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Emma Shortis

Emma Shortis

Research Fellow, RMIT University
I’m a historian and writer focused on the history and politics of the United States. I use my expertise in history to interpret and explain what is happening in America today, and what it means for Australia, in a compassionate and accessible way. In a conversation dominated by the same voices, I offer a fresh perspective on the United States grounded in moral questions about how we might imagine a post-American future.

My first book, Our Exceptional Friend: Australia’s Fatal Alliance with the United States, was published by Hardie Grant in August 2021. I also co-host RMIT’s popular history podcast, Barely Gettin’ By, with my friend Dr Chloe Ward.

I’m a regular guest on ABC radio and television and programs like Triple RRR’s Uncommon Sense. I’ve appeared on ABC’s The Drum, Channel 9’s Today Show, and ABC podcasts like Russia, If You’re Listening and The Signal. I write regularly for popular outlets including ABC News Online and the Sydney Morning Herald. In 2020, I was named RMIT’s Media Commentator of the year.

I’m currently a Research Fellow at RMIT. Before that, I spent a year in the United States as the Fox-Zucker International Fellow at Yale University, where I finished writing my PhD in History. My academic research focuses on the history of global climate policy and global environmental governance, and the role of the United States in the world.

Global Geopolitics Series

How will US foreign policy affect Joe Biden’s chances of re-election in November?

Apr 22, 2024 03:28 am UTC| Insights & Views Politics

When big questions about American foreign policy collide with an election, its rarely good news for a sitting president. Like many leaders before him, US President Joe Biden has had some of these questions thrust on...

US Election Series

Who will Trump pick as his running mate?

Apr 01, 2024 03:45 am UTC| Insights & Views Politics

Being second in line for leadership of the most powerful country in the world is not an easy job. But for Mike Pence, vice president under Donald Trump, things were even harder than usual. As insurrectionists descended...

Some truths are self-evident: Joe Biden is too old. But who could possibly replace him?

Feb 21, 2024 10:57 am UTC| Insights & Views Politics

It is possible, in politics as in life, for several things to be true at once. It is true that Donald Trump and his plans for a second presidential administration represent an existential threat to American...

US under Trump Series

Donald Trump faces half a billion dollars of debt and several court cases. But that may not stop him from becoming president again

Feb 20, 2024 11:13 am UTC| Politics

The verdicts keep coming. On Friday US time, the three-month hearing focused on Donald Trumps business dealings in New York came to an end. Trump was ordered to pay back more than $US350 million (A$537 million), plus...

Why 'wokeness' has become the latest battlefront for white conservatives in America

Jul 04, 2023 07:40 am UTC| Politics

The day he launched his bid for the Republican nomination for the 2024 US presidential election, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis warned Fox News viewers the woke mind virus is basically a form of cultural Marxism. With...

For Joe Biden, the indictment of Donald Trump carries a heavy responsibility – and a risk

Jun 15, 2023 05:44 am UTC| Politics

In September last year, US President Joe Biden spoke to Americans from the sacred ground of Independence Hall in Philadelphia the birthplace of the Constitution of the United States. In that landmark speech, Biden warned...

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Economy

Interest rates: the ugly dilemma facing Europe’s central banks – and why it’s a mistake to cut too soon

Central banks in Europe are discovering an old dilemma: when they lower interest rates because inflation is slowing down, its likely to weaken their currencies. This in turn may delay the fall in inflation towards their...

Europe is still in short-term crisis mode over Ukraine and lacks a vision for its post-war identity

Some believe that the war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed Europe, giving birth to a different kind of European order. That is, it appears to be driving structural shifts in the way Europe is run and organised that...

Mortgage prisoners: regulatory changes and low credit scores have left thousands trapped in a cycle of high payments

There are 8.5 million households in the UK who own a home with a residential mortgage, often with fixed interest rates from two to five years. Usually, when that mortgage deal ends, the borrower will move to another deal...

What should you do if you can’t pay your rent or mortgage?

The cost of living crisis is making it difficult for many people to pay their bills, including housing costs. Private sector rents have increased by an average 9% over the year to February 2024, and rising interest rates...

Reducing energy demand and improving efficiency will help prevent the next gas crisis

Gas prices have relaxed, Europe has come out of the winter with record gas storage levels and a surfeit of liquefied natural gas is set to reach the shores of Europe over the coming years. Many commentators are hopeful...

Politics

Gabon: post-coup dialogue has mapped out path to democracy – now military leaders must act

At the end of April 2024, a long and peaceful process of national dialogue in Gabon between the military junta, presided over by coup leader General Brice Oligui Nguema, and civil society, represented by 580 civilians,...

How German media attention idealises female Ukrainian refugees

According to the latest available data, around 3.7 million Ukrainians are internally displaced, while nearly 6.5 million have registered as refugees globally. With 1.13 million, Germany has taken in the largest...

Over 26 million South Africans get a social grant. Fear of losing the payment used to be a reason to vote for the ANC, but no longer – study

Social grants to reduce poverty feature prominently in the campaign promises of political parties in South Africas 2024 national and provincial general elections, set for 29 May. The countrys social grants system is one...

Donald Trump Allegedly Offers Oil Execs a Deal to Scrap EV Incentives for $1B Donation

Former President Donald Trump reportedly proposed a $1 billion deal to oil executives, offering to end electric vehicle (EV) subsidies in return for campaign funding, according to The Washington Post. This move underscores...

US Supreme Court upended decades of precedent in 2022 by allowing voters to vote with gerrymandered maps instead of fixing the congressional districts first

For the 2022 midterm elections, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Alabama to use congressional districts that violated the law and diluted the voting power of Black citizens. A 5-4 vote by the Supreme Court in February...

Science

Is dark matter’s main rival theory dead? There’s bad news from the Cassini spacecraft and other recent tests

One of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics today is that the forces in galaxies do not seem to add up. Galaxies rotate much faster than predicted by applying Newtons law of gravity to their visible matter, despite those...

Why are algorithms called algorithms? A brief history of the Persian polymath you’ve likely never heard of

Algorithms have become integral to our lives. From social media apps to Netflix, algorithms learn your preferences and prioritise the content you are shown. Google Maps and artificial intelligence are nothing without...

IceCube researchers detect a rare type of energetic neutrino sent from powerful astronomical objects

About a trillion tiny particles called neutrinos pass through you every second. Created during the Big Bang, these relic neutrinos exist throughout the entire universe, but they cant harm you. In fact, only one of them is...

The Mars Sample Return mission has a shaky future, and NASA is calling on private companies for backup

A critical NASA mission in the search for life beyond Earth, Mars Sample Return, is in trouble. Its budget has ballooned from US$5 billion to over $11 billion, and the sample return date may slip from the end of this...

Dark matter: our new experiment aims to turn the ghostly substance into actual light

A ghost is haunting our universe. This has been known in astronomy and cosmology for decades. Observations suggest that about 85% of all the matter in the universe is mysterious and invisible. These two qualities are...

Technology

Tesla Cybertruck Trails Ford F-150 Lightning in Sales as Q1 Figures Disappoint Wall Street

New registration data reveals that the Tesla Cybertruck ranked second to the Ford F-150 Lightning in March. Meanwhile, Teslas Q1 sales missed Wall Street expectations, marking the first year-over-year quarterly decline...

Bitcoin Developers Tease Major Trigger for Next Bull Run: Programmability Upgrade

Bitcoin developers suggest enabling programmability on the blockchain could be the key trigger for the next bull run, following the SECs approval of spot Bitcoin ETF trading and the BTC halving. Developers Eye...

Top 3 Altcoins to Watch This Week: SOL, FTM, and LINK Set for Growth

This week, market experts spotlight Solana (SOL), Fantom (FTM), and Chainlink (LINK) as top altcoins to watch, highlighting their unique strengths and recent performance amid unusual market patterns. Solana Overcomes...

Ripple Warns: Math Prof Predicts Quantum Threat to Blockchain, Urges Crypto Key Overhaul

Ripple recently highlighted a warning from Professor Massimiliano Sala, urging the crypto industry to replace current public-key cryptosystems due to vulnerabilities exposed by advancing quantum technology. Professor...
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