Sonya Schoenberger

A.B., History, Washington University in St. Louis, 2015

Sonya Schoenberger is a PhD Candidate in the field of Transnational, International, and Global History and is a JD Candidate at Yale Law School. Her work explores environmental and legal histories of empire and colonial violence in the Pacific. 

Her current project looks at the history of the deep sea mining industry in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s and examines tensions between highly industrialized states and developing nations at the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea (1973-1982). This project traces divergent visions for the “common heritage of mankind” in the context of proposals for a New International Economic Order and the establishment of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), the UN body that regulates commercial exploitation of the international seabed.

Sonya has also conducted research on the humanitarian consequences of the French testing program in Polynesia and the politics of victim redress today. She continues to research anti-nuclear movements in the Pacific and is interested in parallels between anti-nuclear activism and opposition to deep sea mining in Pacific communities.


Environmental History
Legal History