Documenting Sexual Dissidence and Diversity in France, Italy and Spain

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Documenting Sexual Dissidence and Diversity in France, Italy and Spain

Date: Sunday, June 24, 2012

Time: 10:30am to 12:00pm

Location: Anaheim Convention Center, Rm. 201A

Documenting and preserving minority cultures is an ongoing challenge for libraries and archives as most of this cultural production continues to exist beyond the mainstream. Such is the case for sexual minorities in progressive societies like those of France, Italy and Spain. The various voices from a panel (an independent researcher,a literary scholar, an academic librarian, and an activist-publisher) provide a learning opportunity not only to assess voids in our collections but also offer novel strategies for addressing such gaps.


James Michael Fortney, Assistant Coordinator of the Italian Program, University of Illinois at Chicago

Gerard Koskovich, Independent Scholar

Mili Hernández, Publisher of Spain’s LGBT publisher EGALES and owner of Madrid’s LGBT bookstore Berkana

Adán Griego, Curator for Latin American, Mexican American & Iberian Collections, Stanford University Libraries


  • Adán Griego, Stanford University
  • Claude Potts, University of California, Berkeley

Panelist Biographies

  • James Michael Fortney recently defended his dissertation at the University of Chicago and will complete his Ph.D. later this summer. The title of his dissertation is “Homosexual Productions: Gay Italian Prose Fiction from the 1970s to the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century.” He has published articles on both Natalia Ginzburg and Pier Paolo Pasolini. His research interests include twentieth-century and contemporary Italian literature and culture, novels and short stories by gay Italian writers, gender studies, and Italian cinema. For the last two years he was assistant coordinator of the beginning Italian language program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Next year he will be a lecturer at The University of Southern California. His presentation today will provide an overview of gay Italian prose fiction over the last few decades and corresponding cinema.
  • Gerard Koskovich is an independent scholar, writer, curator and antiquarian book dealer who lives in San Francisco. He has presented and published widely since the mid-1980s on queer history, LGBT archives and libraries, and book collecting. His work has appeared in such publications as The Advocate, Orientaciones (Madrid) and Triangu’ère (Paris). He is a founding member of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco and a lead curator of two exhibitions currently on display at the society's GLBT History Museum in the Castro District. In addition, Koskovich serves on the scholarly advisory committee of the current initiative to launch a French national LGBT archives in Paris.
  • Mili Hernández founded Spain’s first gay and lesbian bookshop in central Madrid’s Chueca district in 1993, helping establish the area as an LGBT hub. She is no stranger to Anglo-American culture, having lived in London and New York in the early 1980s. “The first thing I did when I went to London was to go to Gay’s the Word and then when I arrived in New York I went straight to Oscar Wilde, which is no longer there. I lived and grew up with these bookstores, I reconstructed myself through them," she said in an interview. In 1995 she founded EGALES, the first publishing house in Spain and Latin America devoted solely to LGBT themes. As owner of the Berkana bookstore and the publishing house EGALES, Mili has been at the forefront of the LGBT movement in Spain for the past two decades and has been called the country's "Harvey Milk" for her social activism.
  • Adán Griego has been Curator for Latin American, Mexican American & Iberian Collections at Stanford University Libraries since 1996. Former president of SALALM - the Seminar for the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials, he is a REFORMA life-time member and also active in ALA. He maintains the Bibliography of Sexuality Studies in Latin America which continues the bibliography begun by Donna Guy and Daniel Balderston in Sex and Sexuality in Latin America (NYU Press, 1997).

Bibliographies/Additional Resources

Powerpoint slides for all panelists can be viewed by clicking on title of the presentation at the top of this page: bibliographies are here:

Program Documents

2012 WESS Conference Planning Committee

  • Adán Griego, Chair
  • Gail Hueting, David Lincove, Claude Potts, Sheila Smyth, Agnes Widder

Program supported in part by generous grants from Casalini Libri, Digitalia, and Puvill Libros
and by the ACRL Conference Program Fund
Information on previous annual WESS programs available here.

WESSWeb > Past WESS Conferences > WESS Program 2012

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