Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-12-12
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Forum looks back at a lesbian love triangle
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Melissa Wasserman
2015-01-20

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Anya Jabour, Ph.D. visited University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality ( CSGS ) to present "A Lesbian Love Triangle at the University of Chicago: Sophonisba Breckinridge, Marion Talbot, and Edith Abbott"

The Jan. 14 program was part of CSGS's series Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles: A History of LGBTQ Life at the University of Chicago. The Closeted/Out in the Quadrangles project launched in 2011 and documents LGBTQ life at the University of Chicago from the early twentieth century through the present day.

"What was really exciting about coming to Chicago is that I would actually be talking to people for whom this is a local topic," said Jabour, professor of history and co-director of the program in women's, gender, and sexuality studies at the University of Montana. "I was really excited to come somewhere where people are going to have a build-in interest in the thing that I'm currently really charged up about."

This lecture examined the complex personal and professional relationships between Marion Talbot, dean of women, Sophonisba Breckinridge, assistant dean of women and Edith Abbott, dean of the School of Social Service Administration. These were three prominent women during the formative decades of the University of Chicago.

Breckinridge had long-term intimate relationships with both Talbot and Abbott. Talbot and Abbott competed for Breckinridge's affections. Despite the tension created by this situation, from 1908 to 1948, all three women worked together to promote women's higher education, professional status, and political power.

"I would say the take home message is these relationships were important not only because they were personally important to the women, but because they helped them to succeed professionally and politically," said Jabour. They also helped them to help other women professionally and politically, so that the relationships were at the time personally fulfilling, professionally useful and politically they actually advanced, not just those women's but all women's status. So, regardless of their interpersonal differences and difficulties, which certainly existed, they ultimately ended up being an incredibly effective team for advancing women's status."

The lecture relied on extensive personal correspondence Jabour collected and research to explore both the complicated emotions and the achievements of three female pioneers at the University of Chicago.

"I'm really interested in what would it be like to grow up in an era in which relationships like this were viewed as non-sexual and wonderful and then by the end of your life they're viewed as sexual and deviant," Jabour said. "But they're the same relationships, literally. I think that's a puzzler."

Jabour's main interest is studying relationships. She has authored "Marriage in the Early Republic: Elizabeth and William Wirt and the Companionate Ideal," "Scarlett's Sisters: Young Women in the Old South" and "Topsy-Turvy: How the civil War Turned the World Upside Down for Southern Children." She has also published numerous articles and essays, including "Relationship and Leadership: Sophonisba Breckinridge and Women in Social Work." Currently, she is working on a biography of Breckinridge ( 1866-1948 )

"Relationships are interesting," said Jabour, who explores the whole gamut of relationships. "It's just like having a conversation with a friend about your relationships. It's fun having a virtual conversation with a dead person about their relationships by reading their letters. I think it's so interesting how our understanding of women's relationships with one another have changed so much and what that sort of means for how do we even talk about these things, how do we understand these things, how do we make sense of something that took place in the time that is not our time."

Having done a large amount of work on southern girls and southern adolescents, she found there were some incredibly rich collections of letters from schoolteachers. Seeing an opportunity, she turned her original subject matter on its head, and started looking at educators instead of the educated.

Within her research of Breckinridge, Jabour learned along with her short time teaching in the south, Breckinridge held multiple degrees and yet she could not get a job until Talbot completely created the Department of Household Administration and gave her a job. While, doing background research on her, Jabour said she found barely anything had been written about Brekinridge, but she kept getting more intrigued the more she read and eventually found sources everywhere.

"Like most people, I tend to sort of look for inspirational foremothers, if you will" Jabour said. "So because I'm a lesbian, discovering someone I can really identify with, in this case, not only because she had an intimate relationship with another woman, but because she was a professor and she taught women's studies and I do those things. So I mean I definitely have a certain level of identification with Breckenridge that say I didn't necessarily have with some of the angst-ridden teenage girls that I've written about in the past. Although, I also identified with them on some level; just in a different way."

Jabour also led the Jan. 15 workshop "From Romantic Friendships to Sexual Deviance: Analyzing Women's Same-Sex Relationships in a Transitional Era."

"I think one of the things I really wanted to share was that these relationships were really important not only to the women themselves in terms of their emotional inner lives, but that they were important in terms of human rights. So that there's a really profound connection, in this instance, between relationships between women and social progress," Jabour said.

For more information, visit: gendersexuality.uchicago.edu/projects/closeted/ .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

IN THE LIFE Lala Thomas 2018-12-12 - Lala Thomas' life has been shaped by working hard, fighting for what she wants and speaking her mind on a myriad of issues. ...


Gay News

Artist Tom Bachtell on exhibit and late partner Andrew Patner 2018-12-12 - Self-taught artist Tom Bachtell's work is currently featured in a exhibit, "Tom Bachtell in AdventureLand," at AdventureLand Gallery, 1513 N. Western Ave. The ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Rent,' Ariana Grande, Lena Waithe, Elton John 2018-12-11 - Fox has announced the full cast for the upcoming live musical event Rent, which will air Sunday, Jan. 27, a press release noted. ...


Gay News

Gaylon Alcaraz on new job, activism and campaign lessons 2018-12-05 - Longtime activist and marathon runner Gaylon Alcaraz has been speaking out on LGBTQ equality, anti-violence initiatives, housing rights, gender equality, health prevention and ...


Gay News

SWZLE, part of the reusable straw revolution 2018-12-05 - Reusable straws have become a central focus in helping to preserve the environment—so much so that banning plastic straws was an issue on ...


Gay News

Jane Lynch, Kate Flannery make the yuletide swing 2018-12-04 - Actresses Jane Lynch and Kate Flannery are teaming up this holiday season and hitting the road. The album—A Swingin' Little Christmas! Jane Lynch—features ...


Gay News

10 Questions by Vic: Greg Louganis 2018-12-04 - Greg Louganis is the greatest diver in history. In the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Louganis achieved gold medals in both the ...


Gay News

Women & Children First Books plans holiday season events 2018-12-04 - The holidays have arrived at Chicago's Only Feminist Bookstore. Care for Real Toy Drive Nov. 30 to Dec. 14 Come support ...


Gay News

Affinity Community Services plans Burning Bowl 2018, will honor Kim Hunt 2018-12-04 - Chicago, Illinois- December 3, 2018—Affinity Community Services, is hosting their annual kick-off event, Burning Bowl 2019. The theme this year is: Ever ours: ...


Gay News

Kahlo works at Glen Ellyn campus in 2020 2018-12-03 - College of DuPage, in partnership with the McAninch Arts Center and Cleve Carney Art Gallery, expanded upon the plans to host the largest ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.