Christiane Wilke

Christiane Wilke


Christiane Wilke is an Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. She received her MA and PhD in Political Science from the New School for Social Research. She is a past book review editor and managing editor of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society and a co-editor of Sensing Law (Routledge, 2017). Her research on human rights, state violence, memory, technologies, and histories of international law has been published in the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Journal of Human Rights, Constellations, and Social & Legal Studies, among others.

Research Profile:

Christiane’s research on this project asks how different forms of violence have been made visible (or not) to international law since the beginning of the 20th century. The first part of the project analyzes how Western militaries see and otherwise identify civilians, specifically in the context of aerial warfare. Two publications have examined the interaction between visual technologies and colonial ideologies in the (mis)identification of civilians in Afghanistan after 2001. A paper in progress extends these questions to the early 1920s, when international lawyers first grappled with aerial warfare and the question of the civilian. Future papers, co-authored with PhD students Safiyah Rochelle and Deniz Konuk, will analyze the visual regimes of making enforced disappearances visible, asking about the implied assumptions and limits of the concept of enforced disappearances.


Twitter: @jaanewilke

Links to publications:

Carleton Law & Legal Studies departmental homepage:

Carleton Law & Legal Studies departmental profile:

Project Publications:

“The Optics of War: Seeing Civilians, Enacting Distinctions, and Visual Crises in International Law.” In Sensing Law, ed. Sheryl Hamilton, Diana Majury, Dawn Moore, Neil Sargent and Christiane Wilke (Abingdon: Routledge/GlassHouse, 2017), 257-279.

“Seeing and Unmaking Civilians in Afghanistan: Visual Technologies and Contested Professional Visions,” Science, Technology & Human Values 42 (6), 2017: 1031 – 1060.