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The Voice of the Veteran as Researcher - 19 November 2019

Please note that this event has passed.

This event is an opportunity to bring together a cohort of ex-military researchers to reflect upon what it is like to transverse the military-academic divide, and to explore the scholarly challenges and opportunities which stem from doing so.

What is the value of military experience in scholarship? This complex and long-running debate has been a feature of the discipline of War Studies since its inception, embodied in the figure of Sir Michael Howard himself. Traditionally, the discussion has focused primarily upon how individual experiences of war have shaped subsequent scholarly trajectories.

Yet as modern armed forces espouse the importance of critical thinking, and increasingly seek to provide a wider range of graduate and postgraduate educational opportunities for serving personnel, now is the ideal opportunity to adopt a more diverse and wide-ranging approach to the contribution and experience of the ex-military-scholar.

We will be picking up on a conversation which started last year, and hope to include a diverse range of contributions from across the military-academic divide.

The Event

To foster a discussion around these issues, we will be holding an afternoon workshop at King’s College London between 1300-1700 on 19 November. The workshop will feature a networking lunch between 1300 and 1330, before two panel sessions involving short papers of 5 minutes duration and an inclusive group discussion.

The aim of these sessions is to bring work from the ongoing ‘The Voice of the Veteran as Researcher’ project into conversation with a range of new perspectives.








Panel 1: Workshop themes

Chaired by Sarah Bulmer

  • Sophy Gardner
  • Neil Jenkings
  • Paul Higate
  • Ben Schrader





Panel 2: Negotiating identity

  • Has your time researching made you change the way you think about the military and your service?
  • What have been the biggest challenges of having a military background in conducting your research?
  • What do you think your military service has brought to your research?


Chaired by Hannah West

  • Julie Marionneau
  • Paul Barnes
  • Ian Western 
  • Darryl Cathcart
  • Rob Clark






Panel 3: Methodologies

  • How have creative methods helped you to find a voice?

Chaired by Nick Caddick

  • Hannah West
  • David Jackson 
  • Dudley Giles
  • Stuart Griffiths



Call for Papers

We’d welcome contributions on the following issues, or other relevant topics:

  • What is the value of war experience as the basis of scholarship?
  • What do veterans’ voices add to critical commentary on war and the military that other voices might miss?
  • How does the scholarship of veterans differ methodologically?
  • How does engaging with academia affect veteran’s reflections on the military and their service?
  • What are the cultural barriers to veterans participating in the academic community?
  • What are the blind spots for veterans researching the military/defence?
  • How do veterans engage with politics and critical practice following their transition from service?
  • Is there a danger of/how do we avoid exploiting our own and other veteran's experiences?

The event will be inclusive and conversational, and as such we welcome the participation of attendees on the day. If you would like to contribute a more structured paper of no more than 5-minutes in length, please email a proposal of 150-200 words to Dr David Morgan-Owen at before 2nd September 2019.

Participants will also have the opportunity to discuss turning their paper into a contribution to a special issue of Critical Military Studies which is currently under preparation. As part of our Special Issue, we will also be looking for contributions to the Encounters section of the journal which is a space for multidisciplinary forms of critique, particularly pieces that are playful with form in some way. We would be looking for short pieces (no more than 2000 words) and are keen to include more creative work that might be constrained by the format of a more traditional journal article.

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Event details

19 November 2019

Strand Campus, London