About Dr Sonja van Wichelen

Sonja van Wichelen’s research projects broadly engage with the body, law, and science in the age of globalization and the effects that changes in these areas have on our understanding of citizenship. Previous projects examined these themes and included a) the study of public debates on Islam and gender in contemporary Indonesia, b) analyses of multiculturalism and immigration politics in postcolonial Europe (together with Marc de Leeuw), and c) a study of transnational adoption practices that focused on changing Western paradigms of the child-citizen in science, humanitarianism and the market economy.

Currently, Dr. Van Wichelen is working on a new project “The Changing Rights to Family Life in Australia: Biomedicine and Legal Governance in Globalization” which investigates the impact of globalization and biomedicine on the constitution of family through an ethnographic study of law. It compares two contrasting and currently contested cases in Australia - transnational surrogacy arrangements and family reunification in immigration - to study the biomedicalization of parenthood, the role of reproduction in border politics, and legal transformations in governing family life.

Supervision In the past Sonja van Wichelen supervised a number of PhD and MA students. She welcomes graduate students interested in globalization and human rights; humanitarianism; science and technology studies; biotechnology and reproduction; sociology of law; postcolonial and feminist theory, religion and the body.   For a complete profile and list of publications go here