Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-03-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

BOOKS Max Fox takes on late friend's work, 'Sexual Hegemony'
by Melissa Wasserman
2020-10-11

This article shared 3436 times since Sun Oct 11, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The late Christopher Chitty started a dissertation titled "Sexual Hegemony: Statecraft, Sodomy, and Capital in the Rise of the World System" while he was a PhD candidate. Writer, editor and friend Max Fox took on Chitty's work—and it was recently released as a book.

Chitty earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Chicago. In 2008, he went on to the history of consciousness doctoral program at the University of California ( UC ), Santa Cruz. It was at Santa Cruz during Fox's undergrad junior year where the two met as they participated in the UC Student Occupation Movement.

"It really made me feel like it was a possibility to take part in something larger than myself that could actually have an impact on the world," said Fox, describing Chitty as a close friend. "I met all these brilliant people, and learned about certain kinds of bravery and inventiveness."

"Chris was really huge for me in that way and I met him at a very formative moment, but he made a big impact on everybody," Fox said, adding Chitty had a charismatic ringleader type of personality. "He was this really brilliant, beautiful, generous, intense person who was a community fixture."

Fox described Chitty's dissertation as basically complete at the time of his death in April 2015 and as was something he had spoken with Fox about many times.

"He was generating this really powerful, exciting theory and I was very impatient for him to finish writing the PhD so I could have it to point to when I wanted to explain what something was that I thought was going on with these questions because I thought he was someone who was really influential on me and my thinking," said Fox.

When Chitty died, Fox was devastated. Ultimately, taking on this book as the editor, Fox said, was more than a way to grieve.

Friends and teachers were able to gather materials to get the school to award Chitty a degree posthumously, but with Fox's attachment he did not want it to end there. Using his experience as an editor and time as a freelancer he decided to take it a step further.

"I was like I need to do this, I have the capacity and I really need this book to exist and I don't know for sure that if I don't do it someone else will," Fox said, explaining how he discussed it with Chitty's family and friends.

"Why I took this on I think was because I had to find a way of working through my feelings of loss of this person who meant so much to me and preserving him at some level and sharing him with people at some other level," Fox explained. "It's his work and it's the possibility of totally new inventive uses of what he was working on that I probably won't be able to foresee."

Sexual Hegemony is a narrative of the centuries of capitalism's effects on sexual relations, specifically studying class dynamics of the bourgeoisie's attempts to regulate homosexuality ( sodomy, in particular ). Fox detailed it also lays out "the intellectual foundations or blueprints for a new way of thinking about sexuality through a recognition that it's intimately tied up with the social form of property, which is a hallmark of class society, which means that you have to take in account the entire history of what comes through the capitalist world that we live in."

"It's a reflection on why and how sexuality has to have a history in the first place," Fox explained. "Why do we think that you need to kind of justify a certain way of living in the present by making the claim that is has a lineage or past."

"Unavoidably, the following text is limited to a reconstruction of what this work could have been," Fox wrote in the book's forward. He details that this book was a long time in the making and took much effort to release what he thought Chitty would have submitted.

Christopher Nealon—professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of Foundlings: Lesbian and Gay Historical Emotion Before Stonewall—wrote the book's introduction. He also served on Chitty's dissertation committee.

Fox explained Chitty was a close reader of French historian and philosopher Michel Foucault and was definitely trying to do something new when writing Sexual Hegemony. Fox added that he thought Chitty wanted to intervene and point out "there's much more going on than what people take from Foucault."

"I think he thought [The History of Sexuality] was a very important book, or attempt or preliminary version of a crucial history that he thought wasn't told in the right way or wasn't complete," said Fox of Chitty's writing. "So I think Chris was trying to fix what he saw as the omissions or errors."

"He was trying to say there's a lot that's valuable that's introduced in the past, in the decades since the queer liberation movement forced the academy to open itself up to taking sexuality and queer studies seriously. That's very valuable. And there's something very valuable still in the kind of Marxian understanding of history as a process without a subject that is driven by collective action taken by the global proletariat to liberate itself, but the two traditions certainly don't talk to each other very much. They have been the last couple of years and I've been really grateful to see it."

People should read the book, Fox said, "if they are interested in how capitalism produces and is produced by what we understand as sexuality.

"I hope people find a rich roadmap to thinking in a new way about capitalism and sexuality. I think that he did an astounding amount of historical research and reconstruction, but there's so much more still to do that I think he was hoping to do later. So, what I really hope people get out of this is the inspiration to start thinking about their own relation to structures of class and property and how that informs their sexuality in new ways than they already do."

To learn more about Sexual Hegemony, visit dukeupress.edu/sexual-hegemony .


