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History Professor Robert Beachy Wins Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

Release date: April 10, 2009

Robert Beachy, associate professor of history at Goucher College, has been named a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow for his work on homosexuality in German history.

Since 1925, Guggenheim fellowships have been awarded both to academicians and to unaffiliated musicians and artists who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for creative scholarship. Fellows are appointed on the basis of unusually distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishments. The 180 fellowship winners for 2009 are artists, scholars, and scientists who were selected from nearly 3,000 applicants.

“I am deeply honored to be chosen as a Guggenheim Fellow and to receive this recognition early in my career,” says Beachy. “I plan to use the support to advance my project on the history of homosexuality in Weimar Germany and under the Nazis.”

Born in Puerto Rico, Beachy received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1998 and has taught at Goucher since 2003. His recent research focuses on the origins of sexual identity and its relationship to culture and politics in 19th- and 20th-century Germany.

His forthcoming work, Gay Berlin (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011), situates the origins of homosexual identity in debates about nationalism, politics, and masculinity in Germany from the 1860s through the 1920s. His current project, Long Knives, focuses on homosexuality under the Nazi regime and suggests there was a complex evolution of policies toward homosexual political and social organizations inside and outside the Nazi party from 1933 to 1945, ranging from open tolerance to persecution.

“Understanding the complexities of the Nazi response to homosexuality in Germany casts new light on the Third Reich,” says Beachy. “But the history of homosexuality under the Nazis also illuminates the relationship between right-wing movements and homosexuality in contemporary Western societies.”

Beachy has written extensively about European history. His publications include German Civil Wars: Nation Building and Historical Memory, 1756-1914, co-authored with James Retallack (forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2010), and The Soul of Commerce: Credit, Property and Politics in Leipzig, 1750-1840 (Brill, 2005). His edited collections include Pious Pursuits: German Moravians in the Atlantic World, co-edited with Michele Gillespie (Berghahn Books, 2007); Who Ruled the Cities? Elite and Urban Power Structures, 1750-1940, co-edited with Ralf Roth (Ashgate Press, 2007); and Women in Business and Finance in Nineteenth Century Europe: Rethinking Separate Spheres, co-edited with Alastair Owens and Beatrice Craig (Berg Press 2006). Beachy is also the author of numerous articles and book chapters.

Beachy has received previous fellowships from 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 support from the German Academic Exchange Service and the American Philosophical Society.

To view the entire list of this year’s Guggenheim Fellows, please see http://www.gf.org/news-events/Guggenheim-Fellowship-Awards-for-the-United-States-and-Canada-2009/.


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