Chapter

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

April Shemak

in Asylum Speakers

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780823233557
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241194 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233557.003.0005

Series: American Literatures Initiative

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

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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

Chapter.  15441 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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