Dr Jordana Silverstein is an ARC Postdoctoral Research Associate, researching the history of Australian government policy towards child refugees from 1970 to the present. Her research has examined histories of modern Jewish identity, memory, sexuality and diasporism, and explored notions of belonging and racialisation, in Australia and the United States. She is the author of Anxious Histories: Narrating the Holocaust in Jewish Communities at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century (Berghahn Books, 2015hb, 2017pb) and co-editor of In the Shadows of Memory: The Holocaust and the Third Generation (Vallentine Mitchell, 2016). Jordana is a co-convenor of the Australian Women's History Network and is on the Editorial Board of Australian Historical Studies, and in 2016 was on the judging panel of the non-fiction prize for the Victorian Premiers Literary Award.
A History of Australian Immigration Policy and Child Refugees: 1970 to the Present
This project investigates the ways that child refugees have been discussed and managed through Australian immigration policy since 1970. Starting with the notion that neither the child nor the refugee are natural categories, but rather are historically created and produced, and do particular work, this research will present a cultural history of the production of this category of person, by governments, politicians, policy makers, and the general public, to understand the moments when it becomes visible, and what it is used for. This research will examine the histories of particular instruments, ideas, and pieces of legislation - such as the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 - as well as the emotions which swirl around, and are produced by and through, this field of policy-making.
- Silverstein, Jordana. "'The beneficent and legal godfather': a history of the guardianship of unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in Australia, 1946-1975," in The History of the Family, 2017
- Silverstein, Jordana. ""I Am Responsible": Histories of the Intersection of the Guardianship of Unaccompanied Child Refugees and the Australian Border," in Cultural Studies Review 22, No. 2, 2016, pp. 65-89
- Silverstein, Jordana. Anxious Histories: Narrating the Holocaust in Jewish Communities at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century. New York: Berghahn Books, 2015
- Jilovsky, Esther, Silverstein, Jordana and Slucki, David (eds.,). In the Shadows of Memory: The Holocaust and the Third Generation. London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2015
What comes after #LetThemStay?
Jordy Silverstein and Max Kaiser on the Overland website 23 February 2016. The focus on children leads to a perpetuation of a discourse around asylum seekers that is ultimately damaging to longer-term aims of dismantling the border regime.
How do modern Jewish communities narrate the Holocaust?
Jordana Silverstein on the ABC News website.
The Israeli Prime Minister's offended Palestinians and Jewish Holocaust survivors. He's left historians astonished, and in Israel inspired widespread mirth and hundreds of new internet memes.
Tackling difficult history lessons
Jordana Silverstein, RN Afternoons on the ABC Radio National website.
When it comes to educating young people about their history and the history of others, parents and teachers must work out how to interpret events in order to paint the most accurate picture of what occurred.