The Visual Politics Strategic Research Program invites you to a seminar with Dr Naomi Head. Naomi is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests include emotions and the politics of empathy, narratives of conflict, feminist, cultural and social theory, and critical pedagogies. She currently holds a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for a project on ‘Empathy under Fire: “Hearts and Minds” and the Politics of Empathy’.

Empathy has crept largely unexamined into our political vocabulary and is often characterised as a progressive force that transforms conflict and leads to peaceful societies. This paper seeks to provide an alternative account by exploring the ‘darker’ side of empathy, including its use in military campaigns, such as counter-insurgency strategies. In this context, an empathetic understanding of others’ perspectives and experiences is explicitly used for the purposes of effective and strategic war-making.

About Visual Politics Seminar Series

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The majority of seminars can be heard on the UQ POLSIS YouTube channel. If you would like more details, have any questions, or if you would like to present your own work please contact Prof Roland Bleiker at