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Stefano Selenu

Stefano Selenu

Assistant Teaching Professor of Italian Language, Literature, and Culture and Coordinator of the Italian Language Program
Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

334 HB Crouse Hall

    Research and Teaching Interests

    Stefano Selenu holds an Italian laurea (cum laude) in Philosophy from the University of Bologna and a PhD in Italian Studies from Brown University. Before joining Syracuse University, he taught Italian language and literature at Brown, Wellesley College, Cornell University, and the University of Oklahoma. His teaching interests include Italian language and culture at all levels and literature courses on Dante, Medieval-Renaissance culture, and Italian theory. His research focuses on the role of language and political thought in medieval-Renaissance Italian literature and culture as well as Mediterranean interculturality in Dante and Boccaccio. He has recently been the recipient of one of the two Special Collections Research Center Faculty Fellowships to redesign his course on "Florence and Renaissance Civilization" through extensive use of archival materials ( He has published essays on Dante and Antonio Gramsci and he is the author of the book, Ideas: Dante, Gramsci e il sardo comune (2017), which was awarded the Antonio Gramsci Prize in 2005. He is also completing a second manuscript with the tentative title De-vulgarizing the Vulgar: Language, Exile, and Poetry of Praxis in Dante.



    LIT 300: Digital Literature (in English)

    ITA 102: Italian Language II


    LIT 300: Machiavelli and Modernity (in English)

    LIT 300: Boccaccio and the Mediterranean

    LIT 245: Florence and Renaissance Civilization (in English)

    LIT 241: Dante and the Medieval World (in English)

    ITA 326: Italy Today: Language, Media, and Culture in Contemporary Italy (in Italian)

    ITA 101: Italian Language I

    ITA 102: Italian Language II

    ITA 202: Italian Language III

    CAS 101: First-year Forum on the importance of learning languages, literatures, and the Humanities


    • Ph.D. and M.A., Italian Studies, Brown University, (2010)
    • Laurea in Philosophy (cum laude), Università di Bologna, Italy (2003)
    • Erasmus Program in Semiotics and Media Studies (directors in Bologna: Prof. Umberto Eco and Costantino Marmo), University of Bremen, Germany (2000-2001)


    • Assistant Teaching Professor of Italian Language, Literature, and Culture, Syracuse University, 2016-present
    • Senior Lecturer of Italian Language, Literature, and Culture, Syracuse University, 2015-6
    • Visiting Assistant Professor, Italian, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, University of Oklahoma, 2014-5
    • Visiting Lecturer, Italian, Department of Romance Studies, Cornell University, 2011-2013
    • Visiting Lecturer, Department of Italian Studies, Wellesley College, 2010-2011

    Journal Articles

    “Mediterranean Counterpoints: Love, Authority, and Language across the (mis-)Adventures of Decameron V.2,” to be published in The Decameron: Firth Day in Perspective, edited by Jason Houston, Toronto: University of Toronto Press (forthcoming)

    “Reading Dante Impolitically: Gramsci’s Contrapuntal Criticism of Inferno 10,” in Dante Politico: Ideological Reception across Boundaries, a special issue of Mediaevalia: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Medieval Studies Worldwide, guest edited by Dennis Looney and Donatella Stocchi Perucchio, 38 (2017): 209-248 

    “Lost in Translation: The Expression 'gente volgare' in Dante's Works,” L'Alighieri, 49.1 (2017), 101-122

    “Nella caccia della lingua: la gioia di Dante e lo spettro di Babele tra volgare, vita e arti meccaniche,” Dante Studies, vol. 132 (2014), 59-85

    “In Search of a Postcolonial Gramsci: Method, Thought, and Intellectuals,” Postcolonial Studies, 16.1 (2013), 102-9

    Grammatica, logica e storia in Antonio Gramsci,” in Mauro Pala, ed. Americanismi: Sulla ricezione del pensiero di Gramsci in America, Cagliari: CUEC, 2009, 195-212

    “Ives and Gramsci in Dialogue. Vernacular Subalternity, Cultural Interferences, and the Word-Thing Interdependence,” Rethinking Marxism, 21.3 (2009), 344-354

    “Elaborando le tracce della storia. Linguaggio, metafora e alterità in Antonio Gramsci,” in Barnaba Maj and Rossana Lista, ed. Sulla “traccia” di Michel de Certeau. Interpretazioni e percorsi, “Discipline Filosofiche,” 1 (2008), 115-133

    Encyclopedia/catalogues entries, book introductions and reviews

    Review of Francesco Ciabattoni and Pier Massimo Forni, eds. The "Decameron:" Third Day in Perspective
    , Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014, Italica, 95.3 (forthcoming)

    Borrowed Light, or 'Post-' in Light of the Past,” review essay on Timothy Brennan, Borrowed Light: Vico, Hegel, and the Colonies (Stanford UP, 2014), published in Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures, 71.3 (2017), 166-170

    Book review of Gennaro Sasso, La lingua, la Bibbia, la storia: Su De vulgari eloquentia I (Rome: Viella, 2015), Renaissance Quarterly, 69.3 (2016), 1175-1176

    “Benedetto Croce,” in Gregory Castle, ed. Literary Theory from 1900-1966. Volume I of the Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory (General Editor Michael Ryan), Oxford: Blackwell, 2011