Ezra Gerard

Email: egerard2@wisc.edu

Advisor: Mary Lou Roberts

Ezra Gerard


My dissertation examines the history of queer childhood in Germany from 1860-1914. During this pivotal period in the development of modern sexual identities, German sexologists turned to childhood in attempts to understand the origins of queer desires. Drawing on interdisciplinary scholarship from the fields of queer theory, memory studies, and childhood studies, I argue that questions about childhood were central to the development of queer politics and the medicalization of homosexual identity.


M.A., University of Wisconsin, Madison
B.A., University of Michigan–Ann Arbor (History)


  • European History
  • Gender and Women’s History

MA Title

  • “Dissonant Desires: Class and the Construction of Male Homosexuality in Fin-de-Siecle Sexology”

Working Dissertation Title

  • The Origins of Desire: Childhood and the Birth of Modern Queer Identity in German Sexology, 1860-1914

Selected Publications

  • “In the Dairy State You Cannot Discriminate: Protesting Military Homophobia at UW Madison,” University of Wisconsin, Madison Public History Project Blog, June 6, 2022
  • “Gay Purge: The Persecution of Homosexuals at UW Madison, 1962-1963,” University of Wisconsin, Madison Public History Project Blog, March 22, 2022

Selected Awards

  • Doris J. Quinn Dissertation Completion Fellowship
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Research Grant
  • Central European History Society Fellowship
  • George L. Mosse Fellowship in LGBTQ+ History

Professional Affiliations

  • American Historical Association
  • Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History
  • German Studies Association
  • Central European History Society
  • Society for the History of Childhood and Youth

Courses Taught as TA

  • History 346 – Transgender History
  • History 392 – Women and Gender in Modern Europe