Tom Butcher

Technology Support and Webmaster


Nau 338
Office Hours: MW 9:00-5:00; Th 9:00-1:00 (sometimes 1:00-5:00 instead)
PDF icon Butcher CV.pdf

Field & Specialties

Modern Europe, Germany and Austria
History of Sex and Gender, History of Ideas, History of Science


Ph.D, History, University of Virginia (expected May 2018)

MA, History, University of Virginia, May 2013

  • Thesis: "A 'Synchronized Attack': Raphael Lemkin's Integrated Conception of Genocide"

BA, German and Humanities w/ a minor in History, Washington University in St. Louis, May 2010

  • magna cum laude with Departmental Honors
  • Thesis: "Memories of the Past, Identities of the Future: Prescriptive Discourses of German National Identity in the Historikerstreit"



  • "A 'Synchronized Attack': On Raphael Lemkin's Holistic Conception of Genocide." Journal of Genocide Research 15, no. 3 (Fall 2013)


  • “A Political Choice: On the Liberal Implications of Bio-Determinism in the Fight for Gay Rights in Germany, 1898–1933.” The Annual Conference of the German Studies Association. Atlanta, GA. October 5–8.
  • “Plastic Sex, Binary Gender: On Eugen Steinach’s Failed Endocrinological Cure for Homosexuality.” Northeast Modern Language Association Conference. Baltimore, MD. March 23–26, 2017.
  • “From Geschlecht und Charakter to Sexual Liberation: On an Unexpected Point of Agreement between Otto Weininger and (Some) Austrian Feminists.” Austrian Studies Association Conference. Chicago, IL. March 16–19, 2017.
  • “A Political Choice: On the Liberal Implications of Bio-Determinism in the Fight for Gay Rights in Germany, 1898–1933.” What Is and How to Do LGBT History Conference. Liverpool, England. March 3–5, 2017.
  • "Sexual Science and Gendered Interpretations in the Endocrinological Research of Eugen Steinach." Associated Colleges of the South Gender Studies Conference. February 19-21, 2016.

Current Research

My dissertation, “Sexual Spectra: Biology, Bodies, and Sexual Politics in Europe, 1898–1933,” argues that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries several important thinkers came to understand biological sex (that is, biological maleness, femaleness, or intersexuality) as a spectrum, rather than as a binary of male and female. These thinkers came from a wide range of scientific and humanistic intellectual circles, including psychologists, sexologists, physicians, research biologists, philosophers, feminists, and gay rights activists. A recounting of the multifarious attempts in that period to rethink sex, gender, and sexuality will not only illuminate an underexplored corner of European history. It will also, I hope, help us today to rethink our own assumptions about these aspects of identity, and perhaps even to conceive of a new model of sex that would account for biological changes that happen over the course of a lifetime.

Awards & Honors


  • Finalist for the Woodrow Wilson Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies; The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
  • Huskey Travel Fund Grant; Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia


  • Quinn Fellowship; The Doris G. Quinn Foundation
  • The Seven Society Graduate Fellowship for Superb Teaching; The Seven Society, University of Virginia
  • Huskey Travel Fund Grant, University of Virginia, Corcoran Department of History 


  • Summer Research Travel Grant, University of Virginia, Corcoran Department of History
  • Dumas Malone Graduate Research Fellowship, University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation


  • History Department Graduate Teaching Award, University of Virginia, Teaching Resource Center


  • Summer Foreign Language Fellowship, University of Virginia, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


  • Departmental Fellowship, University of Virginia, Corcoran Department of History

Courses Taught

Lecturer, University of Virginia

  • Queer European History (WGS 3559-003), Fall 2017

Teaching Assistant,  University of Virginia:

  • Genocide (HIST 3281), Prof. Jeffrey Rossman, Fall 2016
  • Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGS 2100), Prof. Corinne Field, Spring 2016
  • Core Seminar in Political and Social Thought II (PST 4870), Prof. Michael Smith, Spring 2015; Prof. Allan Megill, Spring 2014
  • Core Seminar in Political and Social Thought I (PST 4850), Prof. Michael Smith, Fall 2014
  • Origins of Contemporary Thought (HIEU 3802), Prof. Allan Megill, Fall 2013 & Fall 2011
  • Origins of Modern Thought (HIEU 3782), Prof. Allan Megill, Spring 2013
  • History of Human Rights (HIST 2011), Prof. James Loeffler, Fall 2012
  • Russia since 1917 (HIEU 2162), Prof. Jeffrey Rossman, Spring 2012

Grading Assistant, University of Virginia:

  • Marxism (HIEU 3812), Prof. Allan Megill, Spring 2011

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts