Photo of Stiliana Milkova
  • Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian


  • AB, Brown University
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley


Stiliana Milkova works on nineteenth-century Russian and Bulgarian literatures, on contemporary Italian literature, on the relationship between literature, the visual arts, and architecture, and on literary translation. She has published scholarly articles on ekphrasis in Gogol, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky, on Gogol’s Grand Tour, on the Bulgarian writer Konstantin Velichkov, and on Soviet literature. Her research on Italian writer Elena Ferrante has been published in American and Italian scholarly journals such as Italian Culture, California Italian Studies, Contemporanea, and Allegoria. Milkova has translated from Italian works by Alessandro Baricco, Antonio Tabucchi, Anita Raja, Dario Voltolini, and Andrea Raos, among others. Her book on Elena Ferrante is forthcoming.

At Oberlin, Milkova teaches the introduction to Comparative Literature, as well as courses on literature and the visual arts, on literature and architecture, on the figure of the femme fatale, on contemporary Italian literature (both in Italian and in translation), and on literary translation. She has curated three teaching exhibitions at the Allen Memorial Art Museum: Italy on Paper; On the Threshold: Doors and Windows Represented; and Women Bound and Unbound.

Milkova is also the editor of Reading in Translation, an online journal dedicated to reviewing translated literature.

  • Comparative Literature
  • Literature, visual arts, architecture
  • Literary Translation
  • Italian literature
  • Femmes Fatales

  • Literature, visual arts, and architecture
  • Contemporary Italian Literature
  • Elena Ferrante
  • Theories and Representations of Disgust


  • Stiliana Milkova Publishes Essay

    July 28, 2020

    Stiliana Milkova, associate professor of comparative literature and Italian,  published an essay on the HBO TV series "My Brilliant Friend" in Arcade

  • Stiliana Milkova Interviewed

    June 25, 2020

    Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian Stiliana Milkova was interviewed in Italian about the RAI/HBO TV series "My Brilliant Friend." In her interview, Milkova discusses a key change in the adaptation of the TV series from Elena Ferrante's eponymous cycle of four novels. Milkova also reflectes on the role of place and space in Ferrante's novels.

  • Stiliana Milkova Publishes Translation of Interview

    June 4, 2020

    Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian Stiliana Milkova published a translation from Italian of a long interview with the Italian feminist philosopher Adriana Cavarero in the scholarly journal Narrative (2020).

  • Stiliana Milkova Publishes Essay

    April 24, 2020

    Stiliana Milkova, assistant professor of comparative literature and Italian, published an essay in the Michigan Quarterly Review, reflecting on the pandemic, translation, and the myths of reading and creativity.

  • Stiliana Milkova Speaks at Seminar and is Nominated for Pushcart Prize

    December 13, 2019

    Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian Stiliana Milkova was an invited speaker at the "Global Ferrante" seminar in Siena, Italy. You can watch her presentation in Italian.

    Milkova's translation of Alessandro Baricco's "The Boodman Syndrome" was nominated for a 2019 Pushcart Prize.

  • Stiliana Milkova Reviews Volume of Essays

    November 22, 2019

    Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian Stiliana Milkova reviewed Elena Ferrante's new volume of essays Incidental Inventions.

  • Stiliana Milkova Publishes Two Translations from Italian

    October 14, 2019

    Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian Stiliana Milkova publishes two translations from Italian: Alessandro Baricco's "The Boodman Syndrome" in the Arkansas International and Dario Voltolini's "At Obrycki's" in Michigan Quarterly Review.

  • Stiliana Milkova Co-Organizes International Conference

    June 23, 2019

    Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian Stiliana Milkova co-organized the first international conference on Elena Ferrante, held June 7-8, 2019 at Durham University (UK). The conference gathered scholars from around the world to discuss the global phenomenon of the contemporary Italian writer whose identity is unknown. In spring 2019, Professor Milkova taught a related course titled The Global Phenomenon of Elena Ferrante.

  • Stiliana Milkova Publishes Article

    April 6, 2019

    Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature Stiliana Milkova published an article in the prestigious Italian scholarly journal Contemporanea. Written in Italian and titled "Il Minotauro e la doppia Arianna: Spazio liminale, labirinto urbano e città femminile," the article proposes the city, and more specifically the city as labyrinth, as a framework for analyzing Elena Ferrante’s novels.

  • Stiliana Milkova Gives Invited Lecture

    April 3, 2019

    Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature Stiliana Milkova gave an invited lecture at New York University's Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò titled "Ariadne and the Minotaur: Literal and Symbolic Labyrinth in Elena Ferrante's 'My Brilliant Friend'." Oberlin alumni and current students were in attendance. The talk was recorded and can be accessed here.

    Professor Milkova was also an invited participant in a round table on Elena Ferrante at Rutgers University where she joined a conversation about the study of Ferrante's works.

  • Stiliana Milkova Interviewed

    April 18, 2017

    Stiliana Milkova, assistant professor of comparative literature, was interviewed on "Fahrenheit," the leading program about culture and literature which is broadcast on Italian national radio. The interview covered the first international conference about the author Elena Ferrante which took place on April 7, 2017 in Naples, Italy. Professor Milkova was an invited participant at the conference.

    The podcast of the interview (in Italian) can be heard here.

  • Stiliana Milkova Organizes Seminars

    April 10, 2014

    Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature Stiliana Milkova organized two two-day seminars on "Frames in Literature and Across the Arts" at the convention of the American Comparative Literature Association at New York University, which ran from March 20 to 23. She also presented a paper on literary frames in Gogol, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky. 


Teaching in the New Normal: Translation Symposium

April 26, 2020
These days, the classroom has taken on new meaning for both faculty and students at Oberlin. In this edition of Teaching in the New Normal, Professor Kirk Ormand describes how this year’s Translation Symposium looked different than in years past.