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Laurie Marhoefer

Jon Bridgman Endowed Professor of History, University of Washington

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About Laurie

Marhoefer's expertise is on trans history, queer history, LGBTQ issues, and modern European history, with a focus on Nazi Germany. Themes in Marhoefer's writing include the rise of the Nazis and the nature of fascism, racism in politics (including in LGBTQ politics), the AIDS crisis, how democracies fall apart and become dictatorships, and queer and transgender activism. Marhoefer has consulted for Politifact and Pew Research on the history of Nazism and been a guest on NPR and on public radio in New Zealand.

In the News

Opinion: "The Asian Canadian Gay Activist Whose Theories on Sexuality Were Decades Ahead of Their Time," Laurie Marhoefer, The Conversation, March 31, 2022.
Opinion: "Coronavirus: Three Lessons From the AIDS Crisis," Laurie Marhoefer, The Conversation, March 16, 2020.
Opinion: "How Should We Protest Neo-Nazis? Lessons From German History," Laurie Marhoefer, The Conversation, August 21, 2017.

Publications

"Sex and the Weimar Republic: German Homosexual Emancipation and the Rise of the Nazis" (University of Toronto Press, 2015).

Charts the rise of the world's first queer and trans rights movements (in Germany in the 1920s) and examines what that movement had to do with the rise of fascism and the fall of democracy.

"Lesbian, Transvestitism, and the Nazi State: A Microhistory of a Gestapo Investigation, 1939-1943" The American Historical Review 121, no. 4 (2016): 1167-1195.

Argues that gender non-conforming people and queer women ran risks under fascism even though the law against homosexuality only applied to men. Discusses this through the story of one person under investigation by the Gestapo.