Associate Professor Emma Hutchison

ARC DECRA Research Fellow

School of Political Science and International Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Overview

Emma Hutchison is Associate Professor and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow in the School of Political Science and International Studies. She is an interdisciplinary politics and international relations scholar. Her work explores the politics of emotion, trauma, humanitarianism and aid, and conflict and its recovery. She examines these topics conceptually and through a range of contexts, from humanitarian crisis and terrorist attacks to the challenge of reconciling societies divided by historical trauma.

Emma has published on these topics in a range of academic journals and books. Her key publications can be viewed below. Her first book, Affective Communities in World Politics: Collective Emotions After Trauma (Cambridge University Press, 2016), was awarded the BISA Susan Strange Book Prize and the ISA International Theory Best Book Award.

Emma is currently working on a range of projects, which extend her research into the roles of emotions in world politics, humanitarian change through history and in international order, and the politics and ethics of visualising humanitarian crises. Her research takes shape individually and collaboratively, and through an ARC DECRA Project (2018-2024), a UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award (2018-2021), and an ARC Linkage Project (2022-2026). The latter involves collaboration across three universities and with industry partners, the World Press Photo Foundation, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Australian Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières.

Emma teaches into peace and conflict studies and international relations programs across the School of Political Science and International Studies. She is course coordinator for POLS7503 Ethics and Human Rights.

GRANTS AND AWARDS

"Visualising Humanitarian Crises: Transforming Images and Aid Policy", ARC Linkage Project 2022-2026, Lead CI Professor Roland Bleiker with Emma Deputy-Lead, LP2000200046.

"Emotions and the Future of International Humanitarianism", Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2018-2024, DE180100029.

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

Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, Paul Bourke Award for 2018.

SELECT PUBLICATIONS

Books

Affective Communities in World Politics: Collective Emotions After Trauma. Cambridge Studies in International Relations, Cambridge University Press, 2016/2018.

*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

"Making War, Making Sense?" (with Asli Calkivik), in Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2020.

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

Journal Articles

"Making War, Making Sense? Debating Jens Bartelson's War in International Thought" (with Asli Calkivik), Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2020.

"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", in Dolorès Martin Moruno and Beatriz Pichel (eds.), Emotional Bodies: Studies on the Historical Performativity of Emotions. Illinois: University of Illinois Press, forthcoming 2019/2020.

"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.

Other Publications

“As Fires Rage We Must Use Social Media for Long-Term Change, Not Just Short-Term Fundraising,” The Conversation, January 2020. Available here.

“Why Study Emotions in International Relations”, E-IR, 8 March 2018. Available here.

“Affective Communities and World Politics,” E-IR, 8 March 2018. Available here.

“Emotions and the Precarious History of International Humanitarianism,” for the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions “Histories of Emotion” blog, hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, 19 August 2017. Available here.

“Emotional Cultures and the Politics of Peace,” (with Roland Bleiker) for the “Histories of Emotion” blog, hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions "History of Emotion" Blog, 25 September 2015. Available here.

“Emotions, Conflict and Communal Recovery,” for the “Histories of Emotion” blog, hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, 17 July 2015. Available here.

“The Politics of Post-Trauma Emotions: Securing Community after the Bali Bombing,” Working Paper 2008/4, Department of International Relations, RSPAS, The Australian National University, 43pp.

Research Interests

  • International Relations and International Theory
    Interdisciplinary engagements with contemporary world politics, focusing on novel means to conceptualise and address key ethical and political challenges. Particularly interested in humanitarianism, aid and development; conflict and its recovery; apology and reconciliation; understanding security in non-traditional ways.
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
    Questions of identity, culture and community formation, with a particular interest in how societies can work through historical legacies of violence and trauma. Also reconciliation, forgiveness, apology, and justice in divided societies.
  • Politics of Emotion / Affect
    Conceptualising the social and political significance of emotion and affect at all levels of society and politics, from the local to the global and transnational. The interplay between discursive and embodied approaches to emotion, meaning a focus on representation and more intangible bodily aspects of feeling/emotion.
  • Visual Politics
    The politics and ethics of visual communication, focusing on the politics and ethics at stake in imaging humanitarianism, international aid, development, and conflict/security.

