Contact Information

Office: Boylston Hall 423

Office Hours: Wednesdays 9-10:30 am or by appointment



Jeffrey Schnapp

Chair, Department of Comparative Literature

Carl A. Pescosolido Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature

Faculty co-director of Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Affiliate of the Department of Architecture at the GSD

Research Interests: knowledge design; media history and theory; the history of the book; the future of archives, museums, and libraries; Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio; 12th-14th-century Romance literatures; Futurism and the avant-gardes; 20th-century architecture and industrial design; the fascist decades in Italy; radical pedagogies 1960s to present; curatorial practice as a form of scholarship; critical making.

Originally trained as a medievalist, his recent publications concern the modern and contemporary eras with a focus on media, architecture, design, mobility, and the history of the book. They include The Electric Information Age Book ([Princeton Architectural Press 2012]); an anthology of essays on 20th century Italian art, literature, design, and architecture entitled Modernitalia (Peter Lang 2012); The Library Beyond the Book (Harvard University Press 2014), co-authored with Matthew Battles; and Blueprint for Counter Education — Expanded Reprint, a critical edition of Maurice Stein and Larry Miller’s 1970 work of radical pedagogy, and FuturPiaggio. Six Italian Lessons on Mobility and Modern Life, (Rizzoli International 2017). Moto Guzzi 100 Years, his edited book celebrating the centenary of the marque from Mandello del Lario, appeared in both English and Italian in 2021 with Rizzoli International. He is the editor of the metaLABprojects series with MIT Press whose most recent books are Michael John Gorman’s Idea Colliders: The Future of Science Museums (2021) and Dietmar Offenhuber’s Autographics. Design for a Self-inscribing World (2023).

Schnapp’s work in the domains of media, knowledge design, digital arts and humanities, and curatorial practice includes collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU, the Museo Madre e Fondazione Donnaregina (Naples), and the Canadian Center for Architecture. His collaborative Trento Tunnels project—a 6000 sq. meter pair of highway tunnels in Northern Italy repurposed as a history museum—was present in the Italian pavilion of the 2010 Venice Biennale of Architecture and featured at the MAXXI in Rome in RE-CYCLE. Strategie per la casa la città e il pianeta (fall-winter 2011). He also served as lead curator for BZ ’18-’45, a prize-winning documentation center built under Marcello Piacentini’s Monument to Victory in Bolzano/Bozen open to the public since July 2014. Among his recent curatorial projects are Universo futurista / Futurist Universe, which marked the inauguration of the Fondazione Cirulli in Bologna and had a twice-extended run from April 21, 2018 to June 21, 2019, as well as development of the successor platform, L’archivio animato – Lavori in corso, inaugurated on October 23, 2019 as a “perpetual exhibition machine.”

Education: B.A. Vassar College (Hispanic Studies); Ph.D. Stanford University (Comparative Literature).

FuturPiaggio. Six Italian Lessons on Mobility and Modern Life

Jeffrey Schnapp

September 2017


Jeffrey Schnapp

July 2012

The Electric Information Age Book (McLuhan/Agel/Fiore and the Experimental Paperback)

Jeffrey Schnapp

May 2012