The bizarre paradox of boat people​

Presented by Dr Stephen Crofts

Date: 2 March, 2018
Time: 3pm-4pm
Location: Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37) 


At the heart of the national controversy about asylum seekers arriving by boat is a bizarre paradox, some would say a monstrous disproportion.  On the one hand, a tiny number of powerless, desperate and publicly invisible people seek to live in Australia. Yet they are indefinitely detained in centres effectively controlled by the Australian state, at a cost to the taxpayer of roughly $3 billion per year.  This presentation disengages seven negative constructions of boat people, and sets out to account for the intense hostility directed towards them and the punitive forms this takes.  It suggests that the enormous anxieties they seem to provoke might find some explanation in terms of the Australian imaginary.



About Research Seminar and Workshop Series


Writing and communicating about pandemics: 2020 School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Semester 1, 2020 Seminars & Workshops


Friday, 13 March

Literature as Media: Chinese Online Literature—Storytellers, platforms and transmedia literary world

(Part of the Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design EVENTS)

Dr Tony Xiang Ren, Western Sydney University, with A/Prof Kim Wilkins, Dr Helen Marshall & Emily Baulch

Friday, 27 March



Dr Cedric Courtois

Friday, 10 April


TBC Dr Beck Wise

Friday, 24 April



Dr Skye Doherty

Friday, 8 May


TBC Dr Andrea Bubenik

Friday, 22 May


TBC Dr Chris Hay

Friday, 5 June

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Imagining the End of the World: Writing the Apocalypse before Covid-19 Dr Helen Marshall

Friday, 3 July

Online via Zoom:

Research Seminar - Developing Disciplinary Literacies in Hybrid Classes

Dr Beck Wise



Digital Learning Space, Joyce Ackroyd Building #37