Lessons from The Leather Archives and Museum: On The Promises of BDSM


  • Adam j. Greteman School of the Art Institute of Chicago


queer, ethics, sexuality, BDSM


In this essay, the author explores the experience of taking a class of educators in a Master’s course to visit the Leather Archives and Museum (LA&M). Situated within a course on Social Theory, the author explores the possibility of doing justice to the sexual subject – in particular the queer sexual subjects represented in the museum’s exhibits and archives. Can occupying the space of a museum committed to preserving, archiving, and exhibiting sexual subcultures illuminate new ideas and concepts that might preoccupy queer educational thought in its third decade? Utilizing contemporary queer theory, the author ponders the promises of BDSM that are engaged with the lessons of Leather and BDSM objects. Can such a preoccupation do justice to queer subjects and practices allowing not only for queer survival but queer thrival?

Author Biography

Adam j. Greteman, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Adam j. Greteman is an adjunct professor of Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an adjunct professor of Leadership at Creighton University, and a fashion stylist in Chicago. His primary interests are in the philosophy of education, sexualities, and ethics.