Research Interests

  • Twentieth-century U.S. history
  • Political and legal history
  • History of the carceral state
  • History of sexuality, LGBTQ studies, and queer theory
  • Modern transatlantic history

Book Projects

Project 1: "Punishing Queer Sexuality in the Age of LGBT Rights" (Chicago, under consideration)

This project focuses on what I call the “war on sex offenders” and the changing ways in which that war targeted LGBTQ people in the U.S. after World War II. The war on sex offenders was an American campaign against sexual violence that began in the 1930s and had the effect of targeting many LGBTQ subjects. I argue that, even as pro-LGBT progressives defeated some of the most explicitly homophobic aspects of the war on sex offenders, starting in the late 1970s a new phase of that war persisted in criminalizing many “bad” LGBTQ subjects, such as sex workers, people with HIV, and trans people.

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Articles

“The Invention of Bad Gay Sex: Texas and the Creation of a Criminal Underclass of Gay People,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 26, no. 1 (2017): 53–87.

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“The Creation of the Modern Sex Offender,” in The War on Sex, ed. David Halperin and Trevor Hoppe (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017), 247–267.

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