Mapping Queer Terrains: Telling Stories from the Local to the Global

Event Details

Admission is free.

Join panelists Alan Bell, Andy Rutkowski, and Cynthia Wang  for an engaging conversation moderated by Joseph Hawkins focused on LGBTQ communities and the role that space, place, and location has on individual and collective lived experiences. The panelists will discuss how telling stories that emphasize place begin to bridge the gap between analog and digital environments, historical and current collections, and local and global communities.

While the advent of digital media has transformed the ways we make connections between people, places, and collections, the material ephemera grounds stories in physical place. Organization, activism, and the exchange of knowledge between LGBTQ communities and individuals now happens at greater speeds and across greater distances, allowing people to participate and engage with each other on unprecedented levels. This rapid expansion highlights how the everyday practices of local communities are necessary to make sense of these broader cultural shifts.

Because of the perpetual invisibility of queer communities, storytelling empowers individuals to participate in larger, interconnected conversations, revealing hidden histories and neglected narratives. Queer stories are everywhere. By mapping them out across space and time, we are able to better understand how they connect local cultures to a growing global community.

Join us for the conversation and stay to interact with and add your stories to the existing digital mapping projects!



Joseph Hawkins, Ph.D. is the Director of ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries and currently teaches anthropology and gender studies. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is the oldest active Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) organization in the United States and the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world. Founded in 1952, ONE Archives currently houses over two million archival items including periodicals, books, film, video and audio recordings, photographs, artworks, organizational records and personal papers. His anthropological research focuses on homosexuality and identity in the postwar period of Japan.

Alan Bell is president of BLK Publishing, a company he founded in 1988 to publish magazines for the black LGBT community. Bell was founding editor of Gaysweek, New York’s first LGBT newspaper; Kujisource, a black AIDS newsletter; and several magazines for the black LGBT community, most notably BLK and Blackfire. Bell holds a B.A. from UCLA, a B.S. from the University of the State of New York and an M.A. in sociology from CSU, Dominguez Hills.

Andy Rutkowski is the current Geospatial Resources Librarian at UCLA Libraries and the former Interdisciplinary GIS Library Fellow at USC Libraries. He is working on an ongoing web-based mapping project using collections from the ONE Archives. His project takes the Damron Guide as a starting point to mapping out archival material and building a narrative around those materials.

Cynthia Wang is a PhD Candidate at USC in the Annenberg School of Communication. She was a recipient of USC’s Diploma in Innovation grant from 2013-2014, which allowed her to create GlobaltraQs, a web-based application that maps out LGBTQ stories throughout history around the world.