History Department
History Department

Christopher Babits

B.A. (Highest Honors), M.A., Clark University

Graduate student



American masculinity; gender and sexuality; slavery and abolition; history of psychology; educational history, policy, and reform; historical teaching methods


I’m a second-year PhD student.  My research focuses on United States gender and sexuality in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  For my dissertation, I plan on investigating the ways various post-World War II stakeholders used psychoanalysis and other forms of therapy to “convert” gay men and lesbians.  I'm particularly interested in the connections between conservative religious groups and supposedly secular psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors.

I'm currently completing an article that contextualizes Dr. Joseph Nicolosi's masculine initiatory therapy.  Nicolosi was one of the founders of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a group formed in 1992 that continues to advocate for conversion therapists.  In addition to this, I'm writing an article that analyzes James Henry Hammond's sexual relationship with two slaves.

This fall, I'm one of Professor Olwell's teaching assistants for HIS 315K: The United States, 1492-1865.  I'm also the supplemental instruction (SI) leader for the course.  As an SI leader, I'll design and facilitate optional discussion and activity sessions that'll emphasize content acquisition and skill building.

Please feel free to contact me about my work and/or about being a graduate student in the History Department at the University of Texas.

History Graduate Council

I will be serving as one of the co-leaders of the History Graduate Council for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.  The Council provides history graduate students a voice for their educational and professional experiences at the University of Texas.