Lively geopolitics: Towards creative methodologies in critical military studies

Authors: Alice Cree*, Newcastle University
Topics: Military Geography, Qualitative Methods
Keywords: Creative methods, theatre, military geography, critical military studies, gender
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: 8226, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Merje Kuus tells us that militarisation must be acknowledged as; “an integral part of everyday social life in western liberal democracies today” (2008: 625); as such, life itself is always already militarised. And yet, as Alex Hyde argues, “analyses of militarisation often remain detached from their effects: from the lived experiences, social relations and embodied practices that make militarisation mobile, processual and transformative” (2016: 864; see also Baker et al., 2016). This paper firstly argues that our task as researchers must, then, be to approach questions of militarism with an openness to the lived, felt, embodied nature of militarised cultures. Using the example of Lee Hart’s Plymouth military community theatre project Boots at the Door, I will propose that participatory community theatre can serve as a method for exposing what is “otherwise impossible to reveal” in everyday encounters with military power (Leavy 2015: 175). More broadly, creative methodologies can help give nuance and texture to processes which often go unmediated, and so methods which engage practices of art, music, theatre, dance and movement (to name but a few) can help to encounter and articulate that which is felt before it is understood. In this way, creative methodologies can and must help to push the boundaries of what constitutes research in critical military studies, and indeed political geography.

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