Stephanie's dissertation examines how workers in Namibian towns under South African rule transitioned from social solidarity to political militancy amid the apartheid segregation of migrant and local laborers, focusing on worker housing as a key to urban belonging in apartheid Namibia. Her project engages two case studies: a mining company town dominated by an American multinational corporation and a port town where the state provisioned workers amid a dramatic fishing industry boom. Quinn's research argues that Africans' differential access to housing formed a crucial axis of African solidarity and politics during the Namibian liberation struggle, while also focusing on the social and political effects of migration. How did demographic change affect how communities thought about and acted on their conditions of exploitation or relative benefit?
In addition to research, Stephanie is invested in teaching and has taught two undergraduate seminars at Stanford. Moving forward, Stephanie hopes to blend her interests in research and public service to invite greater Namibian participation in and engagement with her research—not just as oral history interlocutors, but as active, acknowledged partners in thinking through Namibia’s apartheid colonial past.
Prior to Stanford, Quinn worked as a Peace Corps English teacher in Namibia, and before that she earned her B.A. in history and English (creative writing) at Bucknell University.