Kat Higgins

Kat Higgins

PhD Researcher

Department of Media and Communications

Connect with me

Languages
English
Key Expertise
security; discourse analysis; justification; news media; criminology

About me

Research topic

Logics of justification in news media accounts of crime and policing in Australia 

Kat’s research is concerned with security as a political metapractice and social logic deeply implicated in the contemporary cultural conditions of possibility for practices of violence, domination and exclusion. Her current project uses Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to interrogate the logics of justification at work in news media accounts of South Sudanese youth crime and policing in Melbourne, Australia. This research adopts multi-modal news media texts (print and television) as sites of justificatory discourse and seeks to understand how the pragmatic necessity and moral legitimacy of coercive police intervention is negotiated, contested and reinforced at these sites. This work hopes to unearth new insights into the role that mediated discourse plays in helping projects of domination sustain access to morality through the language and logics of security, as well as the means by which such a thoroughfare might be obstructed in the pursuit of more emancipatory security futures.

Supervisor: Professor Lilie Chouliaraki and Professor Robin Mansell

Biography

Kat’s research interests sit at the intersection of mediated culture, CDA, critical security studies and the sociology of criminal justice. She holds a BA in International Studies from RMIT University and an MSc in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Kat’s undergraduate dissertation was on the subject of hybridised political culture in post-intervention Timor Leste and drew on interview and survey data collected as part of her internship with the Globalism Research Centre. Her Masters dissertation, a theoretical work on the subject of mediated (in)security knowledge, was awarded the 2015 Silverstone Dissertation Prize for writing in the field of media and ethics. Kat’s PhD research is supported by an LSE Studentship.

Expertise Details

security; discourse analysis; justification; news media; criminology

Teaching

2019-2020

Key Concepts in Advanced Social Theory (Department of Sociology, LSE)

Graduate teaching assistant (GTA) leading seminars for undergraduate students. Syllabus covered includes microsociology, actor network theory, technofeminism, public sphere theory, postcolonial/decolonial theory, cultural studies, cultural Marxism, and the sociology of space.

Course convened byDr Monika Krause and Dr Sara Salem

2018-2019

Key Concepts in Advanced Social Theory (Department of Sociology, LSE)

Graduate teaching assistant (GTA) leading seminars for undergraduate students. Syllabus covered includes microsociology, actor network theory, technofeminism, public sphere theory, postcolonial/decolonial theory, cultural studies, cultural Marxism, and the sociology of space.

Course convened by Dr Monika Krause and Dr Sara Salem

Data, Communication and Society (Department of Media and Communications, LSE)

Classroom assistant offering editorial support to Masters students preparing blog posts for the LSE Data and Society Blog. Course convened by Dr Alison Powell.

Media, Communication and Development (Department of Media and Communications, LSE)

Classroom assistant offering constructive feedback and analytical guidance to Masters students in the preparation of their case study projects Course convened by Dr Shakuntala Banaji.

2017-18

Representation in the Age of Globalisation (Department of Media and Communications, LSE)

Classroom assistant offering constructive theoretical and methodological feedback and technical support to Masters students in the preparation of their ‘We are All Refugees’ video interview projects. Course Convened by Professor Shani Orgad.

Publications

Conference Presentations

Higgins, K (2019) ‘Power to Pronounce: Multivocality and contestation in television news representations of crime and policing in Australia’. Presented 8th July 2019 in Madrid, Spain as part of the ‘Conflict, Security and Crisis’ Working Group at the International Association of Media and Communications Research Conference (IAMCR 2019)

Higgins, K (2019) ‘Populist (in)security? Hierarchies of voice in current affairs television accounts of Melbourne’s ‘African gang crisis’. Presented 1st March 2019 in London, UK as part of the International Political Sociology PhD Seminar Series (Kings College, London). Paper discussed by Professor Didier Bigo.

Reports

Toome, E., Grenfell, D. & Higgins, K. (2012) 'Local Perspectives on Political Decision-Making in Timor-Leste: A Short Report on the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Dili and Venilale', Globalism Research Centre (RMIT University), Melbourne Australia, available online at http://www.timor-leste.org/reports/

Academic Blogs

Higgins, K. (2019) ‘We need to disentangle merit from mental health’ (Blog Post), Contemporary Issues in Teaching and Learning, available online at: https://lsepgcertcitl.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/we-need-to-disentangle-merit-from-mental-health/

Higgins, K (2019) ‘Above and beyond? Rethinking our criteria for ‘teaching excellence’’ (Blog Post), Contemporary Issues in Teaching and Learning, available online at: https://lsepgcertcitl.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/above-and-beyond-rethinking-our-criteria-for-teaching-excellence/