Join us for the fourth of the Cross Border Collective series of seminars on the theme of ‘Politics, Colonialism Borders’.
Thursday 13 December 2012. Doors open at 7pm. Entry is by coin donation.
This event will be a conversation between Sanmati Verma, Liz Thompson and Maria Elena Indelicato on the theme of international students and the border.
Sanmati Verma and Liz Thompson
With our politics wedded inextricably to the bureaucratic forms they seek to contest (“international students,” “refugees,” “guest workers”), we would like to try and decipher what has become of the cohort called “international students” after they fell out of focus following the dismantling of student pathways by the Gillard government from 2010 onwards. What we might say has not been glued together theoretically. All I can offer are a series of conjectures on what has become— what roles those formally on student visas now functionally play, what became of those subject to what Liz Thompson and Ben Rosenzweig in 2011 called ‘the expulsion,’ and what remains of those left in the permanently illegal spaces that the state strategically opened for them.
Sanmati Verma is a Melbourne-based migration lawyer, a member of the Anti-Deportation Working Group in Melbourne, and the founder of the International Student Legal Advice Clinic.
Liz Thompson is a Melbourne-based migration agent, a member of the Anti-Deportation Working Group in Melbourne and a communist who usually writes stuff with Ben.
Maria Elena Indelicato
“Racism has always combined claims based on continuity with the past with a present-oriented flexibility in defining the exact boundaries of these reified entities we call races or ethno-national-religious groupings.” (Wallerstein1991, p. 34) This quote brilliantly highlights the presence of the past in any historical manifestation of the nation-state, as well as implies a complementary relationship between the making of territorial borders and the making of social borders. “Asian” international students in Australia are a case in point as the conditions of their acceptance have greatly varied over the time in relation to successive understanding of what it takes to become “Australian”. In light of such reflection, I would like to explore with the other discussants the discursive shifts characterising the governing of international students throughout the several crises in the Australian export industry of international education.
Maria Elena Indelicato is an international PhD student at the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney. Her thesis approaches international students as a case of Australian border politics, and investigates the role played by emotions - such as resentment, anger and compassion - in shaping the governing management of international students in Australia, starting from the implementation of the Overseas Student Program in 1951.
About the seminar series
This seminar is the fourth in the cross-border collective’s monthly series of seminars on the theme of Politics, Colonialism, Borders. These seminars aim to bring together activists and academics to examine local and international movements and debates in order to develop a counter-politics of the border beyond the eradication of mandatory detention. In our view, any such political movement must confront and resist Australia’s colonial history and the ongoing dispossession of indigenous peoples.
If you would like to get involved in future seminars, please email Katie Hepworth (ketiairport at gmail.com) or Richard Bailey (rb2k at email.com).