in late-medieval and Early-Renaissance Italy. 
  • Boccaccio's Disease. Co-authors F. Galassi and G. Spani. Barnsley and South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Books.
  • Founding member of the Giovanni Boccaccio Paleopathology Program, based at the University of Zurich’s Institute of Evolutionary Medicine. 
  • The Decameron. Tenth Day in Perspective, edited volume. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Selected Digital Humanities Projects

Research Areas

Boccaccio; Dante; Medieval and Early Renaissance Italy; interdependence of literature, culture, philosophy and theology; geocriticism; digital humanities; philology; historical Romance linguistics.


Peer-reviewed journal

  • Editor-in-Chief of Heliotropia, a Forum for Boccaccio Research and Interpretation (and official publication of the American Boccaccio Association). ISSN: 1542-3352. Established in 2003 and affiliated with the ABA in 2007, the journal is classified as a periodical of "fascia A" in Area 10 by Italy's Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca (ANVUR).

Books, translations and edited volumes

  1. The Decameron: A Critical Lexicon. (English translation of Lessico critico decameroniano. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 1995.) R. Bragantini, P. M. Forni and C. Kleinhenz, eds. M. Papio, trans. Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2018.
  2. Poetry Criticism. Vol. 162: Giovanni Boccaccio. Edited volume. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Cengage, 2015.
  3. Heliotropia 700/10. A Boccaccio Anniversary Volume. Edited volume. Milano: LED, 2013.
  4. Pico della Mirandola's Oration on the Dignity of Man. A New Translation and Commentary. Co-authors F. Borghesi and M. Riva. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012. Paperback 2016.
  5. Boccaccio in America. Proceedings of the 2010 International Boccaccio Conference at The University of Massachusetts Amherst. Edited volume, with E. Filosa. Ravenna: Longo, 2012. [link]
  6. Boccaccio's Expositions on Dante's Comedy. Toronto: U. of Toronto Press, 2009.
  7. Concordance to the Decameron (2001).
  8. Keen and Violent Remedies: Social Satire and the Grotesque in Masuccio Salernitano's Novellino. New York: Peter Lang, 2000.

Articles and book chapters

  1. "On Boccaccio's Debt to Stoicism." MLN, forthcoming.
  2. "The Tale of the Three Ill-Starred Sisters (IV.3)." In The Decameron. Fourth Day in Perspective. M. Sherberg, ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, forthcoming.
  3. "Boccaccio e la paleopatologia." Co-authors: F. M. Galassi, G. Spani, E. Varotto, F. Toscano and E. Armocida. Heliotropia 15 (2018): forthcoming. 
  4. "Notes for a Critical Edition of the De montibus and a Few Observations on «Rupibus ex dextris». Co-author: A. Lloret. Studi sul Boccaccio 46 (2018): forthcoming.
  5. "Geospatial Visualizations for the Study of Boccaccio." Humanist Studies & the Digital Age 5.1 (2017): 24-45. [link]
  6. "Giovanni Boccaccio's (1313-1375) Disease and Demise: The Final Untold Tale of Liver and Heart Failure." Co-authors: F. M. Galassi, F. Toscano, E. Armocida, G. Spani and F. J. Rühli. Homo. Journal of Comparative Human Biology 68.4 (2017): 289-97. [link]
  7. "Sulla povertà politica e filosofica del Boccaccio." Heliotropia 12-13 (2015-16): 213-32. [link]
  8. "A Case of Sudden Death in Decameron IV.6: Aortic Dissection or Atrial Myxoma?" Co-authors: F. Toscano, G. Spani, F. J. Rühli and F. M. Galassi. Circulation Research, Journal of the American Heart Association 119 (2016): 187-89. [link]
  9. "'Merus phylosophie succus': Neoplatonic Influences on Boccaccio's Hermeneutics." Medioevo letterario d'Italia 12 (2015): 97-127.
  10. "Boccaccio between Mussato and the Neoplatonists." In Boccaccio 1313-2013. Proceedings of the Second Triennial American Boccaccio Association Conference. F. Ciabattoni, E. Filosa and K. Olson, eds. Ravenna: Longo, 2015. pp. 275-86.
  11. "Un richiamo boeziano nelle opere del Boccaccio." Heliotropia 11 (2014): 65-77. [link]
  12. "An Intimate Self-Portrait (Testamentum)." In Boccaccio: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works. V. Kirkham, M. Sherberg and J. Smarr, eds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013. pp. 341-51.
  13. "On Seneca, Mussato, Trevet and the Boethian 'Tragedies' of the De casibus." Heliotropia 10.1-2 (2013): 47-63. [link]
  14. "Boccaccio: Mythographer, Philosopher, Theologian." In Boccaccio in America: Proceedings of the 2010 International Boccaccio Conference. E. Filosa and M. Papio, eds. Ravenna: Longo, 2012. pp. 123-42. [link]
  15. "The Decameron Web, a Dozen Years Later." Co-author: M. Riva. In Teaching Literature and Language Online. I. Lancashire, ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009. pp. 343-57. 
  16. "¿Cuál será el futuro de la publicación de revistas electrónicas en las humanidades?" La corónica 37.1 (2008): 365-86. [link]
  17. "Reflections on Heliotropia and the Future of E-journal Publishing in the Humanities.” Storicamente 4 (2008). [link]
  18. "Il pericolo che viene dal mare: il Novellino di Masuccio Salernitano tra xenofobia e misoginia." In Mediterranoesis. R. Morosini and C. Perissinotto, eds. Roma: Salerno, 2007. pp. 235-52.
  19. "Masuccio Salernitano’s Gusto dell'orrido." In The Italian Novella. G. Allaire, ed. New York: Routledge, 2003. pp. 119-136. [link]
  20. "Adaptation and Alienation in the Tavianis' Male di luna." Dialoghi 4.1-2 (2000): 119-27. [link]
  21. "Patterns of Meaning in the Decameron. In Approaches to Teaching Boccaccio’s Decameron. J. McGregor, ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2000. pp. 51-62. [link]
  22. "'Non meno di compassion piena che dilettevole': Notes on Compassion in Boccaccio." Italian Quarterly 143-46 (2000): 107-25. [link]
  23. "The «Corpse on a Horse» from a Fabliau to the Nineteenth Century." La questione romantica 7-8 (1999): 111-25. [link]
  24. "La novella tra Testo e Ipertesto: il Decameron come modello." Co-author: M. Riva. In La narrativa italiana dal primato allo scacco. Roma: Carocci, 1998. pp. 65-85.
  25. "Derailment of Closure: The Father-Son Enigma in Fellini." Italica 74.3 (1997): 392-407. [link]
  26. "Dante's Re-education of Conscience (Paradiso XVII)." Lectura Dantis 18-19 (1996): 91-110. [link]