Dr Shanthi Robertson

Profile photo of Dr Shanthi RobertsonDr Shanthi Robertson is a Senior Research Fellow (ARC DECRA) at the Institute for Culture and Society. Shanthi was awarded her PhD in International Studies from RMIT University in 2009. She worked as a lecturer in Global Studies and researcher at the Globalism Research Centre at RMIT University until she joined the Institute in 2013. Her research interests are broadly around the social and cultural consequences of globalisation, with a specific focus on transnational migration, citizenship, multiculturalism and urban social change within the Asia-Pacific region.

Shanthi is currently working on an ARC DECRA project on temporality, mobility and Asian temporary migration to Australia.


Graduate Certificate Tertiary Teaching and Learning, 2010, RMIT University, Melbourne

PhD (International Studies), 2009, RMIT University, Melbourne

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate, 2003, Language Specialists International, Berlin

BA (Hons, European Studies), 2002, University of Western Australia

Honours and Awards

2014: Raewyn Connell Prize

2011: RMIT University Teaching Excellence Award: Early Career Academic

2005: Australian Postgraduate Award

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Selected Publications


Robertson, S 2013, Transnational student-migrants and the state: the education-migration nexus (opens in a new window), Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Book Chapters

Robertson, S (in press), 'Transnationalism and citizenship', in J Stone, RM Dennis, PS Rizova & AD Smith (eds), The Blackwell encyclopedia of race, ethnicity and nationalism, Wiley-Blackwell, Chicester.

Robertson, S & Rogers, D 2019, 'Education, real estate, immigration: brokerage assemblages and Asian mobilities', in M Watkins, C Ho & R Butler (eds), Asian migration and education cultures in the Anglosphere (opens in a new window), London, Routledge.

Robertson, S 2016, 'Intertwined mobilities of education, tourism and labour: the consequences of 417 and 485 visas in Australia', in M Dickie, D Gozdecka & S Reich (eds), Unintended Consequences (opens in a new window), ANU Press, Canberra, pp. 53-80.

Robertson, S 2015, 'The temporalities of international migration: implications for ethnographic research', in S Castles, D Ozkul & MA Cubas (eds), Social transformation and migration: national and local experiences in South Korea, Turkey, Mexico and Australia, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 45-60.

Robertson, S 2014, 'Sustaining linguistic diversity: biocultural approaches to language, nature and community', in P Battersby, JM Siracusa & MB Steger (eds), The SAGE handbook on globalization, Sage, London.

Robertson, S 2010, 'Multiculturalism and social inclusion: the challenges in contemporary Australian society', in M Madew, G Brotherton & B Aschenbrenner (eds), Diversity for social inclusion. Discourses on the politics of difference and the advocacy of inclusive practice in social work education, Verlag der Evangelischen Gesellschaft GmbH, Stuttgart, pp. 84-89.

Singh, S, Cabraal, A & Robertson, S 2010, 'Remittances as a medium of relationship and belonging', in A Babacan & S Singh (eds), Migration, belonging and the nation state, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, pp. 85-104.

Refereed Journal Articles

Robertson, S 2019, 'Status-making: rethinking migrant categorization' (opens in a new window), Journal of Sociology, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 219–233.

Soldatic, K, Magee, L & Robertson, S 2019, 'Temporal negotiations of social inclusion: temporality, mobility, and encounter in disabled people’s lifeworlds: commentary on “Using the concept of encounter” (Bigby & Wiesel, 2018)' (opens in a new window), Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, DOI: 10.1080/23297018.2019.1580150.

Dal Maso, G, Roberston, S & Rogers, D 2019, 'Cultural platform capitalism: extracting value from cultural asymmetries in RealTech' (opens in a new window), Social & Cultural Geography, DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2019.1601246.

Tuxen, N & Robertson, S 2018, 'Brokering International Education and (re)producing Class in Mumbai' (opens in a new window), International Migration, DOI: 10.1111/imig.12516.

Robertson, R 2018, 'Migrant, interrupted: the temporalities of ‘staggered’ migration from Asia to Australia' (opens in a new window), Current Sociology, DOI: 10.1177/0011392118792920.

Robertson, S, Harris, A & Baldassar, L 2017, 'Mobile transitions: a conceptual framework for researching a generation on the move' (opens in a new window), Journal of Youth Studies, pp. 1-15. DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2017.1362101.

Westcott, H & Robertson, S 2017, 'Childcare, mobility decisions and "staggered" migration' (opens in a new window), Migration, Mobility & Displacement, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 85-100.

Robertson, S & Rogers, D 2017, 'Education, real estate, immigration: brokerage assemblages and Asian mobilities' (opens in a new window), Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol. 43, no. 14, pp. 2,393–2,407.

