About this Event
Asylum and Extraction in the Republic of Nauru provides an extraordinary glimpse into the remote and difficult-to-access island of Nauru, exploring the realities of Nauru's offshore asylum arrangement and its impact on islanders, workforces, and migrant populations. Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Nauru, Australia, and Geneva, as well as a deep dive into the British Phosphate Commission archives, Julia Morris charts the island's colonial connection to phosphate through to a new industrial sector in asylum. She explores how this extractive industry is peopled by an ever-shifting cast of refugee lawyers, social workers, clinicians, policy makers, and academics globally and how the very structures of Nauru's colonial phosphate industry and the legacy of the "phosphateer" era made it easy for a new human extractive sector to take root on the island. By detailing the making of and social life of Nauru's asylum system, Morris shows the institutional fabric, discourses, and rhetoric that inform the governance of migration around the world. As similar practices of offshoring and outsourcing asylum have become popular worldwide, they are enabled by the mobile labor and expertise of transnational refugee industry workers who carry out the necessary daily operations. Asylum and Extraction in the Republic of Nauru goes behind the scenes to shed light on the everyday running of the offshore asylum industry in Nauru and uncover what really happens underneath the headlines.
Julia Morris is Assistant Professor of International Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is a political anthropologist and migration studies scholar whose research centers on migration and environmental governance in the Pacific. Her work examines the postcolonial overlaps of resource extractive sectors centered on migrants and commodities, extending to upcoming projects on conservation strategies in frontier development.
This event is sponsored by the Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies and the Institute for the Study of International Migration
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Event Venue & Nearby Stays
301 Intercultural Center (ICC), McGhee Library, Washington, United States