TALK: Breaching the Walls of the Republic: The Chorus Line as Discipline & Dissident Citizenship in a Time of Twitler

Jennifer Scappettone will give a talk on the digging, weaving and weaponization of language collectives in epochs of political stoppage: broken obsolete choruses [cori spezzati] singing rot vs. undead plastic despotic corporate persons, to breach the walls of the (evermore-becoming-sham) Republic. Poets invoked, implicitly or explicitly, will include Sophocles, Hölderlin, Anne Carson, Lewis Carroll, Berthold Brecht, Al Dubin, Eelu Kiviranta, Joe Hill, Arturo Giovannitti, Benito Mussolini, Amelia Rosselli, Gwendolyn Brooks, and LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs.

Jennifer Scappettone

Jennifer Scappettone works at the crossroads of writing, translation, and scholarly research, on the page and off. She is the author of the hybrid-genre verse books From Dame Quickly (Litmus Press, 2009) and The Republic of Exit 43: Outtakes & Scores from an Archaeology and Pop-Up Opera of the Corporate Dump (just out from Atelos Press), and of the scholarly monograph Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice (Columbia University Press, 2014). Her translations from the Italian of the polyglot poet and musicologist Amelia Rosselli are collected in Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli, winner of the Academy of American Poets’s biennial Raiziss/De Palchi Book Prize; she is now at work on translating futurist F.T. Marinetti and feminist Carla Lonzi.


She founded, and curates, PennSound Italiana, a new sector of the audiovisual archive based at the University of Pennsylvania devoted to experimental Italian poetry. Installation pieces were exhibited most recently at Una Vetrina Gallery in Rome and WUHO Gallery in Los Angeles, and she has collaborated with musicians, architects, and dancers on performance works engaging with sites ranging from a tract of Trajan’s aqueduct on Rome’s Janiculum Hill to New York’s Fresh Kills Landfill. In 2016, she shared a Mellon Fellowship for Arts and Scholarship with Caroline Bergvall and Judd Morrissey to work on a project called The Data That We Breathe at Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. Scappettone is Associate Professor of English, Creative Writing, and Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago.