Refugeeness: What's good and not so good about being persecuted and displaced?

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The concept of 'refugeeness' can help us better understand the impact of persecution and displacement on people. In its more positive manifestation, what I refer to as a seismic outlook, refugeeness allows individuals to detach themselves from the status quo and thereby devise radically inventive ways to think and operate in the world. The less positive phobic side of refugeeness relates to the profound pessimism and misanthropy that can result from being, as Koestler put it, the exposed nerves of humanity. The life and work of Albert Einstein and Primo Levi exemplify the seismic outlook; while there is a distinctive phobic perspective in Leo Strauss' political philosophy and Roman Polanski's films. This article examines links between the insights, accomplishments and limitations of these famous men and those of my less famous Vietnamese-Australian parents with a view to discerning the scope and nature of their refugeeness.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)52-74
    JournalLocal Global
    Issue numberNov-10
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    Dive into the research topics of 'Refugeeness: What's good and not so good about being persecuted and displaced?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this