Martin Duberman Visiting Fellowship
The Martin Duberman Visiting Scholar program at The New York Public Library promotes excellence in LGBTQ studies by supporting scholars engaged in original, archivally-based research.
The fellowship is open to established and emerging scholars, both academics and independent scholars. The selected scholar will receive $25,000 to fund their research at the Library. They will be expected to utilize the LGBTQ collections at NYPL, though it is not expected they confine themselves to those collections.
- Application deadline: June 30, 2023
- Award announced: August 1, 2023
- Fellowship term: August 2023–June 2024
To be considered for the fellowship, applicants should email the following as a single PDF file to Jason Bauman, Susan and Douglas Dillon Associate Director for Collection Development at The New York Public Library: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Research proposal of 5–10 pages
- Proposed schedule of the research to be completed
- Updated CV
- Example of your research (article or book chapter)
- Letter of recommendation
Note that the recipient will be required to give a public talk at the Library on their work as part of the fellowship. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents, with the right to work in the United States.
Selection Process and Criteria
Applications are reviewed by a committee of archivists, specialists, and curators who are familiar with NYPL and peer collections, as well as trends in LGBTQ studies. Applications are evaluated based on their originality, contribution to the scholarship, use of archives, and the potential impact of the funding on furthering the project.
NYPL has one of the world’s largest collections of LGBTQ history and materials regarding the social history of the AIDS crisis, many of which are available to view online. Explore our extensive collections, including academic and popular literature, rare books, little magazines, historic newspapers, at least 100,000 volumes, and over 300 archival collections—containing hundreds of thousands of letters, manuscripts, photographs, posters, and other items.
If you have any questions about the program or the Library’s collections, please contact Jason Baumann.
Note: Interested applicants should also be aware of The Duberman/Zal Fellowship at CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies. Not to be confused with The New York Public Library's Martin Duberman Visiting Scholar program, the CLAGS fellowship is designed only for graduate students, adjunct university teachers, and unaffiliated scholars.
About Martin Duberman
Martin Duberman is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Lehman College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York and was the founder and first director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate School. He has authored some two dozen books, including James Russell Lowell, finalist for the National Book Award; Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community; Paul Robeson; Stonewall; the memoir Cures: A Gay Man's Odyssey; Pulitzer Prize Finalist for The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein; Jews Queers Germans: A Novel; and Paul Robeson: No One Can Silence Me. In 2012, Amherst awarded Duberman an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, and in 2017 Columbia University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters. He lives in New York City. His papers are held in the New York Public Library’s Manuscripts & Archives Division.
Publications by Martin Duberman Visiting Scholars
Since launching in 2011, the Martin Duberman Visiting Fellowship has supported numerous scholars doing vital research in LGBTQ history. Below is a selection of books and articles written by awardees of the fellowship. (Book annotations excerpted from publisher descriptions.)
Books by Martin Duberman Visiting Scholars
Since 2003, the number of people suffering from AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa has been reduced by more than half. The number with access to antiretroviral drugs—which render AIDS survivable—has gone from around 50,000 to more than 11 million. All of this is thanks to a Bush administration program known as PEPFAR, introduced in 2003. It cost a fraction of a percentage of the overall budget—far less than the Iraq war—and most Americans took no notice of its launch. Yet PEPFAR is, according to journalist Emily Bass, "the best thing America has done beyond our borders in this century." To End a Plague is not merely a history of this extraordinary program; it describes the cost of success in our broken political system. (New York: Public Affairs, 2021)
Evidence of Being opens on a grim scene: Washington, D.C.'s gay Black community in the 1980s—ravaged by AIDS, the crack epidemic, and a series of unsolved murders; seemingly abandoned by the government and mainstream culture. Yet in this darkest of moments, a new vision of community and hope managed to emerge. Darius Bost's account of the media, poetry, and performance of this time and place reveals a stunning confluence of activism and art, when gay Black men banded together, using creative expression as a tool to challenge the widespread views that marked them as unworthy of grief. Evidence of Being insists on the primacy of community over loneliness, and hope over despair. (University of Chicago Press, 2019)
The Complete Works of Pat Parker
Julie R. Enszer, editor
During her lifetime, Pat Parker was a renowned African-American, lesbian, feminist poet and performer. She was the author of Jonestown & Other Madness (1985), Movement in Black (1978, 1983, 1989, 1999), Womanslaughter (1978), Pit Stop (1974, 1975), and Child of Myself (1972, 1974). Her poems appeared in numerous journals, newspapers, and anthologies. With Judy Grahn, she recorded the album Where Would I Be Without You (Olivia Records, 1976), and one of her spoken poems appeared on the album Lesbian Concentrate. (Brookville, NY: A Midsummer Nights Press; Dover, FL: Sinister Wisdom, Inc., 2016)
Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity
Alexis Pauline Gumbs
In Spill, self-described queer Black troublemaker and Black feminist love-evangelist Alexis Pauline Gumbs presents a commanding collection of scenes depicting fugitive Black women and girls seeking freedom from gendered violence and racism. In this poetic work inspired by Hortense Spillers, Gumbs offers an alternative approach to Black feminist literary criticism, historiography, and the interactive practice of relating to the words of Black feminist thinkers. Gumbs not only speaks to the spiritual, bodily, and otherworldly experience of Black women, but also allows readers to imagine new possibilities for poetry as a portal for understanding and deepening feminist theory. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2016)
Her Neighbor's Wife: A History of Lesbian Desire within Marriage
This book discusses the stories of lesbians living in heterosexual relationships in American suburbs from the post-World War II period through the 1980s. It focuses on the years between 1945 and 1989 to chart the ways the gay liberation and lesbian feminist movements and the "no-fault" divorce revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s transformed the lives of wives who desired women. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020)
Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington
For decades, the specter of homosexuality haunted Washington. The mere suggestion that a person might be gay destroyed reputations, ended careers, and ruined lives. At the height of the Cold War, fear of homosexuality became intertwined with the growing threat of international communism, leading to a purge of gay men and lesbians from the federal government. In the fevered atmosphere of political Washington, the secret "too loathsome to mention" paradoxically held enormous, terrifying power. Utilizing thousands of pages of declassified documents, interviews with over 100 people, and material unearthed from presidential libraries and archives around the country, Secret City is a chronicle of American politics like no other. (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2022)
Kids on the Street: Queer Kinship, Religion, and Performative Economies in San Francisco’s Tenderloin
In Kids on the Street, Joseph Plaster explores the informal support networks that enabled abandoned and runaway queer youth to survive in tenderloin districts across the United States. Tracing the history of the downtown lodging house districts where marginally housed youth regularly lived beginning in the late 1800s, Plaster focuses on San Francisco’s Tenderloin from the 1950s to the present. He draws on archival, ethnographic, oral history, and public humanities research to outline the queer kinship networks, religious practices, performative storytelling, and migratory patterns that allowed these kids to foster social support and mutual aid. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2023)
When Brooklyn Was Queer
When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBTQ history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and beyond. Brooklyn has always lived in the shadow of queer Manhattan neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem, but there has been a systematic erasure of its queer history. Ryan shows how the formation of Brooklyn is inextricably linked to the stories of the incredible people who created the Brooklyn we know today: drag kings, transgender men, Black lesbians, and brothel owners. Through their stories, Ryan brings Brooklyn's queer past to life. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2019)
While America is not alone in its ambivalence toward sex and its depictions, the preferences of the nation swing sharply between toleration and censure. This pattern has grown even more pronounced since the 1960s with the emergence of the New Right, whose antipornography campaigns laid the groundwork for the "family values" agenda that shifted the country to the right. Perversion for Profit traces the anatomy of this trend and the crucial function of pornography in constructing the New Right agenda. In placing debates about pornography at the forefront of American postwar history, Strub revolutionizes our understanding of sex and American politics. (Columbia University Press, 2011)
Articles by Martin Duberman Visiting Scholars
Jason Ezell. “‘Returning Forest Darlings’: Gay Liberationist Sanctuary in the Southeastern Network, 1973-1980” Radical History Review, October 2019.
David Green. "Anything that Gets Me in My Heart:" Pat Parker's Poetry of Justice." The Journal of Lesbian Studies, June 2015.
Che Gossett. “Critical Theory, Queer Resistance, and the Ends of Capture” in Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration (Fordham, 2015).
AJ Lewis. “We Are Certain of Our Own Insanity”: Antipsychiatry and the Gay Liberation Movement, 1968–1980.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, January 2016.
Elizabeth Pérez. “‘You Were Gonna Leave Them Out?’: Locating Black Women in a Transfeminist Anthropology of Religion.” Journal of Feminist Anthropology (2020)
Christopher Phelps. “The Sexuality of Malcolm X.” Journal of American Studies, August 2017.
Michael Waters. “The Untold Story of Queer Foster Families.” The New Yorker, February 28, 2021.
Cookie Woolner. "'Woman Slain in Queer Love Brawl:' African American Women, Same-Sex Desire, and Violence in the Urban North, 1920-1929." The Journal of African American History, Summer 2015.