Dr Wendy

Dr Wendy Mee

Senior Lecturer, Undergraduate Program Convenor – Bachelor of International Development

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of Social Inquiry

Level 4, Social Sciences Building, Melbourne (Bundoora)


PhD (La Trobe).



Membership of professional associations

Australian Anthropological Society (AAS); Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA); The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).

Area of study


Brief profile

I’ve conducted research in a number of countries (Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan and the Marshall Islands) and across a number of disciplines (sociology, anthropology, science and technology studies and international development). My current research interests relate to my fieldwork in Indonesia on translocal Malay identity processes. Here I consider multiple and competing forms of citizenship and sovereignty in the context of border zones and transnational crossings. I have also become increasingly interested in the comparative study of secularity, and exploring how the distinction between ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ is understood in different contexts. 

In my teaching and research, I favour a comparative approach that draws on examples from both the West and the Global South. I find this approach provides a robust perspective from which to evaluate social scientific concepts and theories, such as modernity, agency, post-secularity, globalisation and social change.

Research interests

Gender, Culture, Sexuality

- Comparative study of gender and society


- Transnational border studies

Religion and Society

- Comparative study of the secular

Recent publications

  • Mee, W. 2017 'Rowing 'at home'and 'away': sport, heritage and identity in the Malay world. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 24 (4), 474-492.
  • Mee, W. 2016 'The Social Lives of Gender and Religion: Implications for Development Policy'. Sustainable Development, 24 (3), 163-171. In a special issue on religion and sustainable development.
  • Mee, W. 2015 'Work and Cosmopolitanism at the Border: Indonesian Women Labour Migrants'. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41 (12): 2014-2060.
  • Mee, W. 2014 'Beyond the Personal in Sambas, Indonesia: Women working across borders'. Critical Asian Studies, 46 (3), 405-432.
  • Mee, W. 2013 'Secularity: A contribution to the study of heterogeneous modernity'. Refereed paper presented at TASA (The Australian Sociological Association) 2013 Conference, 'Reflections, Intersections and Aspirations: 50 years of Australian Sociology', Monash University Caulfield. 25–28 November.
  • Mee, W. 2012, 'Technology, Culture and Modernity in Malaysia' in W. Mee and J.S. Kahn, Eds. Questioning Modernity in Indonesia and Malaysia, Singapore: National University of Singapore Press in association with Kyoto University Press, Japan.
  • Mee, W. and J.S. Kahn, Eds. 2012, Questioning Modernity in Indonesia and Malaysia, Singapore: National University of Singapore Press in association with Kyoto University Press, Japan. 
  • Mee, W. 2012, ‘The Ebb and Flow of Popular Islamic Music Forms: Zikir Maulud amongst Sambas Malays’, Asian Journal of Social Science, 40 (2012): 203–233
  • Mee, W. 2011, ‘Translocal women: between the local and the global’. Refereed conference paper presented at TASA Conference, Newcastle, 29th November – 1st December.
  • Mee, W. 2010, ‘A Traffic in Songket: Malay Translocal Identities in Sambas’, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 41(02): pp 321-339.
  • Katz, E, Solomon, F, Mee, W and Lovel, R 2009, ‘Evolving Scientific Research Governance in Australia: A case study of engaging interested publics in nanotechnology research’, in Public Understandings of Science, 18(5): 531-545.
  • Macintyre, M, Mee, W, and Solomon, F 2008, 'Evaluating Social Performance in the Context of an "Audit Culture": A pilot review of a gold mine in Papua New Guinea', Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 15(2): pp 100-110.
  • Mee, W. 2007, 'In Defence of Civility: Conceptualising social relations of peace in Indonesia', Suomen Antropologi (Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society), 32(3): 25-38.
  • Mee, W, Katz, E, Alem, L and Kravis, S 2007, ‘Sociotechnical Challenges in the Design of a Knowledge Portal’, in Journal of Information, Communication and Society 10 (1): 5-28.
  • Lateef, S. and Mee, W., 2006, Working with Women’s Nongovernment Organizations, Manila: Asian Development Bank.
  • Mee, W. 2005, ‘Women, Gender and Science and Nation-Building: In Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific’, Encyclopaedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Volume 3 Science and Nation, Brill Publishers.

Research projects

RFA-Transforming Human Societies funded project: Small-scale mining (SSM) in the Philippines. SSM represents a significant sector of the Philippine economy but the illegal character of SSM and miners’ limited economic and technical capacity have resulted in techniques of mining harmful to individuals, communities and the environment. Not all SSM practices are hazardous or environmentally harmful, however, and this research will also document sustainable SSM practices utilised by communities on customary lands.

Secularities and Post-Secularities: In conversation with the writings of Saba Mahmood, Sherine Hafez, and others, this research considers how Muslim women ‘activists’ (broadly defined) situate themselves in relation to the different secular institutions and post-secular orientations in Indonesia and Australia.

2007–2009 Translocal Identities in the Malay World: Travel, Commerce, Community Building and Religious Reform in Insular and Peninsular Southeast Asia. ARC Discovery Project