327 Thach Hall
PhD, University of Kansas
MA, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Monique Laney joined Auburn University in 2014. Her research combines the history of science and technology and migration studies by focusing on "highly skilled" migrants. Her first book, German Rocketeers in the Heart of Dixie: Making Sense of the Nazi Past during the Civil Rights Era (Yale University Press, 2015), won the 2015 Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Award from the American Astronautical Society, the 2016 Gardner-Lasser Aerospace History Literature Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as an honorable mention for the Deep South Book Prize of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South at the University of Alabama. This study’s main subjects are the German rocket specialists and their families, who were brought to the United States after World War II under the military operation Project Paperclip and later followed the Army to Huntsville, Alabama. Led by Wernher von Braun, the German rocket team has been celebrated internationally for its contributions to the Army’s missile and NASA’s space programs. Based on oral histories and archival material, the book examines this post-World War II international and national migration linked to military and “Big Science” projects and the effects of this migration on a small southern community, race relations in the South, and negotiations over U.S. history, memory and identity during the Cold War.
Laney has received multiple awards for her research, including a grant from the National Science Foundation, two fellowships at Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, and two fellowships sponsored by NASA. Currently, Laney is working on multiple projects related to the global movement of highly skilled migrants.
In addition to teaching the technology and civilization sequence, Laney offers courses on the Cold War, space exploration, oral history, and immigration history. She serves as the treasurer for the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS) and is a member of the University of Alabama Editorial Board.
Before coming to Auburn, she taught history and American studies courses for universities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Laney spent eight years working in the information technology industry as a consultant, trainer, and customer liaison, prior to returning to school for her PhD.
U.S. immigration history, history of science and technology, memory studies