Darryl Stellmach is Lecturer in Emergency Management at the University of Tasmania. His research focuses on disaster and emergency as social phenomena, in particular sociotechnical approaches to the epistemology of crisis.
He has 20 years experience as a practitioner of humanitarian relief and emergency management, working for most of his career as a field coordinator and, later, research advisor, with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders. Turning to academia mid-career, he completed his DPhil in Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2016 and made the transition to full-time academics in 2022.
For the past several years he has been at the forefront of efforts to integrate social science methods into global epidemic and disaster response communities. While recent epidemics have led to renewed policy recognition that the social sciences offer unique possibilities for rapid research in crisis conditions, the challenge is to maintain methodologically rigorous and ethical research in these circumstances. Thus, much of Darryl’s publication, teaching, and research supervision hinges on issues of evidence gathering and communication in emergency settings.
While at CRASSH, Darryl will prepare a book-length monograph for publication. Based on ethnographic research conducted during the opening year of the South Sudanese Civil War (2014), the monograph considers the question of how the nature and extent of emergency is known, made manifest and acted upon. It follows a group of humanitarian aid workers as they respond to the outbreak of hostilities in real time, using tools and techniques of technoscience to conceptualise and respond to crisis. He is also keen to explore research collaborations with Cambridge colleagues working at the intersections of crisis, democracy, bureaucracy, technology, climate and social change.