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Local Book Notes: Sex Museums, Dick Puppets & Winning Elections

"All museums are sex museums," the University of Chicago Press says.

"In Sex Museums, Jennifer Tyburczy takes a hard look at the formation of Western sexuality - particularly how categories of sexual normalcy and perversity are formed - and asks what role museums have played in using display as a technique for disciplining sexuality."

Unsurprisingly . . .

"Most museum exhibits, she argues, assume that white, patriarchal heterosexuality and traditional structures of intimacy, gender, and race represent national sexual culture for their visitors."


Tyburczy in Artforum on researching Sex Museums, via Kristi McGuire:

"While I was in graduate school in Chicago, I wanted to think about the relationship between objects, spaces, and people coming into their sexual identities and sexual repertoires. And so I started to think about sex museums, which gave me a way to be in the archives and deal with boxes of treasures and dust, and also granted me the opportunity to connect with museum staff and archivists.

"Someone said to me as I began this project, 'Do you know we have a sex museum in Rogers Park?' They were talking about the Leather Archives and Museum (LA&M), which is dedicated to sadomasochism, fetish, and leather culture.

"So I went one day with my very vanilla-looking self, and showed up at the door of Rick and Jeffrey Storer - the museum's executive director and director of operations. Over the course of six years I worked with them, first as a volunteer and then as director of programming, immersing myself in all of the fabulous and initially incomprehensible artifacts. I didn't understand at first all the codes and symbols that gay leather culture is so rich with. As I became really involved with the LA&M and saw all the things that go into making a sex museum, that, more than anything, opened up the space for the book."


Puppet Dick
Chicago Puppet Theater Brings Moby Dick To The Stage At Virginia Tech.

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This production comes home to Chicago in March. From the MCA:

"Puppeteer Blair Thomas, songwriter Michael Smith, and percussionist Michael Zerang bring to life the seemingly impossible-to-stage symbolism of the novel by creating a play within a play that explores the implications of storytelling, tracing Ishmael's hope that recounting his adventure will deliver his soul.

"In Thomas's hands, Melville's unexpectedly modern advice - about the search for purification and spiritual righteousness being the path to self-destruction and tragedy is allowed imaginative care.

"Smith's piquant folk-rock songs and seven versatile actor-puppeteers intone his restless engagement with the book's tension between the seen and unseen, language and silence, as small figures in the universe, watchers of nature, observers of the folly of humanity and religion."


Winning Elections
"Dick Simpson and Betty O'Shaughnessy will discuss their book Winning Elections in the 21st Century with political consultant Don Rose in a Society of Midland Authors program on Tuesday at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 S. Michigan Ave., 22nd floor," the society has announced.

"The discussion will begin at 7 p.m. A social hour, with complimentary snacks and a cash bar, begins at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.

"Winning Elections in the 21st Century is a handbook for anyone who wants to know how campaigns are run and won today. Using examples from across the U.S., the authors discuss the nuts and bolts of state and local races, as well as best practices in national elections. The book will be published in April, but attendees on Feb. 9 can pre-order copies.

"Simpson, a former Chicago alderman, is a professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and co-editor with Dennis Judd of The City, Revisited: Urban Theory from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York.

"O'Shaughnessy is a visiting lecturer in political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and co-author of The Struggle for Power and Influence in Cities and States. She's a former trustee for West Deerfield Township in Lake County and teaches political science at Loyola Academy in Wilmette.

"Rose is an independent political consultant heading Don Rose Communications and The Urban Political Group."


Comments welcome.


Posted on February 3, 2016

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PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Illinois Caverns Reopening After 10 Years.

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