Research Impacts

Associate Professor Hutchison has published with leading academic journals and university book presses, and is meanwhile internationally recognised for her research on emotions and world politics. In addition to scholarly impacts, Emma's research engages an audience beyond academic circles. She has been in close contact with humanitarian NGOs and she provides commentaries through social media forums, such as through the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions blog, E-IR, and The Conversation.

Through her new research on emotions and humanitarian imagery, Emma is furthering policy linkages and collaborations, through working with humanitarian aid and development NGOs, such as the ICRC, Red Cross Australia, Oxfam International, and Save the Children, as well as with governmental organisations at national and international levels.

Emma is also part of a interdiscplinary research team undertaking new work - funded by an ARC Linkage Project - on the politics and ethics of imaging humanitarian crises. Formally partnering with the World Press Photo Foundation, the ICRC (Geneva), the Australian Red Cross, and Médecins Sans Frontières, this research seeks to question and develop principles to guide practices of imaging human suffering and crisis.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

  • Hutchison, Emma and Bleiker, Roland (2021). Visuality of peace and conflict. The Oxford handbook of peacebuilding, statebuilding, and peace formation. (pp. 1-17) edited by Oliver P. Richmond and Gëzim Visoka. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190904418.013.14

  • Bleiker, Roland and Hutchison, Emma (2021). Performing political empathy. The Oxford handbook of politics and performance. (pp. 594-608) edited by Shirin Rai, Milija Gluhovic, Silvija Jestrovic and Michael Saward. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190863456.013.27

  • Bleiker, Roland, Campbell, David and Hutchison, Emma (2021). Refugees, asylum seekers, and emotions. The Oxford handbook of Australian politics. (pp. x-x) edited by Jenny M. Lewis and Anne Tiernan. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198805465.013.14

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • I welcome potential PhD scholars working broadly across international theory and international relations theory. My areas span a range of theoretical approaches, from more traditional IR theories to those that are more critical and also still emerging, such as feminist, poststructural, constructivist, postcolonial and decolonial theories. Projects can scrutinise and seek to further develop these theoretical approaches. They can also adopt or fuse together these approaches in order to reflect on key political and ethical dilemmas in world politics today, including boundaries of care and responsibility in international relations, questions of identity, solidarity and community, agency and inclusion in world politics, and the potentials for social and political change.

  • Theorising emotion and affect in social and political life, at all levels from local to global politics. Examining the politics and ethics of affective communal attachments, and the implications of such attachments for conceptions of identity and community, practices of humanitarianism, international aid and development, and also security and surveillance. Projects that investigate ontological and methodological questions related to studying emotion and the body and embodied affects are also welcome. Prospective PhD scholars interested in these (and surrounding) emerging debates are encouraged to get in touch about potential supervision.

  • Research on humanitarianism emerges from previous and current work on the politics of emotions and community/responsibility, and in particular how images and the emotions they solicit shape humanitarian responses. Especially interested in exploring the emotional underpinnings - and historical development - of contemporary humanitarianism.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Hutchison, Emma and Bleiker, Roland (2021). Visuality of peace and conflict. The Oxford handbook of peacebuilding, statebuilding, and peace formation. (pp. 1-17) edited by Oliver P. Richmond and Gëzim Visoka. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190904418.013.14

  • Bleiker, Roland and Hutchison, Emma (2021). Performing political empathy. The Oxford handbook of politics and performance. (pp. 594-608) edited by Shirin Rai, Milija Gluhovic, Silvija Jestrovic and Michael Saward. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190863456.013.27

  • Bleiker, Roland, Campbell, David and Hutchison, Emma (2021). Refugees, asylum seekers, and emotions. The Oxford handbook of Australian politics. (pp. x-x) edited by Jenny M. Lewis and Anne Tiernan. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198805465.013.14

  • Bleiker, Roland and Hutchison, Emma (2021). Performing political empathy. The Oxford handbook of politics and performance. (pp. 595-608) New York, NY USA: Oxford University Press.

  • Bleiker, Roland and Hutchison, Emma (2019). Gender and violence in news media and photography. Handbook on Gender and Violence. (pp. 231-247) edited by Laura J. Shepherd. Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi: 10.4337/9781788114691.00023

  • Hutchison, Emma (2019). Humanitarian emotions through history: imaging suffering and performing aid. Emotional bodies: the historical performativity of emotions. (pp. 219-241) edited by Dolores Martín-Moruno and Beatriz Pichel. Illinois, United States: Illinois University Press.

