Samuel Clowes Huneke

Samuel Clowes Huneke

Samuel Clowes Huneke

Assistant Professor

Modern Europe, Modern Germany, History of Sexuality, Legal History, History of Democracy

Samuel Clowes Huneke is a historian of modern Europe, with a focus on the social and political history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany. He is broadly interested in how everyday life intersects with and shapes the relationships between citizens and states. His research foci include the history of gender and sexuality, legal history, and the history of democracy. Dr. Huneke received a B.A. summa cum laude in German and Mathematics from Amherst College, an M.Sc. with Distinction in Applicable Mathematics from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University.

His first book, States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany, examines gay persecution and liberation in Germany during the Cold War and will be published with University of Toronto Press in March 2022. Tracing the experiences of gay men in East and West Germany, States of Liberation argues that simplistic, Cold-War-era understandings of an oppressive, communist East and a liberal, capitalist West fail to account for the complex and idiosyncratic ways that anti-gay animus as well as liberation efforts evolved in each country.

He is currently at work on two new books. The first is a history of lesbian women in Nazi Germany, about which he has published in Central European History and Journal of Contemporary History. The second is a new history of the Allied Occupation of Germany after World War Two, retelling the story of Germany’s denazification and democratization from the perspective of ordinary Germans.

He is also the Project Director of the East German Poster Database, a digital project funded by a Fenwick Fellowship from the George Mason University Libraries, which will make the University’s collection of seven thousand posters from the GDR available to researchers and students. He writes regularly for venues including Boston Review, The Point, and Los Angeles Review of Books.

Selected Publications

States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany (University of Toronto Press, 2022)

Heterogeneous Persecution: Lesbianism and the Nazi State,” Central European History 54.2 (2021): 297-325.

"Death Wish: Suicide and Stereotype in the Gay Discourses of Imperial and Weimar GermanyNew German Critique 46.1 (1 February 2019): 127-166. 

Expanded Publication List


States of Liberation: Gay Men between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany (University of Toronto Press, 2022)

Articles and Chapters

Heterogeneous Persecution: Lesbianism and the Nazi State,” Central European History 54.2 (2021): 297-325.

„Die Grenzen der Homophobie: Lesbischsein unter nationalsozialistischer Herrschaft,“ in Homosexuelle in Deutschland 1933-1969: Beiträge zu Alltag Stigmatisierung und Verfolgung, edited by Alexander Zinn. V&R Unipress, 2020. 117-129.

"Death Wish: Suicide and Stereotype in the Gay Discourses of Imperial and Weimar GermanyNew German Critique 46.1 (1 February 2019): 127-166. 

"The Duplicity of Tolerance: Lesbian Experiences in Nazi BerlinThe Journal of Contemporary History 54.1 (first published 3 April 2017): 30-59. 

"A winning strategy for 3xn Cylindrical Hex" (with R. Hayward and B. Toft) Discrete Mathematics 331 (September 2014): 93-97. 

"An Inductive Proof of Hex UniquenessThe American Mathematical Monthly 121.1 (January 2014): 78-80. 

"The Reception of Homosexuality in Klaus Mann's Weimar-era WorksMonatshefte für deutschsprachige Literatur und Kultur 105.1 (Spring 2013): 86-100.

Essays and Reviews

Review of Benno Gammerl, anders fühlen: Schwules und lesbisches Leben in der Bundesrepublik: Eine Emotionsgeschichte (Carl Hanser Verlag, 2021). In: L’Homme: Europäische Zeitschrift für feministische Geschichtswissenschaft 32, no. 2 (2021): 153-156.

Review of Tom Smith, Comrades in Arms: Military Masculinities in East German Culture (Berghahn Books, 2020). In: Central European History 54, no. 3 (September 2021): 589-590. 

Review of Hugh Ryan, When Brooklyn was Queer (St. Martin's Press, 2019). In: Invertito: Jahrbuch für die Geschichte der Homosexualitäten 22 (2020): 147-149. 

Review of Christopher Chitty, Sexual Hegemony: Statecraft, Sodomy, and Capital in the Rise of the World System (Durham: Duke UP, 2020). In: Journal of Social History (first published 29 January 2021).

A Gay Turning Point that Failed to Turn? The Beethoven hall Podium Discussion of 1980.” History | Sexuality | Law. 30 December 2020.

Introduction.” with Benjamin P. Hein and Michelle Lynn Kahn. H-Diplo Roundtable XXI-14 on Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna. 15 November 2019.

Review of Clayton Whisnant, Queer Identities and Politics in Germany: A History, 1880-1945 (New York: Harrington Park Press, 2016) in Invertito: Jahrbuch für die Geschichte der Homosexualitäten, Vol. 20 (2018): 174-177. 

Review of Jennifer Evans, ed., Queering German History, special issue of German History: The Journal of the German History Society 34 (2016), Nr. 3 in Invertito: Jahrbuch für die Geschichte der Homosexualitäten, Vol. 19 (2017): 185-187. 

