Stefano Mula is Associate Professor of Italian at Middlebury College, VT. He has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Cagliari, Italy, and a Master in Histoire et Civilization from the EHESS in Paris, France. Before joining the Middlebury faculty he taught at the University of Chicago and at Northwestern University, and has been Visiting Professor in the Humanities at the University of Cagliari, Italy, in 2009/2010. His research interests are on medieval narrative, and in particular he concentrates on Cistercian exempla, hagiography, and Arthurian literature.
Stefano has collaborated to the French translation of James of Voragine’s Golden Legend: Jacques de Voragine, Legende Dorée, under the direction of A. Boureau, with M. Goullet and P. Collomb, L. Moulinier and S. Mula (Paris, 2003). Among his publications are ‘Muhammad and the Saints: The History of the Prophet in the Golden Legend,’ Romance Philology 101.2 (2003): 175-188; ‘Looking for an Author: Alberic of Trois Fontaines and the Chronicon Clarevallense’, Cîteaux. Commentarii Cistercienses 60 (2009): 5-25; ‘Les exempla de Pierre Damien et leur diffusion aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles,’ La Tonnerre des exemples. Exempla et médiation culturelle dans l'Occident. M.A. Polo de Beaulieu, P. Collomb, and J. Berlioz, eds. (Rennes, 2010), 161-174; ‘Narrative Structure in Medieval Italian Arthurian Romance.’ In The Arthur of the Italians, Regina Psaki and Gloria Allaire, eds. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2014, 91-104; ‘Exempla and Historiography. Alberic of Trois-Fontaines’ reading of Caesarius’ Dialogus miraculorum.’ In La Persuasion cistercienne, M.A. Polo de Beaulieu, V. Smirnova, eds, Leiden: Brill, 2015, 143-159.
Stefano is currently finishing the critical edition of Herbert of Torres’ Liber visionum et miraculorum Clarevallensium (Turnhout: Brepols, CCCM 227, forthcoming in 2017) in collaboration with Dom Giancarlo Zichi and Graziano Fois. He is also working on a monograph on early Cistercian exempla, tentatively called Between Literature and History: The Medieval Cistercian exemplum (12th -13th C.).
At Middlebury College Stefano has taught a variety of courses in Italian language and literature at all levels, including “La Divina Commedia di Dante” and surveys of Medieval and Modern Italian Literature. He has had the great pleasure to act as Interim Faculty Head for Cook Commons in 2011-2012 and of Brainerd Commons in 2014-2015. He regularly teaches “Introduction to World Literature” courses, and has been Director of the Comparative Literature Program and of the Linguistics Program.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
CMLT0101 - Intro to World Literature
Introduction to World Literature
This course is an introduction to the critical analysis of imaginative literature of the world, the dissemination of themes and myths, and the role of translation as the medium for reaching different cultures. Through the careful reading of selected classic texts from a range of Western and non-Western cultures, students will deepen their understanding and appreciation of the particular texts under consideration, while developing a critical vocabulary with which to discuss and write about these texts, both as unique artistic achievements of individual and empathetic imagination and as works affected by, but also transcending their historical periods. 3 hrs. lect./disc. CMP CW LIT
CMLT0500 - Independent Study
Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
CMLT0700 - Senior Thesis
Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
FYSE1312 - Boccaccio's Decameron ▲
The Decameron by the Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio is a collection of stories ranging from the tragic to the comic, from the holy to the profane. In this seminar we will read Boccaccio’s short stories (novelle), discuss critical studies, analyze in depth the relationship of each novella to the whole work, and study the
Decameron using a variety of theoretical approaches. We will also compare the
Decameron with other famous collections such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the Thousand and One Nights. CW EUR LIT
ITAL0101 - Beginning Italian ▲
This course is an introduction to the Italian language that provides a foundation in both spoken and written Italian. Focus on the spoken language encourages rapid mastery of the basic structures and vocabulary of contemporary Italian. The exclusive use of Italian in dialogue situations and vocabulary building encourages the student to develop skills in a personalized context. Conversation and drill are stimulated and fostered through active reference to popular Italian music, authentic props, and slides of Italian everyday life and culture. Students are required to participate in the Italian table. 6 hrs. disc./perf.; 2 hrs. screen LNG
Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2016
ITAL0102 - Beginning Italian ▹
Beginning Italian II
This course is a continuation of ITAL 0101, and emphasizes spoken and written Italian and the mastery of more complex grammatical structures and vocabulary. Students continue to work with conversation partners, but will also incorporate more specific cultural references in oral presentations and in written assignments. Students attend the Italian table and mandatory film screenings. (ITAL 0101 or equivalent) LNG WTR
