Scope and Content
Organization and Arrangement
Title: Lillian Faderman papers
Date (inclusive): 1976-1989
Collection number: 1849
18 manuscript boxes.
8 oversize boxes.
Abstract: Faderman's papers consist of drafts of her published papers and book reviews and manuscript and typescript versions of three
of her books:
Surpassing the Love of Men (1981);
Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers (1991) and
Chloe Plus Olivia (1994). The papers also include background research for her various publications; correspondence relating to her publications
and speaking engagements; publicity materials and lesbian, gay and women's publications produced by now defunct small presses
and various organizations.
Language: Finding aid is written in
University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Selected digitized images from this collection.
Restrictions on Access
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library,
Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright,
are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of
the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the
copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC
Regents do not hold the copyright.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Gift of Lillian Faderman, 1991.
The collection was processed by Janine Liebert in 2007-2008.
[Identification of item], Lillian Faderman papers (Collection Number 1849). Department of Special Collections, Charles E.
Young Research Library, UCLA.
Lillian Faderman is an internationally-known literary scholar and historian of lesbian history. She has published nine books
and numerous articles on lesbian history, literature and criticism, including Surpassing the Love of Men (1981), an acclaimed
study of five centuries of love between women, and Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers (1991), a history of twentieth-century lesbians
in America, which were both named among The New York Times notable books of the year; her memoir, Naked in the Promised Land
(2003) and her latest book, Gay L.A. (2006), which she co-authored with Stuart Timmons.
Faderman's work has centered on establishing a lesbian tradition, on what she calls a "usable past." In her early works, especially
in Surpassing the Love of Men and Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, she showed that so-called romantic friendships between women
were considered neither abnormal nor undesirable in prior centuries. Accordingly, women who loved women in the past were not
always made to live like outlaws. Only after 1980, in the aftermath of sexology, did same-sex love between women come to be
seen as suspect, degenerate or even criminal. Faderman has also written on the theme of same-sex love and romantic friendship
in poems and letters of Emily Dickenson; in novels by Henry James, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and
in popular magazine fiction of the early twentieth century.
Faderman's later book,
To Believe in Woman: What Lesbians Have Done for America–A History (1999) is the culmination of her two previous books,
Surpassing the Love of Men and Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers. It charts romantic friendships between women and lesbian love through some of the most important social movements in the
U.S. and shows how these same-sex partnerships made major feminist causes of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
Faderman's other major books, each groundbreaking when it was published, are
Lesbians in Germany (1980), her first work in lesbian history;
Scotch Verdict (1983), which chronicles the 1810 trial of two Scottish schoolteachers accused of lesbianism;
Chloe Plus Olivia (1994), an anthology of lesbian literature since the seventeenth century and
I Begin My Life All Over: The Hmong and the American Immigrant Experience (1998), which records the story of 36 Hmong immigrants to California. Her articles on lesbian life and literature have appeared
in diverse academic, feminist and lesbian journals, including
The New England Quarterly,
The Massachusetts Review,
Journal of Popular Culture, Higginson Journal,
Journal of Homosexuality,
Conditions and Gay Books Bibliography.
Faderman was born July 18, 1940 in the Bronx, New York, the daughter of a single working mother who lost most of her family
in the Holocaust. Throughout her childhood, Faderman's dream was to become a movie star. Faderman's family moved to east L.A.
when she was a teen and she later attended U.C. Berkeley, where she worked as a burlesque stripper to support herself. She
received a B.A. in English literature from U.C. Berkeley in 1962, an M.A. in English from UCLA in 1964, and a Ph.D. in English
from UCLA in 1967. In 1967, Faderman started teaching in the English department at California State University, Fresno, where
she began her career co-editing two anthologies of American multi-ethnic literature: Speaking for Ourselves: American Ethnic
Writing (1969; 1975) and From the Barrio: A Chicano Anthology (1973).
Faderman served in various administrative positions (1971-1976) at California State University, Fresno, including Chair of
the English Department, Acting Dean of the School of Humanities and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and then
decided she preferred teaching and writing. Faderman, along with Phyllis Irwin, helped establish the first women's study program
at California State University, Fresno in 1972. She was promoted to full Professor of English in 1973. Irwin later became
her domestic partner of 40 years. They have one child: Avrom (1975- ).