This article shared 3436 times since Sun Oct 11, 2020
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Actor/model David Pevsner challenges age and body stereotypes in recent book 2022-05-24
- When writing his recent book—Damn Shame: Desire, Defiance and Show Tunes—actor/model/filmmaker David Pevsner noticed three themes coming to the fore: body shame, sexuality and ageism. "All three of those are ...


Gay News

Gayla Turner talks new book uncovering her grandmother's secret queer identity 2022-05-23
- In Gayla Turner's debut book, Don't You Dare: Uncovering Lost Love (BookBaby, May 24), she reveals her Grandmother Ruby's (1896-1977) century-old secret queer identity that she hid from the wider world. This revelation became c ...


Gay News

HIV/AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton on her new memoir, 'Unprotected' 2022-05-18
- Emmy-winning HIV/AIDS activist, author, minister, political organizer, motivational speaker, life coach, jewelry designer and social media figure Rae Clara Lewis-Thornton's recently released book, Unprotected: A Memoir, is already a pre-release ...


Gay News

TV Writer Joel Kim Booster, director Andrew Ahn take a trip to 'Fire Island' 2022-05-15
- Based on the classic Jane Austen book Pride and Prejudice, the new Fox Searchlight film Fire Island has an important story to tell LGBTQ+ audiences specifically. In that story, there are plenty of laughs along the ...


Gay News

BOOKS 'Tinderbox' author to appear in Palatine on June 14 2022-05-13
- Author Robert Fieseler will discuss his debut book—Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation—on Tuesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. at Palatine's Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, ...


Gay News

THEATER Underscore's 'Notes & Letters' running through May 28 2022-05-12
- Underscore Theatre Company celebrates its 10th-anniversary season with the world premiere of the musical Notes & Letters, which features book, music and lyrics by Annabelle Lee Revak (she/her) and is ...


Gay News

Book-signing for HIV/AIDS activist's 'Unprotected: A Memoir' on May 21 2022-05-05
-- From a press release - "I had been torn apart by the doings of others and blamed myself for surviving to the best of my ability. It would literally take decades for me to understand that I was the product of what happened to me." Emmy ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart announces change in leadership 2022-05-04
- Wil Brant is no longer executive director of Gerber/Hart Library and Archives. According to an open letter from board co-chairs James Conley and Kevin Nunley as well as Board Treasurer Becky Chmielewski, Brant "served in this ...


Gay News

'It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful' explores art collective's part in HIV/AIDS activism 2022-04-23
- In Jack Lowery's book, It Was Vulgar and It Was Beautiful: How AIDS Activists Used Art to Fight a Pandemic, the historian shares how the art collective Gran Fury utilized community-made propaganda to address the HIV/AIDS ...


Gay News

Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project showcases 'History of Milwaukee Drag' starting June 27 2022-04-21
-- From a press release - Milwaukee, WI. - A History of Milwaukee Drag: Seven Generations of Glamour, by local historians Michail Takach and BJ Daniels, will be released Monday, June 27 by The History Press. For nearly 150 years, Milwaukee has ...


Gay News

Gay Latino techie Michael Sayman talks about his inspiring book, 'App Kid' 2022-04-17
- Michael Sayman is a key figure in Silicon Valley, having worked at Instagram, Google and, now, Twitter. However, he stands out in many ways. The twentysomething Sayman—an openly gay Latino—was only in his teens when he ...


Gay News

Indie Bookstore Crawl on Independent Bookstore Day April 30 2022-04-14
-- From a press release - Chicago, April 12, 2022 — It's back! Yet again, Chicagoland proves itself to be the dream destination for book lovers and readers of all ages! Nearly 40 independent bookstores in the greater Chicago area—from Lake Forest ...


Gay News

'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves' second edition out April 15 2022-04-11
-- From a press release - NEW YORK CITY, New York, MApril 11, 2022—The Trans Bodies, Trans Selves board is proud to announce the release of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves' second edition, published April 15, 2022. The Trans Bodies Trans Selvessecond edition ...


Gay News

Mary Lynn Rajskub: Actress/comedian discusses acting, sexuality in new book 2022-04-10
- Emmy-winning actresses and stand-up comedians who just finished publishing their new memoirs, while simultaneously embarking on their stand-up tours, rarely have moments to themselves. Thankfully, Mary Lynn Rajskub, best known for her work on the TV ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart Library and Archives holds 40th-anniversary event at Sidetrack 2022-04-09
- Gerber/Hart Library and Archives (Gerber/Hart) celebrated its 40th anniversary with a "40 & Fabulous! The Gerber/Hart Spring Soiree" benefit April 7—the birthday of one of the library's namesakes, Pearl Hart—at ...


 



Copyright © 2022 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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.