Researcher biography

Emma Hutchison is a UQ Research Fellow in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland, Australia. Before this, she was the 2010 Australian European University Institute Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy.

Dr Hutchison's research focuses on emotions and trauma in world politics, particularly in relation to the politics and ethics of community, security, humanitarianism and international aid.

Current Key Research Projects

  • Emotions and World Politics: This involves further research on the roles emotions play in world politics. Through a series of articles, this project continues Dr Hutchison's research on theorizing emotions in world politics and expands on her book, Affective Communities in World Politics: Collective Emotions After Trauma (Cambridge Studies in International Relations, Cambridge University Press, 2016). This research also takes shape through ongoing collaborative work conducted together with Professor Roland Bleiker, which includes further articles and an edited collection.
  • Emotions and the Politics of Humanitarianism: This new single authored project inquires into the links between emotions and the conception and practice of international humanitarianism. This project aims to examine the historical development and future of international humanitarianism by tracing the emotional origins and legacies that underpin humanitarian responsibilities in world politics. To do this, the research investigates how the history of representing distant suffering has enabled particular emotional discourses and practices through which humanitarianism is now conceived of and enacted. Research has already begun through an ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions AI project on 'Disaster Imagery and the History of Humanitarian Emotions' and is being undertaken by way of a UQ Research Fellowship from January 2017. It continues through both an ARC DECRA Fellowship on 'Emotions and the Future of International Humanitarianism' (DE180100029) and a UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award on 'Emotions and the History of Humanitarianism' from 2018.
  • Visualizing Humanitarianism / Images and Humanitarian Crises: As part of a research team with Professor Roland Bleiker and Professor David Campbell, Dr Hutchison was awarded a 2010 ARC Discovery Grant for a project on 'How images shape responses to humanitarian crises' (DP110100546). This project entails a series of articles and co-authored book. The next phase of this research is now additionally being conducted with A/Professor Jacinta O'Hagan. We aim to work towards a series of articles and further external grant funding to research the roles of images in emerging cultures of humanitarianism.

Along with these key research areas, Dr Hutchison is also interested in, and undertaking smaller projects on, the politics of aesthetics, visual culture, literature and contemporary feminism.

Further information on her research and forthcoming publications is available at


"Emotions and the Future of International Humanitarianism", Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), DE180100029.

"Emotions and the History of Humanitarianism", UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award.


Single-Authored Books

Affective Communities in World Politics: Collective Emotions After Trauma. Cambridge Studies in International Relations, Cambridge University Press, 2016.

*Awarded the British International Studies Association Susan Strange Book Prize for 2017.

*Awarded the ISA Theory Section Best Book Award for 2017-2018.

Edited Collections

Emotions and World Politics (with Roland Bleiker), in International Theory, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2014.

Journal Articles

"Emotions, Bodies, and the Un/Making of International Relations, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 47, No. 2, 2019.

"Emotions, Discourse and Power in World Politics" (with Roland Bleiker), International Studies Review, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2017.

"Theorizing Emotions in World Politics" (with Roland Bleiker), International Theory, Vol. 6. No. 3, 2014.

"A Global Politics of Pity? Disaster Imagery and the Emotional Construction of Solidarity after the 2004 Asian Tsunami", International Political Sociology, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2014.

"The Visual Dehumanization of Refugees" (with Roland Bleiker, David Campbell and Xzarina Nicholson), Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 48, No. 4, 2014.

"Affective Communities as Security Communities", Critical Studies on Security, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2013.

"Trauma and the Politics of Emotions: Constituting Identity, Security and Community after the Bali Bombing," International Relations, Vol. 24, No. 1, 2010.

"Unsettling Stories: Jeanette Winterson and the Cultivation of Political Contingency", Global Society, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2010.

"Emotional Reconciliation: Reconstituting Identity and Community After Trauma" (with Roland Bleiker), European Journal of Social Theory, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2008.

"Fear No More: Emotions and World Politics" (with Roland Bleiker), Review of International Studies, Vol. 34, 2008.

Book Chapters

"Humanitarian Emotions Through History: Imaging Suffering and Performing Aid", forthcoming in Dolorès Martin Moruno and Beatriz Pichel (eds.), Emotional Bodies: Studies on the Historical Performativity of Emotions. Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

"Trauma", in Roland Bleiker (ed.), Visual Global Politics. Interventions Book Series, Routledge, 2017.

"Grief and the Transformation of Collective Emotions After War" (with Roland Bleiker), in Linda Ahall and Thomas Gregory (eds.), Emotions, Politics and War. Milton Park and New York: Routledge, 2015.

"Art, Aesthetics and Emotionality" (with Roland Bleiker), in Laura J. Shepherd (ed.), Gender Matters in World Politics: A Feminist Introduction to International Relations, 2nd edition. Milton Park and New York: Routledge, 2014.

"Imaging Catastrophe: The Politics of Representing Humanitarian Crises" (with Roland Bleiker and David Campbell), in Michele Acuto (ed.), Negotiating Relief: The Dialectics of Humanitarian Space. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

"Emotions in the War on Terror" (with Roland Bleiker), in Alex J. Bellamy, Roland Bleiker, Sara E. Davies and Richard Devetak (eds.), Security and the War on Terror. London: Routledge, 2008.