Dr. des. Veronika Siegl

Senior Research Fellow

Contact Details

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna
NIG, 4th floor

E-Mail: veronika.siegl@univie.ac.at

Research Focus Areas

  • Medical anthropology
  • Assisted and selective reproduction, reproductive rights, motherhood
  • Intimate labour/ intimate economies
  • Feminism and intersectionality
  • Morality and ethics
  • Affects and emotions
  • Qualitative methods and research ethics
  • Regional focus: Europe/ Eastern Europe

Short Biography

Veronika Siegl is a social anthropologist and gender studies scholar. She is interested in questions of ethics, inequality and autonomy in the context of medicine, technology, economy and the body. Her dissertation, titled „Fragile Truths. The Ethical Labour of Doing Trans-/national Surrogacy in Russia and Ukraine” (University of Bern, 2018), scrutinized how morals and values are employed to make sense of, judge, legitimise and govern the intimate and affective relations produced in the sphere of commercial surrogacy. The research was conducted in the frame of the SNSF-funded project “Intimate Uncertainties" (Prof. Dr. Sabine Strasser). 

In her postdoc project Veronika explores how the category of “life” is negotiated in the context of prenatal testing and late abortions. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Austria – where late abortions have recently been strongly contested – the project zooms in on medical decision-making against the backdrop of diagnostic uncertainty and the lack of legal guidelines, on imaginations of a „good“ life as well as on the materiality and the handling of “dead life”. 

Currently, Veronika is a Visiting Researcher at the University of Cologne (Professorship of Organisation, Technology and Gender) as well as Senior Research Fellow at der University of Vienna (Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology).


  • Fragile Truths. The Ethical Labour of Doing Trans-/national Surrogacy in Russia and Ukraine (Doctoral thesis, Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern, 2018)
  • Transversale Politiken. Verhandlungen von Positionen und Positionierungen in der Antirassismusarbeit (Diploma thesis, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, 2012)

Selected Publications

  • 2021. Transnationale reproduktive Mobilität aus der Schweiz (ein Gutachten im Auftrag des Bundesamtes für Gesundheit, CH), mit Christine Bigler, Tina Büchler, Laura Perler und Carolin Schurr. Online: https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/de/home/medizin-und-forschung/fortpflanzungsmedizin/stellungnahmen-gutachten.html.
  • 2019. Uneasy Thankfulness and the Dilemma of Balancing Partiality in Surrogacy Research. In: Stodulka, Thomas/ Dinkelaker, Samia/ Thajib, Ferdiansyah [ed.]: Affective Dimensions of Fieldwork and Ethnography. Berlin/ New York: Springer, 87 – 96.
  • 2019. “There’s a crack in everything”. Or: How Leonard Cohen inspired my research on surrogacy. In: Medicine Anthropology Theory. Online: http://medanthrotheory.org/read/11184/crack-in-everything-commercial-surrogacy
  • 2019. Leihmutterschaft in der Ukraine. Aufstieg – und Fall? – eines lukrativen internationalen Marktes. In: ukraine-analysen 211, 8 – 13. Online: http://www.laender-analysen.de/ukraine/pdf/UkraineAnalysen211.pdf
  • 2018. The presence of absence in surrogate homes. In: Allegra Laboratory. Online: http://allegralaboratory.net/the-presence-of-absence-in-surrogate-homes/ 
  • 2018. The Ultimate Argument. Evoking the Affective Powers of ‘Happiness’ in Commercial Surrogacy. In: Anthropological Journal of European Cultures 27(2), 1 – 21.
  • 2018. Aligning the Affective Body. Commercial Surrogacy in Moscow and the Emotional Labour of “Nastraivatsya”. In: Tsantsa. Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Association 23, 63 – 72.
  • 2018. Zehn Monate/Ten Months. In: Hildebrand, Sarah [ed.]: hope. Basel: Christoph Merian Verlag, 41 – 63.
  • 2016. Feminismus und Leihmutterschaft. Ein Plädoyer für das Aushalten und Anerkennen von Widersprüchen. In: aep-Informationen. Feministische Zeitschrift für Politik und Gesellschaft 3/2016.
  • 2015. Märkte der guten Hoffnung. Leihmutterschaft, Arbeit und körperliche Kommodifizierung in Russland. In: Prokla. Zeitschrift für kritische Sozialforschung 178, 99 – 115.