Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Title

Alien Nation

Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Embargo Period

4-11-2018

Degree Program

Political Science

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded

2018

Month Degree Awarded

May

Abstract

Can we (re)write our own subjectivity? What is lost in translation when we attempt to remake ourselves through speech acts? These questions are perhaps the most unsolvable and fundamental to inquiries into the operations of subjectivity. Nevertheless, they are questions I am to encounter and explore in this paper through a singular case study of the Manus Island Regional Processing Center. Founded in 2001, the Manus Island Processing Center served as a place for Australia to indefinitely detain refugees off-shore. The Processing Center was also a contentious site of violence and protest, of stillness and chaos, of love and despair. The Manus refugees were engaged in a daily effort to translate and tell their experiences to bring about an end to their detention. Using an extensive archive of primary sources from the island, including government documents, video, pictures, diaries, and notes, I aim to examine how the Manus refugees attempt to translate their subject position to an Australian audience. I explore how these speech acts are co-opted or interpellated by the dominate discourses they enter into dialogue with, and the translational problematics that arise when trying to tell one’s own subjectivity differently.

First Advisor

Barbara Cruikshank

Second Advisor

Svati Shah

Share

COinS