Throughout her career, Faderman has been sought after as a speaker, teacher, critic, and visiting lecturer. Faderman has been
a frequent speaker at lesbian and feminist organizations, universities, and lesbian, gay and women's organizations nationally
and internationally, including the Modern Language Association (MLA), the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA), GAU
(Gay Academic Union) and the Berkshire Women's History Conference.
Faderman's work has been translated into numerous languages, including German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Turkish, Czech,
and Slovenian. Among her many honors are six Lambda Literary Awards, two American Library Association Awards, and several
lifetime achievement awards for scholarship, including Yale University's James Brudner Award, the Monette/Horwitz Award, the
Publishing Triangle Award, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives Culture Hero Award, and the American Association of University
Women's Distinguished Senior Scholar Award. She divides her time between Fresno and San Diego.
||Born July 18, Bronx, NY.
||Received B.A. in English Literature from U.C. Berkeley.
||Received M.A. in English from UCLA.
||Received Ph.D. in English from UCLA.
|1967 - Present
||Started teaching in the English department at California State University, Fresno.
||Co-edited Speaking for Ourselves: American Ethnic Writing
|1971 - 1976
||Served in various administrative positions at California State University, Fresno, including Chair of the Department of English,
Acting Dean of the School of Humanities, and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs.
||Co-edited From the Barrio: A Chicano Anthology
||Promoted to full Professor of English California State University, Fresno.
||Co-authored Lesbians in Germany, first book on a lesbian topic
||Published Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the 16th Century to the Present.
||Published Scotch Verdict
||Published Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers
||Published Chloe Plus Olivia
||Published I Begin My Life All Over: The Hmong and the American Immigrant Experience.
||Published To Believe in Woman: What Lesbians Have Done for America-A History
||Published Naked in the Promised Land
||Co-published Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power, Politics and Lipstick Lesbians with Stuart Timmons
Scope and Content
The Lillian Faderman papers document the internationally acclaimed lesbian historian's professional life. Papers date from
1975-1994, with the majority spanning the period 1979-1989. Among the papers are drafts of her published papers and book reviews
and manuscript drafts of three of her books; correspondence, publicity materials, background research, contracts and royalty
statements, printed matter, photographs and audio materials.
Publications, 1981-1994 (Series 1, Boxes 1-13), include drafts of Faderman's published papers and book reviews and manuscript
drafts of three of her books: Surpassing the Love of Men (1981), an acclaimed study of five centuries of love between women;
Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers (1991), a history of twentieth-century lesbians in America and Chloe Plus Olivia (1994), an
anthology of lesbian literature since the seventeenth century.
Correspondence, 1979-1989 and undated (Series 2, Boxes 14-17), is with individuals; agents and publishers and institutions
and organizations and concerns awards and prizes; the editorial process for Surpassing the Love of Men, including Faderman's
choice of a commercial New York publisher; requests for reviews, speaking engagements and for Faderman's participation in
programs or events; fan mail; legal matters, including foreign subsidiary rights and research files. Also included are letters
and cards from Faderman's friends and a photograph of Phyllis Irwin, Faderman's domestic partner.
Printed Matter, 1975-1990 (Series 3, Box 18 and oversized boxes 19-27) includes newsletters, periodicals and newspapers of
various lesbian, gay and women's organizations and groups and now defunct small presses.
Audio Materials, 1980-1981 (Series 4, Box 18) consists of both taped materials and compact discs covering interviews by Faderman
with Barbara Gittings, an early pioneer lesbian activist, and Mariana Romo-Carmona, a Latina lesbian artist from New York
City, for Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers.
Organization and Arrangement
Arranged in the following series:
- Series 1. Publications, 1981-1994. Boxes 1-13
- Series 2. Correspondence, 1979 - 1989, n.d.. Boxes 14-17
- Series 3. Printed matter, 1975-1990. Box 18 and oversized boxes 19-26
- Series 4. Audio materials, 1987, Oct.. Box 18
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.