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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Shades of Denial : Australian Responses to Foreign Possession and Dispossession
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'This essay proposes a new way of thinking about asylum and refugees by bringing the contemporary discourse of forced displacement into conversation with that of the transnational mobility of today’s financial elites. It does so with respect to the Australian context and the affective registers of xenophobia and antiracism routinely exploited in public debates not only on boat people and asylum, but also on immigration to Australia at large. Thus, the essay responds to calls in the fields of migration studies, critical theory, and economic geography for a closer examination of the socioeconomic inequalities produced by a neoliberalism fast transforming national economies and compelling, or enticing, people all over the world to leave their homelands. Since such inequalities are currently receiving keenest attention in the popular media, it is to these that this essay turns first, with the aim to cast light on the argumentative impasses and ethical dilemmas which the task of chronicling the extravagant lifestyles of super-rich migrants poses. For ways to resolve these, it then moves to literary fiction, notably the novels Birds of Passage (1983) by Brian Castro and The Ancestor Game (1992) by Alex Miller, exploring how they displace the popular narrative of Asian invasion by situating contemporary immigration from Asia to Australia in a wider historical context and returning to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to tell the stories of wealthy Chinese families forcing their dependants to emigrate to Australia. The final section of the essay relates Miller and Castro’s appraisals of the grim legacy of these first engineers of forced migration from Asia to Australia to more recent literary protests by Geraldine Brooks, Raimond Gaita, Stephanie Johnson, Tom Keneally, and Kim Scott against the Australian nation-state’s denial of its obligation to grant asylum to refugees.' (Publication abstract)

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Last amended 16 Oct 2019 11:58:54
1107-1123 Shades of Denial : Australian Responses to Foreign Possession and Dispossessionsmall AustLit logo Interventions : International Journal of Postcolonial Studies