  • Hutchison, Emma and Bleiker, Roland (2019). In public: collectivities and polities. A cultural history of emotions: in the Modern and Post-Modern Age (1920-2000+). (pp. 145-159) edited by Jane Davidson and Joy Damousi. London, United Kingdom: Bloomsbury.

  • Bleiker, Roland and Hutchison, Emma (2018). Methods and methodologies for the study of emotions in world politics. Researching emotions in international relations: methodological perspectives on the emotional turn. (pp. 325-342) edited by Maéva Clément and Eric Sangar. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-65575-8

  • Hutchison, Emma (2018). Trauma. Visual global politics. (pp. 306-313) edited by Roland Bleiker. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Hutchison, Emma (2018). Trauma. Visual global politics. (pp. 298-305) edited by Roland Bleiker. London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Hutchison, Emma and Bleiker, Roland (2015). Grief and the transformation of emotions after war. Emotions, politics and war. (pp. 210-221) edited by Linda Åhäll and Thomas Gregory. Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Hutchison, Emma and Bleiker, Roland (2014). Art, aesthetics and emotionality. Gender matters in global politics: a feminist introduction to international relations. (pp. 349-360) edited by Laura J. Shepherd. London, United Kingdom: Taylor and Francis.

  • Hutchison, Emma, Bleiker, Roland and Campbell, David (2014). Imaging catastrophe: the politics of representing humanitarian crises. Negotiating relief: the politics of humanitarian space. (pp. 47-58) edited by Michele Acuto. London, United Kingdom: Hurst & Co Publishers.

  • Bleiker, Roland and Hutchison, Emma (2013). Reconciliation. The Routledge handbook of peacebuilding. (pp. 81-90) edited by Roger Mac Ginty. Abington, Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Hutchison, Emma and Bleiker, Roland (2012). Ungendering the links between emotions and violence: towards a political appreciation of empathy and compassion. Gender, agency and political violence. (pp. 151-168) edited by Linda Åhall and Laura J. Shepherd. Houndmills, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Hutchison, Emma and Bleiker, Roland (2008). Emotions in the war on terror. Security and the war on terror. (pp. 57-70) edited by Alex J. Bellamy, Roland Bleiker, Sara E. Davies and Richard Devetak. London, England: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203028094

  • Bleiker, Roland and Hutchison, Emma (2008). Fear no more: Emotions and world politics. Cultures and politics of global communication. (pp. 115-135) edited by Costas M. Constantinour, Oliver P. Richmond and Alison M. S. Watson. Cambridge , U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

Journal Article

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • I welcome potential PhD scholars working broadly across international theory and international relations theory. My areas span a range of theoretical approaches, from more traditional IR theories to those that are more critical and also still emerging, such as feminist, poststructural, constructivist, postcolonial and decolonial theories. Projects can scrutinise and seek to further develop these theoretical approaches. They can also adopt or fuse together these approaches in order to reflect on key political and ethical dilemmas in world politics today, including boundaries of care and responsibility in international relations, questions of identity, solidarity and community, agency and inclusion in world politics, and the potentials for social and political change.

  • Theorising emotion and affect in social and political life, at all levels from local to global politics. Examining the politics and ethics of affective communal attachments, and the implications of such attachments for conceptions of identity and community, practices of humanitarianism, international aid and development, and also security and surveillance. Projects that investigate ontological and methodological questions related to studying emotion and the body and embodied affects are also welcome. Prospective PhD scholars interested in these (and surrounding) emerging debates are encouraged to get in touch about potential supervision.

  • Research on humanitarianism emerges from previous and current work on the politics of emotions and community/responsibility, and in particular how images and the emotions they solicit shape humanitarian responses. Especially interested in exploring the emotional underpinnings - and historical development - of contemporary humanitarianism.

  • Research in this area intersects with both ARC Discovery Project sponsored research, conducted together with Prof. Roland Bleiker and Prof. David Campbell, and new work on emotions and humanitarianism. These projects investigate in how images help to shape humanitarian sentiments and responsibilities. In doing so, they examine the politics and ethics of dominant forms of disaster imagery, analysing in particular the roles emotions and culture play in paradoxically enabling yet also limiting responses to humanitarian crises. Prospective PhD scholars in these and associated research areas are also encouraged to get in touch.