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Asylum SpeakersCaribbean Refugees and Testimonial Discourse$
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April Shemak

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233557

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233557.001.0001

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/ Corporate Containment: Refugee Seafarers on the Seas of Transnational Labor

/ Corporate Containment: Refugee Seafarers on the Seas of Transnational Labor

(p.177) 4 / Corporate Containment: Refugee Seafarers on the Seas of Transnational Labor
Asylum Speakers

April Shemak

Fordham University Press

After spending months trapped aboard a nonfunctioning ship in Brooklyn Harbor, Esteban Gaitán, the protagonist of Francisco Goldman's novel The Ordinary Seaman (1997), tells those he meets when he ventures into Brooklyn, that he is a “refugee from a ship.” Weis explains that refugee seamen are defined as two types: those who “formerly serve as regular crew members on ships of their country of nationality and used the opportunity when their ship was lying in a foreign port to ‘jump ship’ and seek freedom, and those serving on ships of other flags.” Weis also explains that the seamen who are defined by either of these categories are especially vulnerable because they lack travel documents so that they are not allowed to go to shore and are “virtually prisoners on board their ships.”

Keywords:   Francisco Goldman, refugee seamen, Weis, prisoners, freedom

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