Greensboro, N.C. – I’m reporting alive from the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, inside the Elliott University Center’s art gallery with graduate student and organizer April Parker. Parker, who is president of the Progressive Library Guild at UNCG, has brought some of Brooklyn’s finest Lesbian Survival literature to the south through a traveling exhibit called Queer Covers curated by Morgan Gwenwald and Miki Trager, of the Lesbian Herstory Archives.
Queer Covers focuses on mainstream publishers and on those representatives of the classic lesbian pulps that were best known and most widely available from 1939-1965. The cover art can be seen as lesbian camp, or butch/femme icons. Although tame by today’s standards of lesbian literature and erotica, these volumes were so threatening then that women hid them, burned them and threw them out. At the same time, they were cherished and passed from woman to woman in the underground community.
The exhibit is on view March 13-28 at the EUC Gallery (507 Stirling Street, Greensboro, NC) and then moves to Guilford College‘s West Gallery in Founders Hall (5800 West Friendly Ave., Greensboro, NC) April 1-13, 2013. During the artist talk at UNCG, I Don’t Do Boxes foreign correspondent Chris Kennedy had a chance to talk with Parker about the exhibit and the histories and cultures they reclaim. Have a listen below: