Jennifer Scappettone’s work with languages spans scholarly and creative modes of inquiry, and a variety of disciplines—in line with an abiding interest in the material repercussions of built, neglected, and mythologized environments on those who imagine and inhabit them, and the way the literary arts contribute to their shape. Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice, her study of the outmoded city of lagoons as a crucible for experiments across literature, politics, the visual arts, and urbanism, was published by Columbia University Press in 2014 and is shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Association’s annual book award. Poetry collections include From Dame Quickly (Litmus, 2009) and Exit 43, an archaeology of landfill and opera of pop-ups, forthcoming from Atelos Press; a letterpress palimpsest, A Chorus Fosse, is forthcoming from Compline. Her work with contemporary writing in Italy is reflected in a book-length dossier on “poetry of research” in Aufgabe 7 (2008), which she edited; in her translations of the polyglot postwar modernist Amelia Rosselli (for Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli, published by the University of Chicago Press in 2012, and winner of the Academy of American Poets’s Raiziss/De Palchi Book Prize); in developing projects on Futurist F.T. Marinetti and feminist Carla Lonzi; and in PennSound Italiana, an audiovisual sector of the PennSound archive she recently curated and launched, devoted to contemporary experimentalism.
Scappettone’s visual and sound poems have been installed in Berkeley, Brussels, Chicago, Ghent, Nagoya, New York City, Providence, Rome, Turin, and most recently, at WUHO Gallery in Los Angeles, where she wove Leave Loom: A Memory, a room-sized stanza, out of ten months of post-consumer waste. She has collaborated with musicians, dancers, and designers on site-specific projects, including most recently Marco Ariano, Walter Paradiso, and the Difforme Ensemble (on Exit 43 operettas for video and performance), Kathy Westwater and Seung Jae Lee (on the performance work PARK, with showings at Fresh Kills Landfill, Pratt Institute, New York Live Arts, and elsewhere), composer Paul Rudy and AGENCY architecture (on X Locus, documentary sound collages of the underground for the courtyard and tract of Trajan’s aqueduct at the American Academy in Rome).
Scappettone is Associate Professor of English, the Committee on Creative Writing, and Romance Languages and Literatures, and Faculty Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago.