Lauren Stokes

History, Northwestern University

Lauren Stokes is Associate Professor of History and German at Northwestern University. She earned her BA at Swarthmore College and her MA and PhD at the University of Chicago. Her doctoral education was primarily supported by the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship and the Chancellor Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and she has also received support from the Council on European Studies, the Central European History Society, and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities. Since 2016, she has taught German history, migration history, and the history of gender and sexuality at Northwestern, where she received the Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award in 2022. 

As a researcher, Stokes focuses on migration and mobility in German and European history. Her first book, Fear of the Family: Guest Workers and Family Migration in the Federal Republic of Germany, traced debates over the “family migrant” and “family migration” in the FRG since the 1970s. She has also written articles about the “economic refugee” [Wirtschaftsflüchtling] and about unauthorized migration through the Berlin Wall, the latter of which appeared in a special issue of Central European History on the borders of the GDR (East Germany) that she co-edited. She currently serves as Book Review Editor for Contemporary European History and is coediting an edited collection on racism and anti-racism in divided Germany. 

While in residence at HIAS, Stokes will be working on a book about the social history of the “Jet Age” since the 1960s. The increasing availability of air travel has been a crucial but undertheorized part of our current era of globalization: it has led to a boom in international travel, intensified diasporic links for long-distance migrants, facilitated the growth of multinational corporations across far-flung communities of expatriate employees, and transformed the logistics of “just-in-time” shipping. In order to better understand these dynamics, the book is structured around a set of archetypal travelers—the tourist, the business traveler, the cargo pallet, the hijacker, and the jet-age refugee—as well as two non-travelers, the anti-airport activist and the more recent “flight shame” activist. By bringing these characters into a unified narrative, she centers airports and aviation as key locations for producing our age of uneven mobility, one defined by distinctions of class, race, and citizenship. 

Stoke’s tandem partner is Thorsten Logge, Professor of Public History at Universität Hamburg. 

Her HIAS Fellowship is provided by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the federal and state funds acquired by Universität Hamburg in the framework of its Excellence Strategy. 


Lauren Stokes


Universität Hamburg


Thorsten Logge, Professor of Public History at Universität Hamburg.

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