Scholarly Musings: Australasians & US Immigration Restriction, 1921–1940


Tuesday, 3 October 2017 - 11am to 12pm


  • General Admission: FREE
  • State Library Friends Members: FREE

Price includes fees.


Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor

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‘Devil’s Island’: Australasians & US Immigration Restriction, 1921–1940

With Anne Rees

In late 1924, the steamer Maunganui passed through San Francisco’s Golden Gate and docked at Angel Island Immigration Station. The Australians and New Zealanders onboard, restless from 20 days at sea, looked forward to clearing border control and finally disembarking. To their horror, the 18 men and women were not permitted to leave the island. After weeks of incarceration, they renamed the immigration station ‘Devil’s Island’. This talk explains how well-heeled Australasians became unlikely targets of American border policing, and considers the incident's impact on relations between the US and the British world.

Anne Rees is a David Myers Research Fellow at La Trobe University. Her research focuses upon Australian lives in the world, and has been published in Australian Historical Studies, History Australia and Australian Feminist Studies. She holds a PhD from the Australian National University and an MA from University College London, and has been a recipient of the Ken Inglis Prize and an Endeavour Research Fellowship. 


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