I am a historian of Weimar and Nazi Germany (1918-45). I study politics. My first book looks at the rise of the Nazis and the politics of sex and gender in Germany prior to 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 Salon.com, Newsweek.com, and elsewhere, and quoted in The Washington Post. I have appeared on NPR's To the Point, on Seattle's KUOW, and elsewhere to talk about American politics and the history of fascism and antifascism.
I am currently at work on a number of projects, including one on queer sexuality and transgender and the Nazi State, one on blackness and citizenship in Germany in the 1920s, and a third on the transnational history of gay politics. Before joining the history department at the University of Washington, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford (UK) as well as an assisstant and associate professor at Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY.
- “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.