Leading civilian UK centre of excellence for military health research

A collaboration between the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London and School of Humanities, University of Bristol as part of the project: Preparing the body and mind for war in the ancient and modern armed forces. We have already successful held our first workshop which focused on technology earlier this year.

Policies concerning military and veteran health, including training and wellbeing management, do not always succeed in maintaining stable mental and physical health after service, as recent studies show – with significantly higher rates of alcoholism, emotional problems, family problems, etc., amongst ex-service personnel versus civilian.

Military and veteran health before and during service needs new perspectives and strategies to enhance understanding and inform policy.

Comparative study across time periods, cultures, and professional expertise can provide a long view on certain patterns we see in ancient and modern military cultures, and challenge normative attitudes and practices.

Through two interdisciplinary knowledge-exchange workshops, researchers and research beneficiaries, e.g. military personnel, healthcare practitioners and wellbeing providers, will explore the interface between antiquity and twenty-first century healthcare before and during military service.

The interactive knowledge exchange workshops with academics, forces personnel, healthcare professionals and wellbeing providers, from the UK and internationally, will: 

  1. Reframe debates and promote new attitudes concerning military health and wellbeing management.
  2. Deepen understanding of how military and veteran health has changed over time, and how those changes relate to wider social and historical contexts;
  3. Gather testimony to find common ground amongst beneficiaries and key influencers, and firm-up partnerships for future work.  

Workshop 2: Gender identity, ‘brotherhood’ and combat readiness - In Person

Wednesday 29th May 2024, all-day workshop
10:00-17:00 at the University of Bristol, 7 Woodland Road, Bristol UK

This workshop will focuses on gender identity and combat readiness. There are close parallels to be explored between ancient and modern military cultures on masculinist ideals, comradeship and ‘brotherhood’. 

Are you an academic, researcher, healthcare professional or wellbeing provider with an interest in military health and wellbeing – in the ancient and/or modern worlds? Are you in the armed forces or a veteran?

Join us to discuss the role played by technology in working towards ‘combat readiness’, in the ancient and modern worlds.

Join the workshop by contacting [email protected]

Potential topics for discussion:

  • How far does gender identity impact feelings of combat readiness, in the ancient and modern armed forces?
  • How has warfare and combat been connected to gender ideals and identities, historically?
  • How do we understand gender roles in connection with warfare?
  • How essential are concepts of ‘brotherhood’ in military cultures? How far can this help combatants to feel ‘prepared’?
  • What are the provisions for different gender identities in the armed forces?
  • What are the issues associated with the changes and diversification of gender identities in the armed forces?
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