I am a historian of modern Europe with a special focus on twentieth-century Germany, gender, and sexuality. My book on the history of prostitution in the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) explores how shifts in established gender relations and sexual mores after the First World War affected the stability of Germany’s first experiment in liberal-democratic government. Liberal gender reforms like the decriminalization of prostitution nourished a powerful right-wing backlash that played a major role in the destruction of Weimar democracy and the rise of National Socialism. From the example of Weimar, I have learned how important it is to integrate gender analysis into the study of politics and the state. In my research and teaching, I pay special attention to the relevance of conflicts over gender for larger processes of social, cultural, and political change. My current research focuses on the campaign against the “black horror on the Rhine,” a racist slogan against the stationing of French colonial soldiers from Africa in the German Rhineland after World War I.
Among the courses I have taught are surveys of German history from the Reformation to the present, as well as classes on women’s movements in modern Europe, the history of prostitution, and dictatorship in twentieth-century Europe.