Jennifer Scappettone - "The Republic of Exit 43" - Lauren Berlant

"A book written against a copper and bacterial backdrop or cloth or hologram or site. To breach, to fluoresce: and in this way: the book performs its conductivity and tenderness as a relationship to suffering that resembles justice. I was deeply moved by Jennifer Scappettone's book. Book as voltage: the colors yellow and silver, red and black. Another color, a color we cannot see, a color there's no word for: folded many times. The pressure before the word arrives. The wet paper. How the fold decays and becomes a part of this other landscape. What is possible in this moment, in this light, at this time? Images hold one kind of memory in Scappettone's book; narrative another. The larger question of territory is placed next to the landfill, for example: the labyrinth, the space beneath or between. The air. The particles of the air. And, after all this time, the ground."—Bhanu Kapil

Jennifer Scappettone discusses The Republic of Exit 43: Outtakes & Scores from an Archaeology and Pop-Up Opera of the Corporate Dump. She will be joined in conversation with Lauren Berlant.

Presented in partnership with the Program in Poetry and Poetics

At the Co-op

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About the book: Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Art. Photography. Hybrid Genre. Performance Studies. Includes 32 pages of full–color textscapes, 25 half–tone documentary photos, and cover art by the author.

The Republic of Exit 43 is a verbal/visual archaeology of the hazardous waste sites across the street from home and school, tucked behind the portal of an expressway: domains mute and seemingly inert. Composting Alice's adventures underground, verse channels unearthed disputes surrounding a noxious landfill and adjoining copper rod mill through the throats of nether and overworlds, from Eurydice to CEOs—mining landscape as retribution, baffle, legal battle and real estate speculation, deregulation, rogue digging and pastoral pipe dreams on the part of the harmed. Amidst the stupefaction of innumerable private and state ruses, these pages lay out how the entrails of postwar industry might be reclaimed toward a music of non–consensual citizenship where poetry is unregulated and fully integral.

About the author: Jennifer Scappettone works at the crossroads of writing, translation, and scholarly research, on the page and off. She is the author of the cross-genre verse books From Dame Quickly and The Republic of Exit 43: Outtakes & Scores from an Archaeology and Pop-Up Opera of the Corporate Dump, and of the critical study Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice. Her translations of the polyglot poet Amelia Rosselli are collected in the award-winning book Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli. She is Associate Professor of English, Creative Writing, and Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago.

Jennifer Scappettone, Associate Professor of English, is the author of From Dame Quickly, Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice, and The Republic of Exit 43: Outtakes & Scores from an Archaeology and Pop-Up Opera of the Corporate Dump, and the editor and translator of Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli.

About the interlocutor: Lauren Berlant is George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Chicago. Her most recent books are Cruel Optimism (2011); Desire/Love (2012) and, with Lee Edelman, Sex, or the Unbearable (2014). She and Sianne Ngai edited Comedy, an Issue (2017) for the journal Critical Inquiry, of which Berlant is co-editor. She blogs at Supervalent Thought (www.supervalentthought.com). 
About the co-sponsor: The Program in Poetry and Poetics brings together a diverse community of literary scholars, poets, and translators working on poetry and poetics across a spectrum of regions, historical periods, and theoretical approaches at the University of Chicago.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637