Creative Methods in Military Studies
Wednesday 5th June 2019
How do we do critical military studies? CMS has done much to explore the myriad sites, subjects and practices of military power, considering for example military memoirs (Woodward 2003; Woodward & Jenkings 2012, 2018), toys and video games (Martin & Steuter 2010; Woodyer 2012; Yarwood 2015), sport (Kelly 2012; Cree & Caddick forthcoming) and even food products (Tidy 2015). More recently, emerging work has begun to consider the creative and performing arts as lenses through which to explore militarised culture, including theatre (Basham & Bulmer forthcoming; Purnell & Danilova 2018), dance (Åhäll 2018), and music (Cree forthcoming; Baker forthcoming). This work gives texture to our understandings of the embodied and affective circulations of militarised cultures and ideas; as Leavy (2015) argues, “performance serves as a method for exposing what is otherwise impossible to reveal” (p175).
But, what can the creative arts and creative practice more broadly help to reveal, that we might struggle to approach otherwise? And how might we engage this creativity in our own research methodologies and practice? Victoria Basham & Sarah Bulmer tell us in their forward-thinking chapter in The Palgrave International Handbook of Gender and the Military (2017) that we must out of necessity think differently about what it means to practice critique in military studies, arguing that “[t]his recognition has profound implications for feminist praxis because it compels us to ask the question: What remains hidden if we fail to get closer to that which we critique?” (p68). The question that animates this forthcoming workshop is, then; how might a turn to creativity in military studies help us to get closer to that which we critique?
Theatre, dance, music, poetry, fiction, and fine art, among many other creative practices, have much to offer emerging research in critical military studies. This one-day workshop will bring together scholars and creative arts practitioners to explore what these methodologies can bring to our work. Some possible questions for consideration might include;
- What can creative methods offer our understanding of military power and militarised cultures?
- What constitutes ‘creative research’ in military studies?
- What are some of the challenges of this type of work?
We invite expressions of interest in the following formats;
- Abstracts for paper presentations (250 words).
- Brief summaries of proposed activity (e.g performance, participatory activities, reading, screening) (250 words). Please include details of any specialist equipment or facilities required.
Please send all expressions of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on 31st January 2019.
The Military, War and Security Research Group at Newcastle University have made some funds available for postgraduates and early career researchers wishing to attend, to go towards travel expenses. Please drop an email to email@example.com if this is something you’d like to be considered for.