Stefano Ercolino
Literary criticism and comparative literatures

Let’s talk about you: what is your background, what do you teach, and what are your research interests?
My name is Stefano Ercolino. I’m from San Giovanni Rotondo in Puglia. At Ca' Foscari I teach Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature. My main areas of research are history and theory of the novel, European and North American Modernism and Postmodernism, the relationship between literature and philosophy, and critical theory.

Tell us about your academic path.
I graduated and received my PhD from the University of L'Aquila. In the final year of my master's degree, I spent a semester at the University of California, Berkeley and, since then, for a decade I have lived a nomadic and cosmopolitan life, inspiring and fulfilling. I have taught at the Underwood International College of Yonsei University (Seoul, South Korea) and have been a Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester, a DAAD Postdoctoral Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin, a Visiting Researcher at the University of Sydney, and a Fulbright Scholar at Stanford University. In 2018, I finally arrived at Ca' Foscari.

What are your professional role models / references?
First of all, my two mentors: Massimo Fusillo at L'Aquila, and Franco Moretti at Stanford. During and after my studies, I certainly met other colleagues who played an important role in my intellectual and professional growth. To mention them all would be impossible here.

Have you always known that this was going to be your path?
Of course I haven’t. Until I was 16, I believed I wanted to be an astrophysicist. Then, reading a book and a newspaper article - which I will not reveal! - changed everything.

What would you say to young people starting their university career?
Don't be afraid of working hard — don't be lazy! Let your work be driven by passion, think big, be honest with others and yourself. If you follow this approach, you will see the results.

What would you say to young researchers?
Be very, very patient, and try to establish sincere human relationships, as well as professional ones, with the scholars you meet along the way. Academic research is often a senselessly competitive environment; one can feel lonely and lose heart easily. That is why sincere human relationships matter, more than anything else.

Last update: 28/02/2023