Treacherous Pathways: Australia's refugee laws and policies and LBGTI Asylum Seekers

Date & time
6–7.30pm Wednesday 10 April 2019

Lecture Theatre 1, Hedley Bull Building, 130 Garran Rd, Acton ACT 2601

Professor Nan Seuffert


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Gender Institute

Presented by ANU Gender Institute and the Rainbow Refugee Action Committee Canberra

Public lecture
No Pride in Mandatory Detention sign

In this talk Professor Seuffert will address issues for refugees who are sexual minorities in Australia’s detention centres in the broader context of International Law and Australia's refugee law and policy.  She will also touch on a current project analysing refugee claims based on transgender status in the new process using the Australian Administrative Tribunal.  Seuffert considers these issues as part of a broader project on international law, national identity and sexual orientation, which is titled ‘Haunting National Boundaries: Refugee Law and Policy, Sexual Orientation and Asylum Seeking’, in which she asks what a more concerted focus on colonial genealogies of ‘sexuality’ can bring to:

1) analysis of the stories of origin of international law;

2) the operation of concepts such as ‘discretion’ and ‘credibility’ in the jurisprudence determining refugee claims; and

3) critical understandings of Australia’s controversial asylum seeker detention policies and practices.


  • Professor Nan Seuffert »

    Activist, advocate and scholar, Nan Seuffert has researched, taught and published on law and LBGTIQ issues in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.  Her work addresses laws related to asylum seekers who are sexual minorities, same sex marriage, domestication and homonormativity, transgender immigration, intimate partner violence and queer and feminist legal theory.  She is a Professor of Law and the Director of the Legal Intersections Research Centre (LIRC). Nan's research project titled ‘Haunting National Boundaries: Refugee Law and Policy and Asylum Seekers who are Sexual Minorities’ brings a concerted focus on colonial genealogies of ‘sexuality’. She is known internationally for her work on law, gender and sexuality and national identity, including for her book Jurisprudence of National Identity (2006).  Other projects include 'The Multiple Effects of Female Genital Mutilation Laws in Australia' with Associate Prof Juliet Rogers (Melbourne) and Dr Maree Pardy (Deakin) and 'Advancement of Women in Law Firms', and 'Evaluating the NSW YWCA Domestic Violence Intervention Service' with Associate Professor Trish Mundy (UOW). Nan has worked closely with vulnerable communities on a number of national and international research grants and has been a Salaried Residential Fellow at the University of California Humanities Research Institute and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society at the University of California, Berkeley.

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