Welcome to Dorothy. There’s No Place Like Home.

Migration and mobility: the question of childhood in Chinese and European cinema since 1945 was originally a 2011-2015, 2016-2018 ARC Future Fellowship research project led by Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, as Future Fellow and Professor of Comparative Film and Cultural Studies, University of New South Wales. It has become known fondly as ‘The Dorothy Project’, after perhaps the most quintessential cinematic child-traveller, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Stephi is now Distinguished Professor of Film at the University of Lincoln and Research Director at the Centre for Culture and Creativity  She is continuing work on migration, childhood, refugees and cinema, and welcomes contact on these matters.

The first monograph of the project, There’s No Place Like Home: The Migrant Child in World Cinema, was published by I B Tauris (Bloomsbury) in 2018. The book won a 2018 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award. ‘ a deeply felt, compassionate, necessary book’ (CHOICE citation.)

The Wizard of Oz brought many now-iconic tropes into popular culture: the yellow brick road, ruby slippers and Oz. But this book begins with Dorothy and her legacy as an archetypal touchstone in cinema for the child journeying far from home. In There’s No Place Like Home, displaced or placeless children, and the idea of childhood itself, provide pathways to examine migration and cosmopolitanism in films such as Le Ballon Rouge, Diamonds of the Night, Rabbit Proof Fence and Little Moth. Surveying fictional and documentary film from the post-war years until today, the author shows how the child is a guide to themes of place, self and being in world cinema.”


Available from Bloomsbury. Please contact me via my main website if you would like an author’s talk and screenings

Other publications from the project:

Although most of the publications from the project link directly to the child migrant onscreen, there has been a developing interest in Refugee Film-making that has come both from the work of children and from access to the work of filmmakers in Australia, Manus, Europe. As these new publications come online we will share them here.

Donald, SH. ‘Shaming Australia: cinematic responses to the “Pacific Solution” ’. Alphaville: Journal of Film and Media, Winter 2019. Accepted 10.01.2019.

Donald, SH.‘Follow the yellow brick road: The passeur, the gatekeeper, and the young migrant film-maker’. Film Education Journal, Vol 2:1, June 2019. Accepted 09.01.2019.

Donald, SH. ‘Debt, the migrant and the refugee: Lampedusa on stage’. Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, Themed issue Envisioning Asylum edited by Emma Cox and Caroline Wake, Vol 23, 2018: 193-209.

Donald, SH, Emma Wilson and Sarah Wright, ‘Introduction: nation, film, child’ in SH Donald, E. Wilson and S. Wright (eds), Childhood and Nation in Contemporary World Cinema: Borders and Encounters, (London: Bloomsbury, 2017): 1-11.

Donald, SH and Klära Brüveris, ‘The lost children of Latvia: deportees and post-memory in Dzinka Geka’s The Children of Siberia,’ (London: Bloomsbury, 2017): 63-88.

Tao, Lina and SH Donald, ‘Migrant youth and new media in Asia’, The Routledge Handbook of New Media in Asia, (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016): 28-38

Donald, SH. ‘Landscape in the Mist: thinking beyond the perimeter fence’, in A. Koutsourakis and M. Steven eds. The Cinema of Theo Angelopoulos. (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2015): 2016-218

Vandebosch, A., P. Adam, K.Albury, Bastiaensens, J. de Wit, SH. Donald, Van Royen, Vermeulen, ‘Engaging Adolescents in Narrative Research and Interventions on Cyber Bullying’, in Lind, Rebecca Ann (ed.), Produsing theory in a digital world 2.0: the intersection of audiences and production in contemporary theory, (New York: Peter Lang, 2015): 229-246

Donald, S. ‘Cosmopolitan endurance: migrant children and film spectatorship’, in Beeler K. and S. Beeler eds. Children’s Film in the Digital Age: essays on audience, adaptation and consumer culture, (London: McFarland & Company, 2015): 133–147

Donald, SH. and Kirsten Seale ‘Children’s film culture’, in D. Lemish ed. The Routledge International Handbook of Children, Adolescents and Media, (London: Routledge, 2013): 95-102

Donald, SH. and Zitong Qiu ‘Children’s culture and social studies’, in T. Wright (ed.) Oxford Bibliographies in Chinese Studies, (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013 (see also Oxford Bibliographies Online. http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/obo/page/chinese-studies)


Click here to view the Children in Film blog