"Die Unsichtbare Tradition: Wo war die schwule Literatur Nachkriegsdeutschlands?" (with Adrian Daub) Merkur: Deutsche Zeitschrift für europäisches Denken (September 2016): 88-93. 

Grants and Fellowships

Faculty Fellow, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, 2021-2022

Fenwick Fellow, George Mason University, 2020-2021

Mabelle McLeod Lewis Fellow, 2019-2020

Silas Palmer Research Fellow, Hoover Institution Library & Archives, 2016

Courses Taught


Germany in the Cold War 

Global History of Sexuality and Gender

Nazi Germany


Modern German History

Germany after Nazism

Nazi Germany


PhD in History, Stanford University, 2019

MSc with Distinction in Applicable Mathematics, The London School of Economics and Political Science, 2012

AB summa cum laude in German and Mathematics, Amherst College, 2011

Recent Presentations

"Queer Spaces in East Germany: Between Persecution and Liberation." Virtual webinar hosted by the Wende Museum as part of its series Cold War Spaces. June 17, 2020. 

"Queer Conspiracies? Lesbians and Gay Men in Nazi Germany." Virtual talk hosted by Virginia Tech as part of the Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibit. April 2, 2020. 

In the Media


The problem with a U.S.-centric understanding of Pride and LGBTQ rights.” Washington Post. 4 June 2021.

A Gay Turning Point that Failed to Turn? The Beethoven Hall Podium Discussion of 1980.” History | Sexuality | Law. December 30, 2020.

"Can we hold Trump and his allies accountable without further splitting America?" Washington Post. 16 November 2020. 

"An End to TotalitarianismBoston Review. 16 April 2020. 

What’s Wrong with Queer History?” Boston Review. 28 June 2019.

Gay Liberation Behind the Iron CurtainBoston Review. 18 April 2019.

Queering the VoteThe Los Angeles Review of Books. 27 January 2019.

"Does Germany Hold the Key to Defeating Populism?The Atlantic. 29 March 2017. 

"Why Gay German Men Are Seeking Reparations for a Homophobic Nazi Law." VICE. 19 August 2016. 

The gay-suicide stereotype kills gay people, and must end.” Aeon. 16 February 2016. 


The Queer Other: Queerness under the sign of conservative Islam.” Review of Evren Savcı, Queer in Translation: Sexual Politics under Neoliberal Islam (Duke University Press, 2021). The Baffler. 24 June 2021.

‘Do Not Ask Me Who I Am’: Foucault and Neoliberalism.” Review of Mitchell Dean and Daniel Zamora, The Last Man Takes LSD: Foucault and the End of Revolution (Verso, 2021). The Point. 2 June 2021.

Beyond Gay Imperialism.” Review of Mark Gevisser, The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020). The Baffler. 24 March 2021.

"Black Germans and the Politics of Diaspora." Review of Tiffany N. Florvil, Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement (University of Illinois Press, 2020). LA Review of Books. 25 February 2021. 

The Death of the Gay Bar.” Review of Jeremy Atherton Lin, Gay Bar: Why We Went Out (Little, Brown & Co., 2021). Boston Review. 18 February 2021.

"When Democracy Ails, Magic Thrives." Review of Monica Black, A Demon-Haunted Land: Witches, Wonder Doctors, and the Ghosts of the Past in Post-WWII Germany (Metropolitan Books, 2020). Boston Review. 29 October 2020. 

Seduced by Respectability.” Review of Javier Samper Vendrell, The Seduction of Youth: Print Culture and Homosexual Rights in Weimar Germany (Toronto University Press, 2020). The Point. 19 August 2020.

"Recovering Queer Identities.” Review of Jen Manion, Female Husbands: A Trans History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020). Los Angeles Review of Books. 18 July 2020.

"The Long Fight for LGBT Labor Equality." Review of Eric Cervini, The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. The United States (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020). Boston Review. 17 June 2020.

Cashing in on Queerness.” Review of David K. Johnson, Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement (New York: Columbia University Press, 2019). The Point. 20 February 2020.

Atone—But Not Because it Will Save Democracy.” Review of Susan Neiman, Learning from the Germans: Race and the Memory of Evil (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2019). Boston Review, 16 December 2019.

The Inadequacies of Justice.” Review of Mary Fulbrook, Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi Persecution and the Quest for Justice (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018). The Los Angeles Review of Books, 21 July 2019.

Was Socialism Sexy?” Review of Kristen R. Ghodsee, Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence (New York: Nation Books, 2018). The Point, 3 April 2019.

What’s Left of the Gay Left?” Review of Martin Duberman, Has the Gay Movement Failed? (Berkeley: UC Press, 2018). The Point, 7 December 2018.

Politics of Hate.” Review of Dan Healey, Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2017). The Los Angeles Review of Books, 26 October 2018.


Cruising Through Berlin’s Queer History,” Exberliner, 7 June 2021.