Jennifer Scappettone is an artist and scholar whose work revolves around texts performed, translated, and set to the page, with recent projects focused on issues of ecology, labor, and citizenship.
Her critical study, Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice, presents the city of lagoons as a locus of seduction and repulsion for post-Romantic authors—and as a crucible for modernist and postmodern experiments spanning literature, politics, the visual arts, architecture, and urbanism. Killing the Moonlight was published in 2014 by Columbia University Press and received Honorable Mention in the Modernist Studies Association's 2015 book prize competition. Other essays appear in a range of journals, from Critical Inquiry and boundary2 to alfabeta2, Boston Review, Nuovi Argomenti, and Jacket2, and in the collections Dimensions of Citizenship (Biennale di Venezia/e-flux, 2018), Poetics and Precarity (SUNY Press, 2018), The Fate of Difficulty in the Poetry of Our Time (Northwestern, 2017), The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (Princeton, 2012), and Terrain Vague: Interstices at the Edge of the Pale (Routledge, 2013).
Scappettone's poetry collections include From Dame Quickly (Litmus Press, 2009) and several chapbooks: SMOKEPENNY LYRICHORD HEAVENBRED: 2 Acts (The Elephants, 2018),Beauty [Is the New Absurdity] (dusi/e chap kollektiv, 2007), Err-Residence(Bronze Skull, 2007), and Thing Ode / Ode oggettuale (La Camera Verde, 2008), translated into Italian in dialogue with Marco Giovenale. The Republic of Exit 43: Outtakes & Scores from an Archaeology and Pop-Up Opera of the Corporate Dumpis a cross-genre documentary work surrounding her neighborhood Superfund site and other distressed landscapes, published by Atelos Press in 2017.
Scappettone edited Belladonna Elders Series #5: Poetry, Landscape, Apocalypse (Belladonna, 2009), featuring her pop-ups and prose and new writing by Etel Adnan and Lyn Hejinian. Her poetry has been translated into French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, and Spanish and is featured in a range of anthologies, including Best American Experimental Writing2016, edited by Tracie Morris and Charles Bernstein (Wesleyan, 2017), Novas Poéticas de Resistência/Poetics of Resistance, edited by Graça Capinha, Emergency Index, a documentary performance anthology (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012), La alteración del silencio: Poesía norteamericana reciente (Das Kapital, 2010), War and Peace (O Books, 2007, 2009), The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century (2007),Bay Poetics (Faux Press, 2006), and The Best American Poetry 2004 (Scribner, 2004).
Scappettone edited a 125-page dossier on contemporary Italian poetry of research for Aufgabe 7 (2008), now available as a free download, and has translated extensively from the "Babeling deeply moved" of the postwar polyglot author Amelia Rosselli. Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press), which she edited and translated, was awarded the biennial Raiziss/de Palchi Book Prize by the Academy of American Poets and the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs' Translation Prize. She is Editor of PennSound Italiana, a new sector of the audiovisual archive hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, devoted to experimental Italian poetry, past and current.
Scappettone has collaborated with the Difforme Ensemble (Marco Ariano, Renato Ciunfrini, Roberto Fega) on sonic interpretations of Exit 43 and on Fega's Daily Visions, with Judd Morrissey on a web-based animation/reconstellation ofExit 43, and with AGENCY Architecture (Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller) and composer Paul Rudy on the installations X Locus (Cortile) and X Locus (Abluvion) for the courtyard and tract of Trajan’s aqueduct at the American Academy in Rome. In collaboration with choreographer Kathy Westwater and architect Seung Jae Lee she worked on a series of research-based performative acts surrounding the transformation of landfill from a site of trauma to a commons. In-process scores of PARK (the recipient of residencies from the iLAND Foundation, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Millay Colony, Freshkills Park, and other organizations) were presented from 2010-2014 at Dance Theater Workshop, Reed College, Fresh Kills Landfill, Pratt Institute, LentSpace, and elsewhere. With Judd Morrissey, Abraham Avnisan, and Mark Booth, she is working on various iterations of SMOKEPENNY LYRICHORD HEAVENBRED, a collaborative tailings pond of live poetics, augmented and virtual reality tracing the transnational circuits of exploitation entailed in copper mining and salvage.
Scappettone's visual poetry has been exhibited at WUHO Gallery (Los Angeles), Una Vetrina Gallery (Rome), Unione Culturale Antonicelli (Turin), Maison des Cultures (Brussels), Het Zilverhof (Ghent), Worth Ryder Gallery (Berkeley), This is It! Gallery, and Chikusa Subway Space (Nagoya). A range of readings and talks may be found at her PennSound page; you can also find her at @oikost, and various pdfs and links are available at academia.edu.
Scappettone has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Wesleyan University, the University of Virginia Young Writers' Workshop, and the Naropa University Summer Writing Program. She is currently Associate Professor of English, 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. She was in residence at the American Academy in Rome as the Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies in 2010-11, and was a Chandis Securities Fellow at the Huntington Library, Library Grant Recipient at the Getty Research Institute, and Fellow in Literature at the Bogliasco Foundation in 2014-15. In 2016 she shared a Mellon Fellowship with Caroline Bergvall and Judd Morrissey at the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry to work on a project called The Data That We Breathe. In 2018-19 she will be External Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, CIMA Affiliated Fellow at the Civitella Ranieri, and the University of Chicago Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome.