Centre for Rural Economy

Staff Profile

Professor Rachel Woodward

Professor of Human Geography


Head of Geography, Deputy Head of School of Geography, Politics & Sociology, from summer 2022.


BA (Hons) in Geography with Archaeology, University of Exeter

PhD in Geography, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London

Previous Positions

  • Reader in  Geography, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, 2005-2011
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University 2004-05
  • Lecturer, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, 2001-2004
  • Research Fellow, Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University, 1996-2000
  • Research Associate, Dept of Geography, Newcastle University, 1994-1995
  • Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Public Order, Leicester University, 1992-1993
  • Research Assistant, Dept of Geography, Saint David's University College, University of Wales Lampter, 1990-1992


Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society

Journal editing:

Co-editor of Journal of War and Cultures Studies (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ywac20/current)

Editorial Boards:

Critical Military Studies

European Journal of International Security

Google Scholar



Research Interests

Military geographies, including military land use, military landscapes and post-military landscapes, military environmentalism, militarism and space/place, base conversion issues.

Military us of space for ballistic missile early warning and space situational awareness

Gender and identity, including military identities and gender and the armed forces

Military representation in photography and print media, and contemporary military memoirs.

Reserve armed forces, and University Armed Service Units

Current Work

Militarism and popular culture.

Representations of the military. 

The politics of civil-military relationships.

Military and post-military landscapes. 

Space observation and monitoring

Postgraduate Supervision

I am keen to offer PhD supervision in the following research areas: gender and identities in the military; military geographies; military landscapes; the politics of military land use and environmentalism; spatialities of military activities; visual and textual representations of armed forces.


AHRC Turning Fylingdales Inside Out: making practice visible at the UK's ballistic missile early warning and space monitoring station.  With Dr Michael Mulvihill, Ms Chloe Barker and Dr K. Neil Jenkings. 2020-23.

Leverhulme Artist in Residence award with Paula Turner, 2017, see https://www.paulaturner.org/leverhulme/

ESRC Keeping enough in Reserve: the employment of hybrid citizen-soldiers and the Future Reserves 2020 programme.  With Dr Neil Jenkings (Newcastle), Prof Tim Edmunds, Dr Paul Higate, Dr John Hockey (all University of Bristol).  2014-18

Leverhulme Artist-in Residence award with Michael Mulvihill, 2014-15. http://vane.org.uk/artists/michael-mulvihill

British Academy / Leverhulme Small Grant, Gender and the British Armed Forces: Lessons from Afghanistan.  Dr Claire Duncanson (PI) University of Edinburgh.  2013-15. 

AHRC  Caring for post-military futures: alternative development futures for former military sites in the UK.  (2013)

Development Studies Association  The Military as New Development Actors.  With Uma Kothari (PI, Manchester), Matt Baillie Smith (Northumbria), Nina Laurie (Newcastle).  See: http://research.ncl.ac.uk/military-research/themes/development.html 

ESRC The value of the university armed service units.  With Dr Alison Williams (PI) and Dr Neil Jenkings (2013-15).  See: https://www.ubiquitypress.com/site/books/10.5334/baq/ 

ESRC The social production of the contemporary British military memoir. Project with Dr Neil Jenkings (2009-2011).  See: https://www.palgrave.com/br/book/9781137570093

ESRC Negotiating identity and representation in the mediated Armed Forces. With Dr Trish Winter (University of Sunderland) and Dr Neil Jenkings (Newcastle University).  See:

ESRC (2001) Gendered bodies, personnel policies and the culture of the British Army. With Dr Trish Winter, University of Sunderland. 

Nuffield Foundation (1998) Rural development and military base conversion.


I am not involved in undergraduate teaching in 2022-23.  However, I'm happy to answer any inquiries from students from Newcastle University or elsewhere, about military geography or military sociology issues.