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Provocative women in the border zone: Articulations of national crisis and the limits of women's political status

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How have assumptions about the management of reproduction and the control of women played a part in Australian border politics? In the past decade debates about the reproduction of the nation have had a particular importance alongside articulations of a sense of national crisis about 'border security' and the management of immigration. This paper will discuss the intersection of anxieties about difficult or defiant women with discourses of national biopolitics. I will focus on three popular texts produced in this period of heightened Australian border politics, all of which contain narratives about women and girls 'in the border zone' - that is, women who are imagined as not (or not really) belonging to the nation, as well as white, citizen women who transgress national borders in some way. In these narratives, themes of romantic love, sexual availability and female transgression are underscored by fundamental assumptions about women's place in national reproduction.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Cultural Studies, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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