The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Staff Profile

Professor Rachel Woodward

Professor of Human Geography



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 (

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.

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. 

Reservists and the British armed forces.

Caring for post-military landscapes. 

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.

Currently supervising:

Matthew Kearns: Military masculinities and recruitment practices in the British Armed Forces (started Sept 2015)

Michael Mulvihill: Hidden in Plain Sight: the hidden nuclear militarism (started Sept 2015)

Isabel Williams: Cartographies of Heritage: Mapping interpretations of landscape (started Sept 2015)

Completed PhDs:

Alice Cree (Durham University co-supervision): Geographies of the 'national hero': Framing the 'hero' soldier in the War on Terror (completed March 2018)

Daniel Bos (Newcastle University): The popular geopolitics of military video games.  (completed 2015)

Ann Murphy (School of Geography, Politics and Sociology): Military landscapes: space, place and identity issues for spouses of British Army personnel. (completed 2014)

Matthew Rech (School of Geography, Politics & Sociology): A critical geopolitics of RAF recruitment (completed 2012). 

Victoria Bell (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development): Perceptions of Hadrian's Wall; a study of visitor photography (completed 2008).

Ruth Williams (School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development): Identities and change in the Scottish fishing industry (completed 2008)

Ruth McAreavey: Communities First: rural development and participation (completed 2005)

Maureen Stephenson: ICTs and older people in rural areas (submitted 2005)

Jane Midgley: Household incomes and economies in rural Northumberland (completed 2003)

David Wood: Menwith Hill and geographies of surveillance (completed 2002)


Leverhulme Artist in Residence award with Paula Turner, 2017.  See

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.

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: 

ESRC The value of the university armed service units.  With Dr Alison Williams (PI) and Dr Neil Jenkings (2013-15).  See: 

ESRC The social production of the contemporary British military memoir. Project with Dr Neil Jenkings (2009-2011).  See:

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.


Undergraduate Teaching

GEO3063 Militarism: space and society (module leader)

GEO1015 Contemporary Human Geography of the UK

GEO8016 Human Geography Concepts in Action