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2016-2017 Visiting Scholar Program at the Leather Archives & Museum in Chicago.



The Leather Archives & Museum [LA&M] announces the sixth annual Visiting Scholar Program for the Fall 2016 or Spring 2017 academic terms.  A stipend of up to $1,000 will be awarded to one or two recipient scholars to conduct research using the collections of the LA&M.  Up to $1,000 of travel reimbursement will also be provided to the recipients.

The award is available to three types of scholars:

  1.       Scholars with academic appointments
  2.       Graduate students pursuing an MA, MFA or PhD
  3.       Independent scholars with an established research agenda.

The LA&M is seeking projects that may enhance the institution’s mission to disseminate information to the public about the history of the leather / fetish / BDSM community and its culture.  Toward that end, we are particularly interested in proposals that may provide materials for display in its galleries, as a traveling exhibit or as an online exhibition.


Friday April 1st, 2016 applications emailed by this date.

Friday April 29th, 2016 notification of award

Research to be conducted between September 2016 and April 2017.

  • 33% of stipend and 100% of travel reimbursement paid at this time

A 300 to 500 word summary of the research visit and preliminary findings, able to be published by the LA&M, to be received by the LA&M between one and three months following visit. .

  • 33% of stipend paid at this time

A list of publication and presentation opportunities for which work will be submitted, to be received by the LA&M not less than three months following the visit.  Final stipend payment to be made upon acceptance of publication or presentation and receipt of a manuscript to be published or paper to be presented.

  • 33% of stipend paid at this time.


Note that applications will be reviewed by individuals who may not be in your field of study. The LA&M Visiting Scholar selection committee is composed of interdisciplinary scholars, activists, and museum and archival staff. The best applications are those crafted with polished, dynamic prose that is free of jargon..  A complete application package will include:

1. A current vita.  Include name, mailing address, phone number, email address and             institutional affiliation (if applicable).

2. Project title and one paragraph abstract

3. A 1,500 to 2,000 word descriptive narrative of the project

a. What is the subject of the research?

b. What is the scope of the project?

c. What sources do you plan to use?

d. What is the anticipated product of your research?

e. What contribution to current historic or cultural research will this project make?

4. A separate page to address the following questions:

a. How well will the result of your project be suited for publication in peer reviewed scholarly journals?

b. If this is part of a larger project, how much work have you completed to this point?  What additional research will follow your visit to the LA&M?

c. How many days of onsite research at the LA&M do you anticipate will be needed for your project?  This is for planning purposes only, and will not be used to judge applications.

d. How did you hear about the Visiting Scholar Program at the Leather Archives & Museum?

5. One signed letter of reference required. Letters can be submitted by email or mail.

A digital copy of the application packet should be emailed to Rick Storer, LA&M Executive Director at:

If the signed reference letter will be emailed, it should be emailed (from the referrer) to Rick Storer, LA&M Executive Director at :

If a signed letter of reference will be mailed, it should be delivered to:

Leather Archives & Museum

Visiting Scholar Program

6418 N Greenview Ave

Chicago, IL 60626

Past Recipients:

2010 Anthony Easton, University of Toronto

2011 David K. Johnson, Ph.D. University of South Florida

2012 Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone, Ph.D. University of Central Missouri

2012 Honorable Mention Steven Ruszczycky, University at Buffalo, SUNY

2014 Lily Emerson, University of Auckland, New Zealand

2014 Honorable Mention Ying-Chao Kao, Rutgers University

2015 Anna Robinson, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands and Central European University, Budapest, Hungary

2015 Honorable Mention Tara Burke, Independent scholar and art historian

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