Winter 2013, Winter 2017
ITAL0353 - Lit of Migration in Italy ▹
Literature of Migration in Italy
How is Italy changing due to immigration and emigration? Why do immigrants to Italy choose to leave their home countries, and why, on the other hand, do some Italians choose to emigrate from Italy? In this course we will examine contemporary Italy through the lens of migration. Students will read and discuss critical essays and literary texts such as Jhumpa Lahiri’s In altre parole and Igiaba Scego’s Adua, watch movies such as Lamerica, and discuss the cultural, economic, and literary aspects of migration in Italy. (In Italian; ITAL 0252 or by approval) 3 hrs. sem. EUR LIT
ITAL0354 - Italian Identity
Italian Identity through History, Literature, and Music
What does it mean to be “Italian”? What is “campanilismo”? What role do languages and dialects play, and how important is music, from Opera to contemporary songs, in the construction of Italian identity? This course acquaints students with the major 19th to 21st century debates on Italy and Italian Identity, and develops students' linguistic, critical, and analytical skills. readings will introduce literary genres within their historical framework. Special emphasis will be placed on the skill of writing in Italian. (ITAL 0252 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc., 2 hrs. screen. EUR LIT
Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014
ITAL0355 - Medieval/Ren. Italian Lit.
Love, Laughter, and Desire in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature
Through a careful reading of excerpts from the literary masterpieces of the Italian Middle Ages and the Renaissance, we will explore artistic representations of some of the most enduring facets of human experience: love, humor, and desire. How do Medieval and Renaissance texts still communicate with our deepest feelings and emotions, and, in particular, with our perception of love and sexuality? From spiritual to carnal love, from Dante to Boccaccio, we will explore how Italians from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance wrote, talked, and laughed about their loves and desires. (ITAL 0354 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc. 2 hrs. screen. EUR LIT
ITAL0453 - Lit of Migration in Italy ▹
Literature of Migration in Italy
How is Italy changing due to immigration and emigration? Why do immigrants to Italy choose to leave their home countries, and why, on the other hand, do some Italian choose to emigrate from Italy? In this course we will examine contemporary Italy through the lens of migration. Students will read and discuss critical essays and literary texts such as Jhumpa Lahiri’s In altre parole and Igiaba Scego’s Adua, watch movies such as Lamerica, and discuss in class and online the cultural, economic, and literary aspects of migration in Italy. In Italian, Italian 252 or by approval. 3 hrs. Sem. EUR LIT
ITAL0490 - Dante In Italian
Dante in Italian
This course concentrates on a close reading of the whole of Dante's Inferno. Students will learn about the historical and literary context of the work, read excerpts from the Purgatorio and the Paradiso, get acquainted with the long tradition of Dante commentaries, and contribute twice a week to an on-line discussion on the weekly readings. After two short papers that will analyze specific aspects of a canto, students will prepare as a final project a Lectura Dantis: a detailed analysis of a canto of the Inferno that will include critical material. (ITAL 0355 or equivalent) 3 hrs. disc. EUR LIT
Spring 2013, Spring 2015
ITAL0550 - Independent Study ▹
Italian faculty as a group will consider and approve requests by qualified juniors and seniors to engage in independent work. Students must submit a prospectus that includes a bibliography of no less than five sources. Interested students should contact members of the Italian faculty before the end of the preceding term to discuss their project and to see if they are available to direct the Independent Study. Students must submit a prospectus with the department chair by the end of the first week of classesfor fall and spring term approvals, by the end the last week of fall semesterfor winter term approvals. Prior to submission, sufficient advance consultation with project directors is required.Junior students are strongly encouraged to consider independent study as preparation for senior honors thesis work.
Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Winter 2016, Winter 2017
ITAL0755 - Senior Honors
Students majoring in Italian must complete an independent senior project. Italian faculty as a group will consider and approve the proposals, which should be submitted before the last week of the preceding semester. The senior project will be advised by one member of the Italian department, but will be presented to the whole department. Italian honors will be awarded to eligible students depending on the final grade. (Staff)
Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015
LITS0710 - Senior Honors Essay
Senior Honors Essay