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Laurie Marhoefer

Associate Professor

Contact Information

SMI 118


Ph.D. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2008
B.A. Columbia, 2000

I am a historian of Weimar and Nazi Germany and queer and trans politics. My book on fascism and the politics of sex and gender is Sex and the Weimar Republic: German Homosexual Emancipation and the Rise of the Nazis (2015); it reexamines the gay and trans rights movements of the 1920s, which were the world's first. My work has been published in The American Historical Review, German Studies Review, and elsewhere. I am affiliated with the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies and the Department of Germanics.

I also occasionally write about politics and history in the press, on themes like queer fascism and the history of HIV, in Slate, Salon,, and elsewhere; my essays have been quoted in The Washington Post and translated into Japanese and Spanish

Right now I am working on three books. The first, provisionally titled Magnus Hirschfeld and the Making of the Modern Homosexual, looks at how ideas about racism, imperialism, disability, and antisemitism created gay rights as we know it. That story is told by way of a recounting of the German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld's 1930-2 lecture tour of the American and British Empires in the company of the Chinese student Li Shiu Tong. The second book-in-progress is a history of queer and/or transgender people in Nazi Germany and Austria and Nazi-occupied Europe. The third is a transnational study of late-twentieth-century democracy in central Europe; a portion of that study focuses the AIDS crisis. In spring 2019, I am excited to be team-teaching a class on the global history of AIDS with Lynn M. Thomas

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 where I won a Meredith Teaching Recognition Award in 2015.


Courses Taught

Graduate Study Areas

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.

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