Robert Beachy

 Associate Professor
 Department of History
 Goucher College
1021 Dulaney Valley Road

Baltimore, MD 21202
   Tel: (410) 337-6466
   Fax: (410) 337-6405



  1. Long Knives: Homosexuality in Nazi Germany (in preparation).  Viktor

  2. Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity (forthcoming, Alfred A. Knopf 2014). 

  3. German Civil Wars: Nation Building and Historical Memory, 1756-1914, with James Retallack (forthcoming Oxford University Press). 


I was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, and was raised in Mennonite communities in Puerto Rico and Indiana. I attended Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, where I received my B.A., and I earned my Ph.D. in history at the University of Chicago.

My recent research focuses on the origins and development of sexual identity in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany. My current project, Long Knives, focuses on homosexuality under the Nazi regime. I analyze the complex evolution of Nazi thought and policies toward homosexuality from open tolerance to persecution. The history of homosexuality under the Nazis illuminates the multi-faceted relationship of homosexuality to right-wing movements in contemporary Western political and social thought. My book on homosexuality in Berlin (forthcoming Alfred A. Knopf), situates the origins of modern male and female homosexual identity in Germany between the 1860s and the Weimar Republic.  It suggests that it was in Berlin, rather than in other European and American cities, that contemporary gay and lesbian identity first emerged and flourished.  Hirschfeld 1

My work has received support from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the National Humanities Center, the Huntington Library, the Max Planck Institute for History in Göttingen, and the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, as well as the German Academic Exchange Service and the American Philosophical Society.



American Historical Association, Higby Prize, best article in European History for 2010-11
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Summer Re-Invitation Grant(2011)
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow (2010-11)
American Philosophical Society, Franklin Research Grant (2010)
John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow (2009-10)
Faculty Summer Research Grant, Goucher College (2009)
Christopher Isherwood Foundation Fellow of the Huntington (2008)
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), summer reinvitation grant (2008)
Phil Zwickler Memorial Research Grant, Cornell University (2007)
National Humanities Center, Jessie Ball DuPont Fellow (2006-07)
American Philosophical Society, Franklin Research Grant (2006)
Faculty Summer Research Grant, Goucher College (2005)
Max Kade Foundation, Grant for "German Moravians" Conference at Wake Forest Univ. (2002)
Atlanta Goethe Institute, Grant for "German Moravians" Conference at Wake Forst Univ. (2002)
William C. Archie Fund for Faculty Excellence, Wake Forest Univ. (2000)
Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte, Göttingen, summer fellowship (2000)
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), post-doctoral fellowship (2000)
Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, six-month research residency (1999)
Finalist, Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize, German Historical Institute, Washington, DC (1999)



  1. Pious Pursuits:  German Moravians in the Atlantic World, ed. with Michele Gillespie (Berghahn 2007)
  2. Who Ran the Cities? Elite and Urban Power Structures, 1700-2000, ed. with Ralf Roth (Ashgate 2007)
  3. Women Business & Finance in Nineteenth Century Europe: Rethinking Separate Spheres, ed. with Beatrice Craig & Alastair Owens (Berg 2006)
  4. The Soul of Commerce:  Credit, Property and Politics in Leipzig, 1750-1840 (Brill 2005)
  1. "The German Invention of Homosexuality,"  The Journal of Modern History, vol. 82/4 (Dec. 2010): 801-38.
  2. "Lodge Factionalism and Civic Notability in the Napoleonic Era," in Zeitschrift für Internationale Freimaurer-Forschung, no. 1 (2002): 41-55 (actual publication date 2004)
  3. "Business was a Family Affair: Women of Commerce in Central Europe, 1650-1880," in Histoire Sociale-Social History, vol. XXXIV, 68 (2001): 307-330 (actual publication date 2003).
  4. "Bankruptcy and Social Death: The Influence of Credit-Based Commerce on Cultural and Political Values," in Zeitsprünge: Forschungen zur Frühen Neuzeit 4/4 (2000), 329-343; Reviewed by Christoph Albrecht:  "Vom Credo zum Kredit - Sozialer Tod: Der Bankrott im achtzehnten Jahrhundert" Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 29 August (2001), Section N: 5.
  5. "Recasting Cosmopolitanism: German Freemasonry and Regional Identity in the Early Nineteenth Century," in Eighteenth Century Studies, 33:2 (Winter 1999-2000), 268-76.
  6. "Local Protest and Territorial Reform: Public Debt and Constitutionalism in Early Nineteenth-Century Saxony," in German History 17/4 (1999), 470-87.
  7. "Reforming Interregional Commerce: Leipzig Trade Fairs and Saxon Economic Recovery from the Thirty Years' War," in Central European History 32/4 (1999), 431-52.
  1. "The Surveillance of Identity: Policing Homosexuals in Wilhelmine Berlin," forthcoming in After the History of Sexuality: German Genealogies of Lust and Longing, ed. Scott Spector, Dagmar Herzog, Helmut Puff (Berghahn Books, 2012) 
  2. "Dresden and Leipzig at War," forthcoming in War in an Age of Revolution: The Wars of American Independence and the French Revolution, 1776-1815, ed. Stig Foerster and Roger Chickering (Cambridge University Press) 
  3. "Manuscript Missions in an Age of Print:  The Moravian 'Gemein Nachrichten' in the Atlantic World," in Pious Pursuits: German Moravians in the Atlantic World, ed. Gillespie and Beachy (Berghahn, 2007).
  4. "Profit and Propriety: Sophie Henschel and Gender Management in the German Locomotive Industry," in Women in Business and Finance in Nineteenth Century Europe: Rethinking Separate Spheres, ed. Beachy, Owens, Craig (Berg Press, 2005).
  5. "Masonic Fraternalism and the Construction of Gender in Enlightenment Europe," forthcoming in Fraternal Organisations and the Structuring of Gender Roles in Europe, 1300-2000, ed. Maire Cross, Andrew Prescott (Ashgate, 2005)
  6. "The Eclipse of Usury:  Bankruptcy and Business Morality in Eighteenth-Century Germany," in Ways of Knowing: Early Modern German Studies, ed. Mary Lindemann (Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2004), 171-190 
  7. "Women Without Gender: Commerce, Exchange Codes, and the Erosion of Female Guardianship in Germany, 1680-1830," in Family Welfare: Gender, Property and Inheritance since the Seventeenth Century, ed. David R. Green, Alastair Owens (Greenwood Press, Connecticut, 2004).
  8. "Club Culture and Social Authority: Freemasonry in Leipzig, 1741-1830," in The Paradoxes of Civil Society, ed. Frank Trentmann (New York, Berghahn Books, 2000; reprint 2003), 157-75.
  9. "Fernhandel und Krämergeist: Die Leipziger Handelsdeputierten und die Einführung der sächsischen Wechselordnung, 1681," in Leipzigs Messen 1497 bis 1997, ed. Hartmut Zwahr, 2 vols. (Weimar/Cologne/Vienna, Böhlau Verlag, 1999), 1: 135-147


friends John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
National Humanities Center

Goethe-Institut, Washington, DC
Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA
German Historical Institute, Washington, DC
German Studies Association
Schwules Museum, Berlin
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Jewish Museum Berlin
Herzog August Bibliothek
Max Planck Society
Berlin State Archive
Humboldt University, Magnus Hirschfeld Archive
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland
H-German Website
Aibonito, Puerto Rico