Natasha Wheatley is an historian of modern European and international history, with a particular interest in legal and intellectual history, Central Europe, and the history of international law. Her current book project, The Temporal Life of States: Sovereignty at the Eclipse of Empire, recasts the modern transformation of the world of states from the pivot point of Central Europe. It tracks a recurring set of questions about the legal birth and death of states from the cradle of Austro-Hungarian constitutional law into the interwar international order and, beyond that, to the crisis of global decolonization that followed the Second World War. Tracing the problem of states-in-time from the mid-19th century through to the mid-20th, it presents an unfamiliar pre-history of the international law of decolonization, as well as new ways of understanding Central Europe in the world.
Her article, “Spectral Legal Personality in Interwar International Law: On New Ways of Not Being a State,” was awarded the Surrency Prize from the American Society for Legal History in 2018. Earlier research on the League of Nations’ mandate system has appeared in Past and Present and elsewhere. A volume titled Power and Time, edited with Dan Edelstein and Stefanos Geroulanos, is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press; and a volume edited with Peter Becker, titled Remaking Central Europe: The League of Nations and the Former Habsburg Lands, is under contract with Oxford University Press.
Wheatley received her Ph.D. with distinction from Columbia University in 2016. Before joining the Princeton faculty, she was an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney. She has held fellowships in Vienna, Berlin, and Cambridge, and her research has been supported by (among others) the Doris G. Quinn Foundation, the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research, the Central European History Society, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities. She will be a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin for the 2019-20 academic year.
“Spectral Legal Personality in Interwar International Law: On New Ways of Not Being a State,” Law and History Review 35, no. 3 (2017).
“New Subjects in International Law and Order,” in Internationalisms: A Twentieth-Century History, ed. Patricia Clavin and Glenda Sluga (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 265–286.
“Mandatory Interpretation: Legal Hermeneutics and the New International Order in Arab and Jewish Petitions to the League of Nations,” Past and Present 227 (2015): 205–248.
“The Mandates System as a Style of Reasoning: International Jurisdiction and the Parceling of Imperial Sovereignty in Petitions from Palestine,” in The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates, ed. Andrew Arsan and Cyrus Schayegh (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015), 106–122.
“The Compass of International History: Eric Hobsbawm and After,” Journal of Modern European History 11, no. 4 (2013): 424–432.
Photo credit: Nina Subin