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 Hannah West

Hannah West

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Email
westh2@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
0.01, 2 North Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3DY

Overview

I joined Cardiff University in October 2022 as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on a 1-year ESRC-funded project, 'Non-combatants on the "front line": British Army control of servicewomen’s war labour in Northern Ireland'. 

Biography

2022+            Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cardiff University, School of Law and Politics.

  • ESRC-funded project: ‘Non-combatants on the “front line”: British Army control of servicewomen’s war labour in Northern Ireland’

2021-2022      Research Associate, Newcastle University, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology.

  • ESRC-funded project: ‘Conflict, Intimacy and Military Wives: A Lively Geopolitics’ (PI: Dr Alice Cree)

2016-2022       PhD Security, Conflict and Justice, University of Bath, Passed viva 24 March 2021.

  • Title: What did YOU do in the war, Mummy? British women’s experiences of the front-line, 1948-2014’.
  • Funded by ESRC studentship (South West Doctoral Training Partnership).
  • Supervisors: Dr Oliver Walton (University of Bath), Dr Sarah Bulmer (University of Exeter).
  • Including: Maternity Leave (2018), Guest Lecturer/Graduate Teaching Assistant (2017-2021)

2015-2016       MRes Security, Conflict and Justice, University of Bath, Distinction.

2015-2016      Project Engineer, Air Platform Systems Project Team (Part-time)

2014-2015      Maternity Leave

2000-2014      Air Engineering Officer, Royal Navy. Including:   

  • 2012 MA International Liaison & Communication, University of Westminster.
  • 2001-2005 MEng Aeronautical Engineering, Imperial College, London, 2:1

Honours and awards

2022     Newcastle University Engagement and Place Award (Shortlisted in Early Career Award with Dr Alice Cree)

2022     Newcastle University Faculty Impact Fund (£5131, Co-Investigator)

2020     South West Doctoral Training Partnership Collaboration Fund (£3000)

2020     University of Bath Doctoral Public Engagement Award

2020     University of Bath Doctoral Recognition Awards, Student Award

2020     University of Bath Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Finalist

2020     Winner Best Conference Paper, Modern Conflict Research Symposium, Imperial War Museum (North)

2019     University of Bath Public Engagement Progression Fund (£2500)

2019     University of Bath Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Conference Funding (£800)

2018     South West Doctoral Training Programme Impact Fund (£780)

2018     University of Bath Public Engagement Seed Fund (£488)

2017     Winner Best Image, Images of Research, University of Bath

2009     Certificate of Commendation awarded by the Chief of Joint Operations for Distinguished Service in support of Operation HERRICK in The Afghanistan Theatre of Operations for ‘stabilisation planning’

2009     Commander-in-Chief Fleet’s Commendation for ‘female engagement’

Professional memberships

2020     Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

2015     APM Project Management Qualification  

2012     Chartered Engineer (Engineering Council)

2012     Certificate in Strategic Management & Leadership (Chartered Management Institute)

2012     Diploma in Strategic Leadership & Executive Management (Institute of Leadership & Management)

Other professional activities:

  • Defence Research Network. Founder and co-chair of this network for Masters, PhD and early-career researchers studying defence, security or the Armed Forces in relation to policy, strategy, history, culture and society. Over 2500 followers and 350 subscribers to our monthly newsletter. Have led the planning and delivery of numerous workshops and seminars including ‘Bridging the Gap: Knowledge Exchange between PGRs and ECRs in Defence Research’ and the ‘Voice of the Veteran as Researcher’ seminar at Kings College London. (2016-)
  • Departmental Equality and Diversity Committee Postgraduate representative. (2019-2020)
  • South West Doctoral Training Partnership Mentor. (2017-2018)

Speaking engagements

2021     European International Studies Association Roundtable, 'Left Behind: Military families and their forgotten war'. Convened roundtable and contributed as speaker.