Robertson, S 2017, 'Infrastructures of insecurity: housing and language testing in Asia-Australia migration' (opens in a new window), Geoforum, vol. 82, pp. 13-20.

Robertson, S 2016, 'Friendship networks and encounters in student-migrants' negotiations of translocal subjectivity' (opens in a new window), Urban Studies, DOI: 10.1177/0042098016659617.

Robertson, S 2016, 'Student-workers and tourist-workers as urban labour: temporalities and identities in the Australian cosmopolitan city' (opens in a new window), Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI:10.1080/1369183X.2016.1205808.

Robertson, S & Lynn-Ee Ho, E 2016, 'Temporalities, materialities and connecting locales: migration and mobility in Asia-Pacific cities' (opens in a new window), Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, DOI:10.1080/1369183X.2016.1205804.

Robertson, S 2015, 'Contractualization, depoliticization and the limits of solidarity: noncitizens in contemporary Australia', (opens in a new window), Citizenship Studies, vol. 19, no. 8, pp. 936-950.

Robertson, S 2015, 'The production of the Indian student: regimes and imaginaries of migration, education, labour, citizenship and class' (opens in a new window), Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 1-22.

Robertson, S & Colic-Peisker, V 2015, 'Policy narratives versus everyday geographies: perceptions of changing local space in Melbourne's diverse north' (opens in a new window), City and Community, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 68-86.

Colic-Peisker, V  & Robertson, S 2015, 'Social change and community cohesion: an ethnographic study of two Melbourne suburbs' (opens in a new window), Ethnic and Racial Studies , vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 75-91 .

Robertson, S 2014, 'Time and temporary immigration: the case of temporary graduate workers and working holiday makers in Australia' (opens in a new window), Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, vol, 40, no. 12, pp. 1915-1933.

Robertson, S & Runganaikaloo, A 2014, 'Lives in limbo: migration experiences in Australia's education-migration nexus' (opens in a new window), Ethnicities, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 208-226.

Robertson, S 2013, 'Campus, city, networks and nation: student-migrant activism as socio-spatial experience in Melbourne, Australia', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 972-88.

Samardzija, A & Robertson, S 2012, 'Contradictory populism online: nationalist and globalist discourses of the Serbian Radical Party's websites', Communication, Politics and Culture, no. 45, pp. 96-117.

Singh, S, Robertson, S & Cabraal, A 2012, 'Transnational family money: remittances, gifts and inheritance', Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 475-92.

Robertson, S 2012, 'Teaching language politics in Australian contexts: a reflective case study', Local-Global Journal, no. 9, pp. 94-109.

Eshtiaghi, N, Robertson, S & Warren-Myers, G 2012, 'Good practice groundwork: managing initial meetings with higher degree research students', Education for Chemical Engineers, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 196-202.

Robertson, S 2011, 'Cash cows, backdoor migrants, or activist citizens? International students, citizenship, and rights in Australia', Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 34, no. 12, pp. 2192-211.

Robertson, S 2011, 'Student switchers and the regulation of residency: the interface of the individual and Australia's immigration regime', Population, Space and Place, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 103-15.

Robertson, S, Hoare, L & Harwood, A 2011, 'Returnees, student-migrants and second chance learners: case studies of positional and transformative outcomes of Australian international education', Compare. A Journal of Comparative and International Education, vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 685-98.

Singh, S, Robertson, S & Cabraal, A 2010, 'Remittances as a currency of care: a focus on "twice migrants" in Australia from the Indian diaspora', Journal of Comparative Family Studies, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 245-63.

Robertson, S 2008, 'Cultural probes in transmigrant research: a case study', InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1-25.

Robertson, S 2008, 'Residency, citizenship and belonging: choice and uncertainty for students-turned-migrants in Australia', International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 97-119.

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Refereed Conference Papers

Robertson, S 2014, 'Noncitizens in contemporary Australia: consumption, contract and resistance,' European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) General Conference, 4–6  September, University of Glasgow, Glasgow.

Robertson, S 2014, '"Being temporary": migrant status as a marker of difference in Australia,' Invisible Difference: Interrogating 'Frictionless' Migration Symposium, 23–24 April, University of Western Australia, Perth.

Robertson, S 2014, 'Student-workers and tourist-workers: tempo-spatial boundaries and urban labour hierarchies in the Australian cosmopolitan city', Cities, Mobile Subjects and Transformations in Citizenship Workshop, 16–17 April, University of Western Sydney, Sydney.

Robertson, S, Colic-Peisker, V, Phipps, P & and Svoboda, P 2013, 'Multicultural communities in "transition": Case studies from the city of Moreland', Federal Ethnic Communities Council of Australia (FECCA) Conference, Poster Presentation, 7–8 November, Gold Coast, Queensland.

