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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.

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

Digital trade protocol for Africa: why it matters, what’s in it and what’s still missing

In February 2024, African heads of states adopted a draft protocol to regulate digital trade within the continent. This significant yet challenging course for Africas digital economy fits into the broader trade agreement,...

Industry shutdowns are messy and painful: 4 lessons Australia’s coal sector can learn from car-makers about bowing out

Shifting Australias electricity sector to low-carbon technologies and closing coal plants is vital to tackling climate change. But such transitions are easier said than done. People and economies are often deeply...

Food prices will climb everywhere as temperatures rise due to climate change – new research

Climate change, and specifically rising temperatures, may cause food prices to increase by 3.2% per year, according to a new study by researchers in Germany. As climate change continues to worsen, this price inflation will...

Industrialisation is still vital to economic development but some countries are struggling to reap its benefits

Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the US, wrote a wealth of reports that served as building blocks for the countrys economic system. In 1791, during his time as secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton...

This is how President Ramaphosa got to the 25% figure of progress in land reform in South Africa

Nearly three decades into democracy, land reform remains central to South Africas transformation policies and agricultural policy. We have over the years pointed out that the progress on land reform has been incorrectly...

Politics

US and Japan Boost AI, Semiconductor Alliance; EU Eyes Reduction in China Dependence

Japan and the United States are poised to deepen ties in the high-tech sector, signaling a strategic move to enhance their global partnership with a focus on artificial intelligence and semiconductor...

US Finalizes Ban List for Chinese Chipmakers; Boosts Mexico Semiconductor Ties

The United States is finalizing a list of Chinese chip factories banned from receiving vital technology, aiming to curb Beijings tech advancements amid national security concerns. Concurrently, a US-Mexico semiconductor...

China's Commerce Minister to Advocate EV Sector in Europe Amid Subsidy, Tariff Probe

Chinas Commerce Minister Wang Wentao is set to visit Europe in April to address concerns and advocate for the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) industry amid a European Commission investigation into alleged unfair...

South Africa’s electricity crisis: what political parties say in their election manifestos about solving it

South Africa is in the middle of a deep electricity crisis. In 2023 the public, many of whom are voters, experienced the worst loadshedding to date, losing power for an average of five hours a day. The power shortages...

Science

Exploding stars are rare but emit torrents of radiation − if one happened close enough to Earth, it could threaten life on the planet

Stars like the Sun are remarkably constant. They vary in brightness by only 0.1% over years and decades, thanks to the fusion of hydrogen into helium that powers them. This process will keep the Sun shining steadily for...

An eclipse for everyone – how visually impaired students can ‘get a feel for’ eclipses

Many people in the U.S. will have an opportunity to witness nearly four minutes of a total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024, as it moves from southern Texas to Maine. But in the U.S., over 7 million people are blind...

How do airplanes fly? An aerospace engineer explains the physics of flight

Airplane flight is one of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century. The invention of the airplane allows people to travel from one side of the planet to the other in less than a day, compared...

The mystery of consciousness shows there may be a limit to what science alone can achieve

The progress of science in the last 400 years is mind-blowing. Who would have thought wed be able to trace the history of our universe to its origins 14 billion years ago? Science has increased the length and the quality...

What is minoxidil, the anti-balding hair growth treatment? Here’s what the science says

Hair loss (also known as alopecia) often affects the scalp but can occur anywhere on the body. Its very common and usually nothing to worry about; about half of Australian men show signs of visible baldness at age 50 and...

Technology

Fiji Central Bank Cautions on Crypto Use, Dashing Bitcoin Integration Hopes

In a surprising move, the Reserve Bank of Fiji has warned against using cryptocurrencies for payments or investments, reversing earlier expectations stirred by the Prime Ministers pro-Bitcoin stance. This advisory comes...

Apple's iPhone 17 May Miss 2nm Chip Upgrade, Eyeing iPhone 18 Instead

Recent reports cast doubt on Apples plans to implement 2nm technology in next years iPhone 17 series, with production delays possibly pushing the advanced CPUs to the iPhone 18. Rumored 2nm Chip Delay Could Postpone...

Huawei HarmonyOS NEXT User Interface Leaks, Sets April 18 Launch for Pura 70 Series

Huawei reveals a dual advance in its mobile strategy: the HarmonyOS NEXT interface, dropping support for native Android apps, and setting April 18 as the launch date for its new Pura 70 series. HarmonyOS NEXT Unveiled:...

Shiba Inu Burn Rate Soars 64,201%, Fueling Epic 657 Million Token Vanish

In a remarkable market maneuver, the Shiba Inu community has executed a massive 64,201% increase in its token burn rate, permanently removing 657 million SHIB from circulation amid a broader market downturn. Shiba Inu...
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