Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan

Holly Hughes

Holly Hughes

Professor, School of Art & Design

Professor, Department of Theatre and Drama


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Office: 2068 AA
Phone: (734) 647-9793

Curriculum Vitae

B.A. (Art) Kalamazoo College, 1977


Holly Hughes is an internationally acclaimed performance artist whose work maps the troubled fault lines of identity. Her combination of poetic imagery and political satire has earned her wide attention and placed her work at the center of America’s culture wars.

Hughes was among the first students to attend The New York Feminist Art Institute, an experiment in progressive pedagogy launched by members of the Heresies Collective. While there, she worked with feminist artists such as Miriam Schapiro and Mary Beth Edelson and participated in performance work at A.I.R. gallery.

In the early '80s, Hughes became part of the Women’s One World Café, also known as the WOW Café, an arts cooperative in the East Village established by an international group of women artists. As the Village gradually became a magnet for the avant-garde art world, WOW served as an incubator for a generation of artists.

Hughes has performed at venues across North America, Great Britain and Australia including the Walker Art Center, the Wexner Center, the Guggenheim Museum, the Yale Repertory, the Drill Hall in London, and numerous universities. She has published two books: Clit Notes: A Sapphic Sampler and O Solo Homo: The New Queer Performance, co-edited with Dr. David Roman. In addition, her work has been widely anthologized and has served as foundational material for performance studies, queer studies and feminist performance studies.

Hughes has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. She is the recipient of two Village Voice Obie awards, a Lambda Book Award, a GLAAD media award, and a Distinguished Alumni Award.

In addition to teaching at the University of Michigan, Hughes is co-editing Memories of the Revolution: The First Ten Years of the WOW Café, with Alina Troyano for the University of Michigan Press, and is creating a new solo piece entitled The Dog and Pony Show (Bring Your Own Pony). She has also been commissioned by the U-M Institute for Research on Women and Gender to create a new performance piece in celebration of the organization’s tenth anniversary.


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News Featuring Holly Hughes

Holly Hughes Awarded Institute for the Humanities Fellowship
Holly Hughes Honored at NYC Gala
Holly Hughes: “Animal Acts: Performing Species Today” Published
Performance Cabaret
Holly Hughes Publishes “Animal Acts: Performing Species Today”
Holly Hughes Performs at UC Berkeley
Holly Hughes and Phoebe Gloeckner at Lit Quake SF
Holly Hughes Kicks off 50th Anniversary of the Balch Playhouse
Holly Hughes Performs with The Moth Mainstage
Holly Hughes Essay in Lambda Nominated Anthology
Holly Hughes in Residence at New Museum May 2013
Animal Acts: Beasts of the Northern Wild
Holly Hughes Takes Dog & Pony Show On the Road
Event - Open Class on Censorship and Creative Expression
“The Dog and Pony Show” Goes to Oregon
Holly Hughes and NEA 4 in California
Holly Hughes Gives Keynote at Earth Matters on Stage
Holly Hughes: Standing Heat opens in Chicago
Holly Hughes Performance Featured in American Theatre Magazine
Here Come the Brides: Holly Hughes and Other Writers on Gay Marriage
Holly Hughes Nominated for GLAAD Media Award
Event - Performance: Off the Wall
Event - The Moth Mainstage at Ann Arbor Summer Fest
Holly Hughes Performs in “The Dog and Pony Show”
Let Them Eat Cake: Benefit Performance
Holly Hughes Performs in New York
Play by Holly Hughes Receives MAP Funding
Holly Hughes Work Featured at NYC Human Rights Benefit
Holly Hughes Receives Guggenheim
Holly Hughes Premiere
Holly Hughes Receives Arts of Citizenship Fellowship