González Millán, Xoán

O Grove, 1951 – New York, 2002. Academic, literary critic and professor.
Xoan González Millán in Casa Galicia NY in 1988 (photograph provided by Francisco Álvarez)

One of the key scholars of contemporary Galician Studies, he wrote essays on Álvaro Cunqueiro and various aspects of contemporary Galician narrative and culture. His innovative academic work served to renew Galician Studies, for example with the book Resistencia cultural e diferencia histórica (2000).

He went to the United States in 1976 to work for the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library. In 1982, he studied a master’s degree at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), where he also completed his doctorate with a thesis on the narrative of Álvaro Cunqueiro. In 1985 he entered the Hunter College of the same institution as a professor and became Head of the Department of Romance Languages.

In 1988 he was one of the promoters (with Kathleen March) of the creation of the International Association of Galician Studies in the United States (of which he was president from 1991 to 1994), and created and directed at CUNY the first chair in Galician Studies in the United States. He passed away in New York in a car accident with his wife Esperanza Caneda (Sources: “Nota biográfica”; Alejandro Alonso Nogueira, “Xoán González-Millán, estudioso de la cultura gallega”).