Stefano Selenu

Senior Lecturer, Italian

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 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 Italian literature and culture as well as Mediterranean interculturality in Dante and Boccaccio. 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 245: Florence and Renaissance Civilization (in English)

ITA 102: Elementary Italian Language II


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

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

ITA 101: Elementary Italian Language I

ITA 102: Elementary Italian Language II

ITA 202: Intermediate Italian Language II

CAS101: 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.



Ideas: Dante, Gramsci e il sardo comune, Sassari: EDES, 2017


De-vulgarizing the Vulgar: Language, Exile, and Poetry of Praxis in Dante (tentative title)

Journal Articles

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

“Reading Dante Impolitically: Gramsci’s Contrapuntal Criticism of Inferno 10,” to be published in a special issue of Mediaevalia dedicated to political readings of Dante edited by Dennis Looney and Donatella Stocchi Perucchio, 15000 words (forthcoming)

“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

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, 1000 words