Rommany Jenkins

PhD title: The origin and role of sospiro in the poetry of Guido Cavalcanti

Supervisors: Dr Paolo De Ventura and Dr Ita MacCarthy


I completed a BA in Classics and Italian at Durham University before taking the MA in Italian Studies: Culture and Communication hosted jointly by Birmingham and Warwick Universities. My masters dissertation focused on the keyword spirito in Cavalcanti’s poetry, thereby laying the foundation for my PhD thesis.

In the Italian department, I currently teach on the 2nd year MOMD Italian language (intermediate) course. I also teach Dante Seminars for the 1st year Landmarks in European Literature course in English department.

Research project

My PhD thesis focuses on the origin and role of the keyword sospiro in the poetry of Guido Cavalcanti. In order to better understand the influences in Cavalcanti’s work, I examine sospiro in three main contexts; medicine, philosophy and the earlier poetical tradition. By conducting a close examination of the function of sospiro in each context my research exposes the breadth of meaning to be found within Cavalcanti’s work.

I am currently in receipt of a scholarship from the ‘Il Circolo’ Italian Cultural Association.