Department of History

Monique Laney

Monique Laney Associate Professor
327 Thach Hall
(334) 844-4347
laney@auburn.edu

Office Hours

  • Monday 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (outside Mell 3546) or by appointment
  • Wednesday 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (outside Mell 3546) or by appointment

Profile

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 U.S. South, and negotiations over U.S. history, memory, and identity during the Cold War.

Dr. 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 & Civilization sequence, Dr. Laney offers courses on the Cold War, space exploration, oral history, and immigration history. In addition, she serves as a committee member for the Brooke Hindle Postdoctoral Fellowship for the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) as well as for the “First Book Award” committee of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS).

Before coming to Auburn, Dr. Laney 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 Ph.D.

Education

Ph.D. University of Kansas, American Studies (2009)

M.A. Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität (Frankfurt, Germany), Amerikanistik, (1995)
         Minors: 1. Slavic Philology (East), 2. Psychoanalysis

Representative Publications

"Setting the Stage to Bring in the 'Highly Skilled': Project Paperclip and the Recruitment of German Specialists after World War II." In A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: US Society in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965, edited by Maddalena Marinari, Madeline Y. Hsu and María Cristina García, Urbana: University of Illinois, 2019, 144-60.

“Von Braun’s Team in Huntsville,” Alabama Heritage, Winter 2017..

German Rocketeers in the Heart of Dixie: Making Sense of the Nazi Past during the Civil Rights Era. Yale University Press, 2015.

“’Operation Paperclip’ in Huntsville, Alabama,” Steven J. Dick, ed.  Remembering the Space Age. Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2008, 89-107.

“Wernher von Braun and Arthur Rudolph: Negotiating the past in Huntsville, Alabama.” In German Diasporic Experiences: Identity, Migration, and Loss, ed. by Mathias Schulze, James M.Skidmore, David G. John, Grit Liebscher, and Sebastian Siebel-Achenbach, Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008, 443-454.

“The New York Times and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Two Perspectives on the War in Iraq.” In  Safeguarding German-American Relations in the New Century: Understanding and Accepting Mutual Differences, edited by Hermann Kurthen, Antonio V. Menendez-Alarcon, and Stefan Immerfall. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books - Rowman & Littlefield, 2006, 177-198.

Classes Taught

HIST 7970: The Cold War​

HIST 7970: Immigration and Technology

HIST 5000/6000: NASA and the South

HIST 3970: U.S. Technology through Foreign Eyes

HIST 1220: Technology and Civilization II

HIST 1210: Technology and Civilization I

Last Updated: August 20, 2019