Emma Hutchison is a Postdoctoral 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.
Her research interests lie with the role that trauma and emotions play in constituting world politics, as well as the how images help to shape humanitarian responsibilities and practices. She is particularly interested in the relationship between emotions and the politics and ethics of community, humanitarianism and international aid in world politics.
Her current key research project examine:
- Trauma, Emotions and Community in World Politics. This research builds upon her doctoral work and involves theorizing emotions in world politics, focusing in particular on how the emotional dimensions of representing traumatic events - from terrorist attacks to humanitarian crises - can help to constitute political community. This project involves the completion of a single authored book manuscript, titled Affective Communities in World Politics: Collective Emotions After Trauma (under contract with Cambridge University Press, in the Cambridge Studies in International Relations series).
- How Images Shape Responses to Humanitarian Crises. As part of a research team with Professor Roland Bleiker and Professor David Campbell, Emma was awarded a 2010 ARC Discovery Grant for this project. This project explores how images communicate catastrophic events to distant audiences. It focuses on aspects that we feel are not fully understood, such as the why we react differently to different forms of humanitarian crises and what roles emotions play in shaping responses to humanitarian crises.
- Theorizing Emotions in World Politics. This includes single authored and also collaborative work, also conducted together with Professor Roland Bleiker. We focus on theorizing how emotions function politically. We are currently putting together a journal forum section as well as a follow-up book, and working on other smaller article based projects.
- The Politics of Disaster Images: How Culture Influences Humanitarian Responses to Natural Catastrophes. This new single authored project draws upon and extends her single-authored and collaborative work on emotions and humanitarian imagery. It focuses in particular on the role that culture plays in mitigating emotional and in turn humanitarian responses after extreme natural catastrophe. Emma recently received a 2014 UQ Postdoctoral Fellowship for Women to pursue this project, as well as status as a 2014 Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions for her associated research on "Disaster Imagery and the History of Humanitarian Emotions".
Along with these key research areas, Emma is also interested in the politics of aesthetics, visual culture, literature and contemporary feminism. She has a number of smaller ongoing projects that bring together her passion in these areas.