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Sociology of Emotions and Affect Thematic Group



Amy Vanderharst

Amy is a PhD candidate in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. Her research project looks at experiences of loneliness in young people aged between 18-25 years and living in Melbourne. She is particularly interested in using qualitative methods to gain an inductive perspective on what young people think loneliness is, why they might feel lonely, and methods that they use to manage it. As such, her research touches on sociological theories of emotions, relationships and modernity.

Matthew Wade


Matt is a Lecturer in Social Inquiry at La Trobe University, working across both the Sociology and Crime, Justice, and Legal Studies programs. His research primarily focuses on technological affordances as they relate to claims and judgments of moral worthiness. Currently, this research includes exploring appeals for aid during times of personal crisis on crowdfunding platforms, along with the ethical implications of using AI and related technologies in assessing applicants on automated hiring platforms. In addition to this focus on STS and the sociology of morality, Matt also has a research interest in cultural sociology, including recent research on the wedding industry, the rise of the megachurch, and the influence of sport in shaping ideals of nationality identity and masculinity. Much of Matt’s work can be found at

Nicholas Hill


Nicholas is a Research Associate within the Centre of Social and Global Studies at RMIT University. He is a critical mental health researcher whose work is focused on experiences of happiness, wellbeing, mental health treatments and care. Nicholas’ work attempts to disrupt conceptualisations that locate emotions and affect within bodies and promotes alternative understandings that centre the social and relational. He is interest in the development of innovative qualitative methodologies that facilitate explorations of emotions and affect and support the building of a vital politics and affective interventions. Nicholas co-edited the agenda setting volume, Critical Happiness Studies, published by Routledge.

Past Conveners

December 2016 - December 2019: Deb King, Flinders Universityand Michelle Peterie, University of Queensland

June 2014-December 2016: Jordan McKenzie, University of New England

December 2013-December 2016: Rebecca Olson, University of Queensland

August-December 2013: Natalya Godbold, University of Technology Sydney

January 2012-December 2014: Roger Patulny, University of New South Wales | University of Wollongong (Group Founder)

January 2012-December 2013: Jennifer Sinclair, RMIT University (Group Founder)

January 2012-August 2013: Mary Holmes, Flinders University (Group Founder)


A list of current TASA SEA members can be found in the Member Directory

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Group Conveners:

Nicholas Hill
RMIT University

Matt Wade
Australian National University

Amy Vanderharst
University of Melbourne

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