Episode 28 – Who is an Expatriate?


Download the transcript here

There are certain themes that repeatedly arise in the project, and which we have been keen to examine in more detail through the podcast. The spectre of expatriate life—the shaded verandas, the spatial segregation, the Gin and Tonics—is one of these themes. In this episode, Michaela and Chantelle are joined by Sarah Kunz  to discuss her PhD research about how the category of expatriate has been employed and mobilised, and with what effects. Taking us to Cairo and Nairobi, Sarah describes the how the spaces for expatriate social lives are produced, and the racialisation of these spaces. And in her account of The Expatriate Archive housed in the Hague, she reveals how gendered the figure of the expatriate has been even in recent history and the work of a group of women to correct this image through the collection and preservation of life stories. As she advocates, it is important to open up the idea of the expatriate to critical discussion and to recognise that the expatriate is not a monolithic or static category, shaped by organisational cultures and associational life in ways that are highly racialised and gendered. It leads us back to the question of what work does the expatriate as a category do within the broader politics of migration.

If you are interested in this theme, you can also listen back to our episode When is a migrant not an expat? with Sophie Cranston.

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