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May 19, 2008
Contact: Victor Bailey, Hall Center for the Humanities, (785) 864-7822.

Hall Center announces Sias fellowship recipient

LAWRENCE — Monique Laney, a doctoral student in American studies at the University of Kansas, is the 2008 recipient of the Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities.

Laney will spend a year in residence at KU’s Hall Center for the Humanities working on her dissertation, “National History and Transnational Memories: How German Rocket Engineers Became Americans in Huntsville, Alabama.” Laney uses archival documents and interviews to describe the societal and cultural fallout of the post-World War II secret military program “Operation Paperclip,” which brought to the United States a team of German rocket experts and their families under the leadership of Wernher von Braun. Laney’s research uses methods and theories from cultural anthropology, cultural studies, communication studies, sociology and historiography, and the work is intended as a major contribution to the interdisciplinary field of immigration studies and the history of science and technology, specifically space history.

Laney was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., in 2007. She has presented her research at several international conferences and was a graduate teaching assistant in KU’s Humanities and Western Civilization Program from 2004 to 2006 and a graduate research assistant for Joane Nagel, University Distinguished Professor of Sociology, at KU’s Institute for Policy and Social Research from 2006 to 2008. Laney earned a master’s degree from the University of Johann W. Goethe in Germany.

The goal of the Sias fellowship is to allow KU humanities doctoral students whose studies include an international emphasis to expand their experiences beyond a single disciplinary focus in both research and professional training. The fellowship is intended to produce humanities scholars whose vision for their careers includes a continued commitment to interdisciplinary endeavors and a desire to share that commitment with the world outside of the academy.

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