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

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

This article shared 6700 times since Tue Jan 20, 2015
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/ .


This article shared 6700 times since Tue Jan 20, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Jodie Foster to star in fourth season of 'True Detective'
2022-05-26
The Silence of the Lambs star Jodie Foster is to lead the fourth iteration of HBO's True Detective franchise, True Detective: Night Country, Deadline reported. Foster, who will also executive-produce, will play Detective Liz Danvers in ...


Gay News

THEATER Lesbian-cruise drama 'Seven Days at Sea' running thru June 5
2022-05-25
Light and Sound Productions is running the world premiere of Seven Days at Sea, written by Martha Hansen and directed by Margaret Knapp, through Sunday, June 5, at The Edge Theater, 5451 N. Broadway. The performance ...


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

TELEVISION Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and others to exit 'SNL'
2022-05-20
In a major shake-up on the long-running hit Saturday Night Live (or SNL), several of the main stars are leaving—including out cast member Kate McKinnon, Deadline reported. McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney and Pete Davidson (who's ...


Gay News

For International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia HRC highlights grants
2022-05-17
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, is commemorating International Day Against ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Chocolate festival, lesbian sci-fi film, 'Smahtguy'
2022-05-16
—The Long Grove Chocolate Festival: The beloved Chocolate Festival will return to the historic streets and parkways of downtown Long Grove for the first time in three years, May 20-22. Chocolate lovers can experience so much—including ...


Gay News

Los Angeles LGBT Center mourns passing of legendary LGBT activist, leader Urvashi Vaid
2022-05-15
-- From a press release - LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2022—"The world has lost a giant in the movement for LGBTQ freedom, justice and equality. After a valiant battle with cancer, Urvashi Vaid died today," said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Urvashi Vaid dies, The National LGBTQ Task Force releases statement
2022-05-14
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC……Legendary attorney, LGBTQ activist, and author Urvashi Vaid, known for her extensive career an advocate for LGBTQ rights, women's rights, anti-war efforts, immigration justice and many other social causes ...


Gay News

Griner's detention in Russia extended by a month
2022-05-13
The lawyer for Brittney Griner said May 13 that the WNBA star's pretrial detention in Russia has been extended by one month, ESPN reported. Alexander Boykov told The Associated Press he believed the relatively short extension ...


Gay News

HRC calls for passage of the Women's Health Protection Act
2022-05-11
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, joined a growing number of organizations calling for the ...


Gay News

All WNBA courts to honor Brittney Griner
2022-05-06
The WNBA announced plans to acknowledge the importance of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner to the league, according to a press release. During the 2022 season that tips off Friday, May 6, Griner's initials and jersey ...


Gay News

VIEWS Dignity/Chicago celebrates 50 years of ministry
2022-05-06
It was 1972 and it was dangerous to be gay or lesbian. One could be arrested, publicly humiliated or fired from one's job. Even finding safety in the emerging bar scene was hazardous. Added to that ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ woman appointed as White House press secretary; GLAAD comments
2022-05-05
On May 5, President Biden announced Karine Jean-Pierre has been promoted to be assistant to the president and White House press secretary, according to a White House media release. Jean-Pierre will step into the press secretary ...


Gay News

Brittney Griner gets new designation; Black LGBTQ+ group responds
2022-05-03
The United States is now saying lesbian WNBA player Brittney Griner is wrongfully detained in Russia, NPR reported. The shift in language indicates the United States will work more aggressively to secure her release. The State ...


Gay News

DeGeneres shares message after taping final talk-show episode
2022-04-30
An era has ended as The Ellen Show has officially wrapped its last episode. According to Variety, Ellen DeGeneres announced on an April 29 Twitter thread that her daytime talk show concluded filming its final episode. ...


 



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.