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2017-2018 Visiting Scholar Program

The Leather Archives & Museum 2017 - 2018 Visiting Scholar program is made possible through a generous grant from Leather SINS NFP and their event, Kinky Kollege.

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The Leather Archives & Museum [LA&M] announces the seventh annual Visiting Scholar Program for the Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 academic terms.  A stipend of up to $1,000 will be awarded to one recipient scholar to conduct research using the collections of the LA&M.  Up to $1,000 of travel reimbursement will also be provided to the recipient.

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.


Monday, January 9th, 2017 program announcement and call for applications

Friday March 31st, 2017 applications received via email

Friday April 28th, 2017 notification of award

Research to be conducted between September 2017 and April 2018.

● 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 panel 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 letter of reference. Letters may be submitted by email or mail.

A digital copy of the application packet should be emailed to:


If the signed letter of reference will be emailed, it should be emailed (from the referrer) to the same email address :


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: