Sleuthing the Secret Life of Science Fiction

Sleuthing the Secret Life of Science Fiction

Date: Saturday, February 23, 2019, 5:30pm–7:30pm

Location: ONE Archives at the USC Libraries
909 West Adams
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Cost: $40

To purchase tickets for this event, please visit Atlas Obcura’s website by clicking here.

In the 1930’s, finding life outside the closet sometimes meant looking for another planet. A generation of gay and lesbian sci-fans did just that. They were drawn to a genre that allowed them to imagine new worlds where they could be their true selves and love whomever they wanted.

Join Atlas Obscura and the ONE Archives Foundation after hours at ONE Archives as we explore this incredible time in literary history—a time that ultimately led to the foundation of some of the first LGBTQ publications in the United States and the world, for that matter. Early gay activists like Jim Kepner and Lisa Ben cut their teeth in the sci-fi world, learning the art of publishing and telling compelling stories.

Dr. Joseph Hawkins, Ph.D will take us searching into the rich history of science fiction publications ranging back to the 1930’s. These publications became a way to explore LGBTQ themes and topics virtually impossible in other magazines and literary journals. But under the guise of other worlds, monsters and mysterious places anything was possible. He has spent years searching the archives, mapping this important and unknown history. For the presentation he will pull select items from the archive, including materials from the early science fiction and fantasy clubs of the time.

In addition, staff from ONE will lead participants through a tour of the Archives. The general public does not typically access the Archives this way, so this is your chance to explore important topics and this vital resource.


Image: Lisa Ben’s membership card for the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, circa 1940s. Lisa Ben Papers, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.
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