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 2016-10-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Newton and Hughes at the University of Chicago
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

About 30 people attended "Memories of the (Ongoing) Revolution: Butch Careers and Femme Follies" featuring longtime couple Esther Newton and Holly Hughes at the University of Chicago May 23.

The event was sponsored by the LGBTQ Studies Project at the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.

The LGBTQ Studies Project, according to its website, "organizes research projects and conferences and provides fellowships to graduate students. It provides an interdisciplinary locus for Chicago faculty and graduate students who study the historical, cultural, and textual construction of LGBTQ identities, cultures, and politics; analyze those formations or the dominant culture and social theory from the perspective of queer theory."

A graduate of the University of Chicago (UChicago), Newton is an author and lecturer in Women's Studies and American Culture at the University of Michigan. Hughes is a writer, performer and associate professor at the University of Michigan in art and design, theater and drama, and women's studies.

Lauren Berlant, director of the LGBTQ Studies Project, introduced both Newton and Hughes.

Prior to reading from her autobiography My Butch Career, Newton shared stories about her mother, Virginia, who left UChicago three credits shy of graduating in the 1930s; her father took her out of school after she was outed as a member of the Communist Party. Newton's mom was also very active in the emerging civil-rights movement.

Newton shared photos of her mother and herself with their respective dogs and noted that they shared a love of purebred dogs and dog shows. Reading from her memoir, Newton described her childhood spent around purebred dogs. "The contradiction [of loving purebred dogs] doesn't escape me and is as much a part of me as my mixed-up heritage [she is part Northern European by way of her mother and Jewish by way of her father]. Whether or not this should be true, it is certainly not something I would've conscientiously chosen. Purebred dogs give me more pleasure than mixed-breed ones," said Newton.

"I married into dogs," said Hughes about her life with Newton. Then Hughes performed a spoken word piece "Too Much Sky" that she previously performed at the Moth Mainstage. The piece chronicles her role in the NEA 4 (National Endowment for the Arts) case and her story as an emerging artist in 1980s New York City. Hughes spoke of attending the New York Feminist Art Institute which was just a series of empty rooms that they furnished by way of dumpster diving for discarded furniture and other objects. "I think this was an important moment in my life, my artwork and my political philosophy of taking this stuff [out of the dumpsters] and making artwork out of it," said Hughes.

Hughes said she realized she could not keep asking her friends to help her for free. This is what led to her apply for an emerging artist grant through the NEA. At the same time, Hughes explained, the impact of AIDS was causing dramatic changes in the gay community, and conservatives were going after queer culture.

The AIDS crisis "makes queer, marginalized people visible," said Hughes. As a result of this visibility the government "decides to go after art … and passes a law banning the NEA from funding what they call gay or homoerotic art," said Hughes. Hughes recounted that although she and the rest of the NEA 4 (Karen Finley, Tim Miller and John Fleck) were eventually awarded NEA funding through lower court rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ruling. Meanwhile, the NEA stopped funding individual artists due to pressure from Congress.

During the Q&A session, an audience member asked whether LGBTQ people in previous generations were more united across other classification boundaries. Hughes said there were race and class divisions among LGBTQ people in the past, however there was a sense of being a part of an outlaw world among all LGBTQ people. Newton added that she didn't come out to any straight people when she was in college, preferring a separate world where she was out.

See and .

Video links:

Holly Hughes PART 2: .

Holly Hughes to Part 1: .

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.


Gay News

Lesbian historian's home up for sale 2016-10-19 - A house that was once the home of lesbian historian/librarian Jeannette Howard Foster ( 1895-1981 ) is being sold in the Chicago neighborhood ...

Gay News

CWIT marks 35 years on Nov. 7 2016-10-19 - Chicago Women in Trades ( CWIT ) will mark its 35th anniversary with an event Monday, Nov. 7, 5:30-8 p.m., at Lagunitas Brewing ...

Gay News

Delle Donne on All-Star First Team 2016-10-19 - Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne was selected to the All-WNBA First Team. Delle Donne makes her second consecutive appearance on the ...

Gay News

World news: Indonesian arrest, lesbian MP dies, hate crimes in Scotland 2016-10-18 - A gay couple were arrested in Indonesia for a photo showing them kissing that appeared on Facebook, PinkNews noted. A 22-year-old university student ...

Gay News


Gay News

BREAST CANCER MONTH Cathy Seabaugh: Offering hope in the fight against breast cancer 2016-10-12 - In June 2016, Cathy Seabaugh's sister, Shelia Hager, passed away after spending many years battling breast cancer. Hager was first diagnosed in 1999. ...

Gay News

Chicago Sky host #GETPINK game 2016-10-12 - On Sept. 13, the Chicago Sky hosted its annual #GETPINK Game presented by Weiss Memorial Hospital when the team welcomed the Minnesota Lynx ...

Gay News

Affinity hosts open house for new space 2016-10-11 - Affinity Community Services celebrated its move into a new space with an Oct. 11 open house and a redetermination to serve the LGBTQ ...

Gay News

Israeli navy intercepts all-female activist boat 2016-10-06 - Israel's navy intercepted a boat full of female activists who were seeking to break the country's decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip. ...

Gay News

Evanston synagogue welcomes its first female and lesbian rabbi 2016-10-04 - Evanston native Rabbi Rachel Weiss comes to Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation ( JRC ) as the synagogue's first female and first openly gay rabbi. ...


Copyright © 2016 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.








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.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by