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Ruth Balint

Photo on 2012-07-18 at 11.47.jpg

Associate Professor Dr Ruth Balint
School of Humanities and Languages University of NSW
Sydney, Australia

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Telephone: 61 9385 8278


I teach and write on transnational histories of migration, displacement, refugees and family, with a current focus on the Displaced Persons of postwar Europe. My book Destination Elsewhere: Displaced Persons and their Quest to Leave Postwar Europe is forthcoming with Cornell University Press (2021). It explores the encounters of refugees with the international aid agencies, western migration agents and Allied forces on European soil during the war´s aftermath, and the struggle to redefine refugees as immigrants to the West. I have also written extensively on the history of families broken apart by the immigration policies of western nations.

My other main interest is in Australian migration history. I have a forthcoming co-authored book with Julie Kalman, Smuggled: An Illegal History of Journeys to Australia (New South Publishing, 2021). In 2019, my most recent radio documentary "Cooking for Assimilation" aired on Radio National´s Hindsight program. It is about the migration of my grandmother as a Jewish refugee to Australia, and more broadly, about the expectations and challenges women migrants faced in postwar Australia. I also hold an ARC Discovery grant with Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick from the University of Sydney and Dr Jayne Persian at the University of Southern Queensland, on the subject of Russian and Russian-speaking Jewish Displaced Persons arriving in Australia via the "China Route" in the Wake of the Second World War.



  • Destination Elsewhere: Displaced Persons and their Quest to leave Postwar Europe. New York 2021 (forthcoming).
  • with Kalman, J.: Smuggled: An Illegal History of Journeys to Australia, Sydney 2021 (forthcoming).
  • Troubled Waters: Borders, Boundaries and Possessions in the Timor Sea I, Sydney 2005.

Book chapters and articles