Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Essays on Nationality, Law and Belonging in Australia and New Zealand

We have word of the publication of Subjects and Aliens: Histories of Nationality, Law and Belonging in Australia and New Zealand, edited by Kate Bagnall and Peter Prince  (ANU Press 2023):

Subjects and Aliens confronts the problematic history of belonging in Australia and New Zealand. In both countries, race has often been more important than the law in determining who is considered ‘one of us’.

Each chapter in the collection highlights the lived experiences of people who negotiated laws and policies relating to nationality and citizenship rights in twentieth-century Australasia, including Chinese Australians enlisting during the First World War, Dalmatian gum-diggers turned farmers in New Zealand, Indians in 1920s Australia arguing for their citizenship rights, and Australian women who lost their nationality after marrying non-British subjects.

The book also considers how the legal belonging—and accompanying rights and protections—of First Nations people has been denied, despite the High Court of Australia’s recent assertion (in the landmark Love & Thoms case of 2020) that Aboriginal people have never been considered ‘aliens’ or ‘foreigners’ since 1788. The experiences of world-famous artist Albert Namatjira, and of those made to apply for ‘certificates of citizenship’ under Western Australian law, suggest otherwise.

Subjects and Alien
s demonstrates how people who legally belonged were denied rights and protections as citizens through the actions of those who created, administered and interpreted the law across the twentieth century, and how the legal ramifications of those actions can still be felt today.
TOC after the jump.

–Dan Ernst

Kim Rubenstein

1. Australia’s ‘Alien Races’ Meet New Zealand’s ‘Race Aliens’
Peter Prince and Kate Bagnall

2. ‘Not Substantially of European Origin or Descent’: How Race Came to Shape Australian Enlistment during World War I
Sophie Couchman

3. Freedom and Freehold: Intergenerational Land Ownership by Chinese and Dalmatian Farming Families in New Zealand
Jane McCabe

4. The ‘Silver-Tongued Orator’ Advocates for Australian Indians: Srinivasa Sastri’s Tour of Australia in 1922
Margaret Allen

5. ‘Australian Is an Alien’: The Position of Australian Women Married to ‘Aliens’, 1920–49
Emma Bellino

6. ‘Our Natives Have No Constitutional Right to Equal Privileges with White People’ Western Australia’s Natives (Citizenship Rights) Act 1944
Peter Prince

7. Was Namatjira an Alien? The High Court’s Flawed History of Belonging in Australia
Peter Prince