Militarizing Intimacy explores the ways in which military socialization and its pedagogical dimensions interplay with Danish veterans’ understandings and experiences of intimacy. This interest follows the noticeable aftermaths of increasing deployment numbers of Danish military personnel since the beginning of the 1990s. Some of these effects can be felt through increased rates of post-traumatic stress among deployed soldiers, others in soldiers’ possible problems with loving partnership and close friendship relations, still others in soldiers' new sense of collegiality, community, and self. It is these socializing dynamics of military training, career, and deployment that Militarizing Intimacy attends to.
Intimacy is the projects analytical avenue. Understood as negotiations of nearness through and in which the self is constituted, a focus on intimacy will help to understand how military socialization influences Danish veterans’ intimate life and well-being. It is through a focus on intimate relations that the performative effects of contemporary military careers are explored. This research interest is inspired by traditions within the social sciences, feminism, and queer theory that conceptualize intimacy as a locus of self and social control. Military socialization is thus approached as a site in which social and institutional control come to constitute the modern subject through a regulation of intimacy.
Militarizing Intimacy is in part funded by Aarhus University Research Foundation's Starting Grant Program.
Militarizing Intimacy is looking for Danish veterans who would like to participate in the project. Interviews focus on the individual's military career and experiences with being a soldier. In the course of three interviews, each person's biography as a soldier will be set into relation with the individual's experiences with close relationships, intimacy, and sexuality. All information obtained will be handled with due care and anonymized for research purposes.
Militarizing Intimacy collaborates with the following scholars and organizations:
Prof. Dr. Sabine Kienitz, Hamburg University
Assoc. Prof. Birgitte Refslund Sørensen, University of Copenhagen
Asst. Prof. Kenneth MacLeish, Vanderbilt University
Dr. Catherine Trundle, Victoria University of Wellington