Robertson, S 2013, 'Education/tourism/labour: Consequences of temporary graduate and working holiday visas', Unintended Consequences: The Impact of Migration Policy & Law, 25–26 October, Australian National University, Canberra.

Robertson, Shanthi. (2012) 'The demise of the settler nation: Temporary migration and the challenge to Australian multicultural democracy', Centre for the Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism (CRONEM) Annual Conference, 26–27 June, University of Surrey, Surrey.

Samardzija, A & Robertson, S 2011, 'Contradictory populism online: nationalist and globalist discourses of Serbian far right websites', Media, Communication and Democracy: Global and National Environments Conference , EU Centre at RMIT University, Melbourne.

Robertson, S 2007, 'Escape, engagement and ethics, the human face of brain drain from the student-turned-migrant perspective, Education without Borders Student Conference, Abu Dhabi.

Robertson, S 2006, 'Cultural probes in ethnography: pitfalls and possibilities', ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference, University of Sydney.

Robertson, S 2006, 'Students-turned-migrants in contemporary Australia: questions of membership, mobility and belonging', Second Oceanic Conference on International Studies, University of Melbourne.

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Book Reviews

Robertson, S 2014, 'Migrants as scale makers: untangling the intersections of urban theory and migration research', City, vol.18, no, pp. 230–233.

Robertson, S 2012, 'Understanding state responses to forced migration', International Studies Review, vol.14, no. 1, pp. 142–145.

Robertson, S 2012, 'Review of M. Baas "imagined mobility: migration and transnationalism among Indian students in Australia"', The Australian Journal of Anthropology, vol. 23, no.3, pp. 421–422.

Robertson, S 2011, 'Review of Fitzpatrick, A (ed.), The Routledge handbook of world Englishes ', Australian Review of Applied Linguistics , vol. 34, vol. 2, pp. 251-54.

Robertson, S 2012, 'Understanding state responses to forced migration', International Studies Review, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 142-45.

Robertson, S 2012, 'Review of Baas, M, Imagined mobility: migration and transnationalism among Indian students in Australia', The Australian Journal of Anthropology, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 421-22.

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Colic-Peisker, V, Robertson, S, Phipps, P & Svoboda, P 2013, Gentrification, immigration and community cohesion in Melbourne's multicultural north (opens in a new window), Globalism Research Centre, Melbourne.

Robertson, S 2012, International student profile and issues, City of Moreland.

Robertson, S 2007, Report into international activities in the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University.

Robertson, S 2007, Changing school communities: international students in government schools. An investigation of teaching and management strategies for internationalisation in three Victorian schools, Deakin University.

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Rogers, D & Robertson, S 2015, 'Great wall of xenophobia makes for simplistic foreign investment debate' (opens in a new window), The Conversation, 14 October.

Robertson, S 2015, Interviewed by Radio Adelaide Breakfast on the exploitation of migrant workers (opens in a new window), Radio Adelaide, 7 September.

Robertson, S & Boese, M 2015, 'Temporary migrants are people, not "labour"' (opens in a new window), The Conversation, 4 September.

Robertson, S 2015, 'Selfies, hashtags, and screen time: can "plugging in" be positive?', Buro 24/7, 7 April.

Robertson, S 2014, ''Good' migrants and 'bad' migrants: the Coalition's policy paradox' (opens in a new window) , The Conversation, 28 October.

Robertson, S 2014, ''Skilled migration is in trouble, but don't shoot the messenger' (opens in a new window), The Conversation, 8 August.

Robertson, S 2013, Interviewed by The Wire for '457 visas: much ado about nothing?' (opens in a new window), The Wire, 3 June.

Robertson, S 2013, Interviewed by SBS for 'In conversation: Australia's invisible migrant workers' (opens in a new window) , SBS, 23 May.

Robertson, S 2013, 'They're long-term, temporary and invisible: our other migrant workers' (opens in a new window), The Conversation,  19 April.

Robertson, S 2011, Interviewed by The Australian for 'Illegal students not "a great concern"', The Australian, 1 November.

Robertson, S 2010, 'Backfire: the game of economic logic that went wrong' (opens in a new window), Campus Review,  2 March.

Robertson, S 2010, Interviewed by The Australian for 'Desperate students may seek refugee visas'The Australian, 29 September.

Robertson, S 2010, Interviewed by The Australian for 'Visa curbs lead to rise in refugee requests', The Australian, 8 December.

Robertson, S 2009, 'Falling through the cracks' (opens in a new window), Campus Review,  24 November.


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