2021     European International Studies Association Early Career Researcher workshop, 'What is War?'. Gendered encounters with war: Women in ‘front line combat’ (1948-2014)’

2021     British International Studies Association Roundtable, 'Critical friendship or critical distance - Engaging with the military in research'. Convened roundtable and contributed as speaker.

2021     Defence Academy Human Security Adviser's Course. Delivered Critical Thinking session.

2021     Journal of War and Culture Studies Early Career Researcher Workshop, 'War and Culture Studies, What's Next?'. ‘Conflict, Intimacy and Military Wives: A Lively Geopolitics’

2020     Society for the History of War: New Voices in the History of War Twitter Conference. ‘What did YOU do in the war, Mummy? British women’s experiences of the front-line, 1948-2014’.

2020     Modern Conflict Research Symposium 2.0, Imperial War Museum (North). ‘Camp follower or counterinsurgent? Lady Templer and the invisible soldiers’.

2020     European War Studies Network Graduate Conference (New Just War or Just New Wars?), University Paris II. ‘Pregnant, unarmed, in command: Women as weapon systems in frontline combat.’

2019     Voice of the Veteran as Researcher Workshop, Kings College London. Co-convened workshop and shared paper, ‘“Deeply odd”: Women veterans as critical feminist scholars’.

2019     British International Studies Association Workshop (Militarisation and the Local in Peacekeeping: Ambition, Pragmatism and Adaptability). ‘Women as Weapon Systems: Human Security Advisers in the DRC’.

2019     University of Newcastle Creative Methods in Military Studies. Presentation/film, ‘Pretty Young Soldiers’.

2018     University of Bath Workshop (Crisis: Contested Narratives, Interventions and Resistance). Chaired panel on ‘Gendered Dimensions of Crisis’.

2017     European International Studies Association 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations: ‘The Politics of International Studies in an Age of Crises’, Barcelona. ‘Gendered discourses on counterinsurgency’ in panel FD07-2 ‘Gendered and imperial intersections in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency’.

2017     National Army Museum (Women and the Army: 100 years of Progress?). ‘The women’s services and the battle for the hearts and minds of the women of Malaya, 1952-54’.

Committees and reviewing

2022+       Social Media Editor, Journal of War and Culture Studies.

Teaching

I regularly guest lecture on gender and conflict, and counterinsurgency at the University of Bath and regularly provide teahcing sessions on critical thinking to the Ministry of Defence Human Security Adviser's Course. I have also lectured on gender and aircraft design. I have experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant on modules exploring conflict, security and international development, and the international politics of development.

My critical feminist research explores how we know war and is committed to challenging mainstream narratives by seeking out marginalised voices to question military power. I am fascinated by what a critical examination of the lived experiences of female combatants and military partners can tell us about institutional culture and gendered operational policies and how discursive constructions of women as combatants and partners are used to establish boundaries to frontline combat or the military community, determining who is permitted to legitimately narrate war stories.

Prior to starting at Cardiff, I spent 18 months working on the ESRC-funded project, 'Conflict, Intimacy and Military Wives: A Lively Geopolitics' (PI: Dr Alice Cree) at Newcastle University. We worked with military partners through participatory theatre workshops to explore how conflict translates to domestic and intimate settings in order to destabilise masculinised narratives of war.

My PhD thesis was entitled: ‘What did YOU do in the war, Mummy? British women’s experiences of the front-line, 1948-2014’. This study explored how the British Army has attempted to control women’s war labour and how women have negotiated their participation, through the lens of the British counterinsurgency campaigns of Malaya, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan. 

Drawing on my background as a former servicewoman, I have employed creative methods, from music, video and photography to help me to reflect on my own military service and to navigate my - sometimes awkward - position in relation to feminism and military power. These reflections have led me to writing variously on the critical voice of the veteran researcher, critical thinking in the Armed Forces and the ethics of military research.

I am also the Co-Chair of the Defence Research Network (defenceresnet.org), a collection of interdisciplinary Masters, PhD and early career researchers, focused on a variety of defence, security and military related topics in relation to policy, strategy, history, culture and society.

Supervision

External profiles

Research links