What can creative methods offer our understanding of military power and militarised cultures? What constitutes ‘creative research’ in military studies? And, what are some of the challenges of this type of work? This edited volume brings together authors working at the cutting edge of creative research in military studies, to explore how creativity and creative practice can shed new light on often taken for granted concepts in critical military research. In twelve empirically and conceptually rich chapters, authors from a diverse range of disciplinary fields draw on theatre, model-making, songwriting, dance, spoken word, paper making, and more, to question what military research can and should look like. As a collection, the book explores topics of central concern in military studies such as militarism, military experience, and militarised cultures, as well as more practical questions around ethics, positionality, and research relationships. This path-breaking new volume considers what exactly constitutes creativity in critical military research, while offering the tools for researchers to think anew about big questions in the field.
Alice Cree is a NUAcT Fellow at Newcastle University, UK. Her research expertise lies at the intersection between Critical Military Studies and Feminist Geopolitics, with a particular focus on creative methods in military research. She is principle investigator on the Economic and Social Research Council funded project 'Conflict, Intimacy, and Military Wives: A Lively Geopolitics', and has published work in International Political Sociology, Gender, Place & Culture, and the Journal of War and Culture Studies, among others.
Chapter 1. Turning RAF Fylingdales Inside Out: Using Creative Practice to Understand Ballistic Missile Early Warning and Space Monitoring
Rachel Woodward, Chloë Barker, K. Neil Jenkings, and Michael Mulvihill
Chapter 2. Visualizing Drone Ethnography in the Shadows of Distributive War
Chapter 3. Notating War, Choreographing Soldiers: Dance Methods as Military Stratagem
Chapter 4. All Things Bright and Beautiful the Lord Bomb Made Them All: More than Human Creativity and the Cyborg Geology of Nuclear Weapon Design
Chapter 5. “These Uniforms Have Been Places.” From Combat to Paper to Exchange: A CMS Research Encounter
Chapter 6. Modelling Military Landscapes: Archival Encounters, Model-Making, and Camouflage Practice
James P. Robinson
Chapter 7. Theatre of War: Critical Feminist Research Praxis in Creative Military Research
Alice Cree and Hannah West
Chapter 8. Making Spoken Word on Combat
Chapter 9. ‘Last Op’: War, Trauma, and the Legacy of Bomber Command
Alexander Thomas T. Smith
Chapter10. Stories Outside the Wire
Chapter 11. Autoethnographic Creativity: Re-Remembering Military Service
Chapter 12. Bald Men Sharing a Comb: War Veteran Subjectivity in the Documentary Play Minefield
About the Authors
This book's timely and nuanced set of contributions reveal not only the value of creative approaches in military studies but also chart how creativity, in various forms, is (already) bound with and to projects of military power and violence.
This book makes me excited for the future of Critical Military Studies as a field of enquiry. The varied methodological explorations in each chapter are fascinating to read about in and of themselves; written, as they clearly are, by researchers with a real thoughtfulness and passion for the approach they have cultivated. More than that, however, the book is filled with the promise of reimaging what and how we can know about military power – of opening up spaces to know militaries and militarism in different, and perhaps more powerful, ways.
A refreshing and necessary way of thinking about critical military research. Creative Methods in Military Studies highlights the impressive variety of creative work in our field and offers plenty of inspiration for scholars looking to tread a new methodological path.
What can art, creativity, and collaboration reveal about military power? This pioneering interdisciplinary collection takes the reader on a journey that explores the often-hidden creativity within military practices and histories, and a range of creative methods that help us generate new knowledge and reflect on who we are as people, artists, and researchers. A fascinating, provocative, and exciting intervention.