I am a historian of Weimar and Nazi Germany (1918-45). I study politics. My first book is on fascism and the politics of sex and gender in Germany before 1933. It is Sex and the Weimar Republic: German Homosexual Emancipation and the Rise of the Nazis (2015), and it also reexamines the gay and trans rights movement of the 1920s, which was the world's first. My work has been published in The American Historical Review, German Studies Review, and elsewhere.
I also occasionally write commentary on contemporary American politics from the perspective of German history. My essays have been published on Slate, Salon, Newsweek.com, and elsewhere, and quoted in The Washington Post. I have been on NPR's To the Point and Seattle's KUOW to talk about American politics and the history of fascism and antifascism.
Right now I am working on three books. One is on queer, transgender, and the Nazi-era police and courts in Germany, Austria, and Nazi-occupied Europe. A second looks at how racism, imperialism, and antisemitism created the modern gay rights movement; this story is told by way of a recounting of Magnus Hirschfeld's lecture tour of the world in the company of Li Shiu Tong. The third book is a transnational study of gay politics in the final third of the twentieth century, from the AIDS crisis of the 1980s to gay marriage.
Before joining the history department at the University of Washington, I was an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford as well as an associate professor at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY, where I won a Meredith Teaching Recognition Award in 2015.
- "Was the Homosexual Made White? Race, Empire, and Analogy in Gay and Trans Thought in Twentieth-Century Germany," Gender and History 2019 (forthcoming)
- "Why the Myth of the Gay Nazi is Back in Circulation" Slate 24 August 2018
- "Queer Fascism and the End of Gay History," blog post, Notches (June 2018)
- “Lesbianism, Transvestitism, and the Nazi State: A Microhistory of a Gestapo Investigation, 1939-1943.” The American Historical Review 121:4 (2016): 1167-1195.
- “‘The book was a revelation, I recognized myself in it’: Lesbian Sexuality, Censorship, and the Queer Press in Weimar-era Germany.” Journal of Women’s History 27:2 (2015): 62-86.
- Marhoefer, Laurie. Sex and the Weimar Republic: German Homosexual Emancipation and the Rise of the Nazis. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015. Print.
- “Homosexuality and Theories of Culture.” In Was ist Homosexualität? Forschungsgeschichte, gesellschaftliche Entwicklungen und Perspektiven, edited by Jennifer V. Evans, Florian Mildenberger, Rüdiger Lautmann, Jakob Pastötter. Hamburg: Männerschwarm, 2014: 255-269.
- “Degeneration, Sexual Freedom, and the Politics of the Weimar Republic, 1918-1933.” German Studies Review 34 No. 3 (2011): 529-550.
Division: Europe--Medieval to Modern Times
Students preparing this field with Professor Marhoefer will study the social, cultural, and political history of Germany, German-speaking Europe, and Germany’s global colonial empire from the late eighteenth century to the present. Work on the major field will introduce students to important historiographical problems, such as those regarding Germany’s development into a modern nation state across the nineteenth century, the history of German Jews from the eighteenth century to the present, the development of feminism in Germany and the various paths that German feminists took in their search for justice, German imperialism, gay and trans liberation movements in German-speaking Europe from the nineteenth century to the present, the rise, fall, and long aftermath of Nazism, the rise and fall of German communism, and state violence and genocide in German history.
Division: Comparative History--Comparative Gender & Comparative Ethnicity and Nationalism*
A field in comparative gender directed by Professor Marhoefer will examine the transnational histories of gender and sexuality, as well as the closely related histories of class, race, and empire, especially within modern Europe and its colonies. A field in the comparative history of ethnicity and nationalism will investigate notions of race, national identity, and ethnic identity together with the closely related histories of gender, sexuality, and class, in the context of modern Germany and modern Europe. Students are encouraged to design fields that will serve their research interests.
*Students may not offer a field in the Comparative History division as a first field.
- Home of Award-Winning Faculty - April 6, 2018
- History that Speaks to Your Moment - April 6, 2018
- Spring Message from Anand Yang, Chair, Department of History - April 6, 2018
- The Power of Protest? The 2018 History Lecture Series in Retrospect. - February 8, 2018
- History Lecture Series Continues - Live Recording Here! - January 18, 2018
- Award Winning Faculty: Congratulations Laurie Marhoefer! - January 8, 2018
- History Lecture Series 2018. Speaking Truth to Power: Protest and Dissent in Modern History. - December 7, 2017
- Event Spotlight: Continuing the Conversation “Why Race Matters: Resistance and Resilience” in 2017 America - October 10, 2017
- Neo-Nazis 'provoke violence, get a media platform' - September 25, 2017