Festival of Books 2012

Queer L.A.—Culture, Art and Activism: About the Panelists

Joseph HawkinsJoseph Hawkins, currently teaches anthropology and gender studies at the University of Southern California. His anthropological research focuses on homosexuality and identity in the postwar period of Japan.  His translation of “A Tour of Gay Town,” from the Yomiuri Shimbun appears in the recent volume “Queer Voices Out of Japan,” from Rowman and Littlefield. Hawkins has also completed an ethnographic film about a Japanese Naked Festival. He was the President of the Board of Directors of ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives since the fall of 2003 and is currently the director of the collection.

Jeanne CordovaJeanne Cordova, author of the new book, When We Were Outlaws: A Memoir of Love & Revolution, recounts her early activism in the Women’s, Gay, and New Left social struggles. A pioneering activist and one of the founders of the West Coast LGBT movement, Jeanne Cordova has written extensively as a journalist and author.  She was the human rights editor for the Los Angeles Free Press, and edited The Lesbian Tide, “the national voice of record for the lesbian feminist era.”  Her literary career continues with books and essays in award-winning anthologies including Lesbian Nuns: Breaking the Silence. Her life of activism includes many roles: organizing major conferences—National Lesbian Conference at UCLA (1973) and Butch Voices LA Conference (2010); campaigning against anti-gay ballot measures in California; and serving as a founder of many key organizations including the LA Gay Press Association.

Karen TongsonKaren Tongson is the author of Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (NYU Press, 2011), is co-editor-in-chief of The Journal of Popular Music Studies, and is co-editor for Postmillennial Pop, a book series at NYU Press. An associate professor of English and gender studies at USC, Tongson is currently at work on two projects: a short book about karaoke, and a longer monograph about performers in the Pacific Rim/Desert West “leisure circuit.”

Chris FreemanChris Freeman teaches English and gender studies at the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He earned a Ph.D. in English and gay studies from Vanderbilt University. Much of the work he has done as a scholar has direct links to Los Angeles. His first book, The Isherwood Century: Essays on the Life and Work of Christopher Isherwood, which he co-edited with James Berg, won the Lambda Literary Award in Gay Studies in 2001. He and Berg have followed that collection up with Conversations with Christopher Isherwood and a collection about queer Los Angeles called Love, West Hollywood. Chris also edited a Hollywood memoir by John Carlyle, Under the Rainbow. Freeman received the Monette-Horwitz Trust Award in 2005, and he joined the advisory committee for the Monette-Horwitz Trust in 2006. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives.