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TASA Thursday: Metaphors of Migration: A critical discourse analysis of the intersections between im

Join us on Thursday 20th June, for this month's TASA Thursday session which will be presented by guest speaker Cathy Martin. This session is titled "Metaphors of Migration: A critical discourse analysis of the intersections between immigration, race, and the nation in Australian press reports."

Certain metaphoric tropes of racial Otherness have persistently been used to racialize immigrants as essentially exterior and threatening to the nation. This construction of immigrant Otherness is, and historically has been, foundational to ethno-nationalist discourses of Australian national identity. Whether as invasions, floods or swarms, the metaphoric construction of racialized immigrant out-groups has consistently been utilized to naturalise and legitimate an Anglo-white national in-group. Based on a diachronic study of metaphors used within the Australian press (1854 to 2018) to frame immigration to Australia, the research presented takes a Critical Discourse Analysis approach to qualitatively examine the metaphors used to construct both immigrants and the nation.

The presentation will demonstrate the remarkable consistency over the last 165 years in the ways groups of immigrants have been racialized through metaphor. It will further demonstrate that negative immigration metaphors function alongside metaphors that construct the nation to frame ethno-nationalist discourses of belonging, with the immigrant invasion of the Australian national house continuing to resonate into the present. Together these metaphors help to structure narratives about immigrant Others and the Australian national Self. The ongoing salience of such metaphors underscores the crucial need to understand how these tools produce and reproduce exclusionary ethno-nationalist narratives of Australian identity which continue to permeate contemporary public discourse.

Event Details:

Date: Thursday 20th June 2024
Time: 12:30pm - 1:30pm (AEDT)
Format: Zoom Webinar
Cost: complimentary

Catherine Martin

Catherine Martin has a MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies (SOAS) and a PhD in Sociology (UWA) with research interests that centre on race, migration, nationalism, and national belonging. Her PhD took a critical discourse analysis approach to examine the use of metaphors in press discourses around immigration to Australia (1854-2018).

She has authored papers on topics including Chinese migration in the 1800s (Journal of Australian Studies), Italian migration in the 1920s (Journal of Intercultural Studies), ‘queue-jumping’ and asylum seekers (Journal of Australian Studies), and metaphors and anti-racism (Discourse and Society). Her most recent paper on immigrant otherness and ethno-nationalism, published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, was awarded the ISA RC05 Best HDR/ECR paper award, and she has a forthcoming paper in Sociology on sovereignty, offshore processing, and neo-colonialism.

Cathy is co-convenor of the Sociology Out West group and is one of the co-convenors of the TASA MEM thematic group. She is currently the Academic Coordinator at the McCusker Centre for Citizenship (UWA), educating students about social need, social justice, and civic participation.


Thursday, June 20, 2024, 12:30 PM until 1:30 PM E. Australia Time (UTC+10:00)
Videoconference information will be provided in an email once registration is complete.
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Penny Toth
TASA Thursdays
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
No Fee