Associate Professor of Italian
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 has previously taught at the University of Chicago, at the Northwestern University and at the University of Cagliari, Italy, as Visiting Professor in the Humanities. 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; ‘Dinadan Abroad: Tradition and Innovation for a Counter-Hero’ in The European Dimension of Arthurian Literature (Arthurian Literature 24), B. Besamusca and F. Brandsma eds. (Woodbridge, UK, 2007): 50-64; ‘Looking for an Author: Alberic of Trois Fontaines and the Chronicon Clarevallense’, Cîteaux. Commentarii Cistercienses 60 (2009): 5-25; ‘Herbert de Torrès et l’autoreprésentation de l’ordre cistercien dans les recueils d’exempla,’ La Tonnerre des exemples. Exempla et médiation culturelle dans l'Occident. M.A. Polo de Beaulieu, P. Collomb, and J. Berlioz, eds. (Rennes, 2010), 187-199; ‘Geography and the Early Cistercian Exempla Collections,’ Cistercian Studies Quarterly 46.1 (2011): 27-43.
Stefano is currently finishing the edition of Herbert of Torres’ Liber visionum et miraculorum Clarevallensium in collaboration with Dom Giancarlo Zichi and Graziano Fois and 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 during the Academic year 2011-2012. He regularly teaches “Introduction to World Literature” courses, and is the 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]
CMLT 0101 - 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.
Spring 2012, Spring 2014
CMLT 0500 - Independent Study ▹
Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
CMLT 0700 - Senior Thesis ▹
Fall 2013, Spring 2014
FYSE 1312 - Boccaccio's Decameron
Narrating the World: Bocaccio'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 course 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.
INTL 0702 - EUS Senior Thesis
European Studies Senior Thesis
Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Winter 2012
ITAL 0101 - Intensive Beginning Italian
Intensive 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
Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ITAL 0102 - Intensive Beginning Italian
Intensive 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)
Winter 2011, Winter 2013
ITAL 0354 - Epoche I: il Periodo Moderno
Epoche della letteratura italiana I: introduzione al periodo moderno
This course acquaints students with the major 19th and 20th century works and movements and develops the students' linguistic, critical, and analytical skills. The readings will introduce literary genres within a chronological framework. Special emphasis will be placed on the skill of writing in Italian. (ITAL 0252 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc., 2 hrs. screen.
Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013
ITAL 0355 - Epoche II: Medioevo-Rinascimen ▹
Epoche della letteratura italiana II: introduzione al Medioevo e al Rinascimento
While continuing to develop critical and analytical skills through a careful reading of excerpts from the literary masterpieces of the Italian Middle Ages and the Renaissance, students will explore the artistic representations of one of the most enduring facets of human experience: love. Love in all its nuances, as spiritual ecstasy, volatile emotion, intellectual construction, erotic drive, insane passion, and comic interaction, has in fact dominated Italian literature and culture for centuries. Why has Italian culture produced such conflicting representations of love? How do Medieval and Renaissance texts still communicate with our deepest feelings and emotions, and, in particular, with our perception of love and sexuality? Through selective readings of Medieval prose and poetry by Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch, and of Renaissance works by Machiavelli, Ariosto, and Tasso, this course will address and discuss these questions. The analysis of visual culture (medieval and Renassance art; contemporary films based on the original literary texts) will complement the readings. (ITAL 0354 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc. 2 hrs. screen.
ITAL 0490 - 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.
Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013
ITAL 0550 - 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 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014
ITAL 0755 - Senior Honors ▹
As prerequisite, students must have an A- or above average in Italian courses and a B overall average to be considered for honors work. They may achieve honors through a one-credit thesis of 25 or more pages, whose work may extend over one or more semesters, or through a comprehensive exam. Italian faculty as a group will consider and approve requests by qualified juniors and seniors to engage in honors work.
Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
LITP 0101 - Intro 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