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Photo of Dr Sarah Bulmer

Dr Sarah Bulmer

Senior Lecturer (Cornwall)


+44 (0)1326 253768

I work in the field of Critical Military Studies and International Relations. I am particularly interested in critical theories of subjectivity and the implications of these for thinking about military identity, the legacies of contemporary conflict and processes of militarisation. My research is deeply interdisciplinary, engaging with political geography, queer theory, sociology and history. 

I teach modules on humanitarian intervention and the politics of war. I have a particular interest in combining critical pedagogical techniques and in exploring the relationship between education and critical civic engagement. My aim is to encourage and enable students to engage in independent critique of the world around them and to develop confidence in using their own voice to engage with political issues.

Research interests

Critical Military Studies

I situate my work within the growing field of Critical Military Studies (CMS). CMS is an emergent interdisciplinary field of study that analyses military practices and institutions within their political, social, economic, and cultural contexts. I am co-editor (with Victoria Basham) of the Advances in Critical Military Studies  series published by Edinburgh University Press. I am a founding member of the editorial board of the journal Critical Military Studies which launched in 2015. I am working on two main projects currently:


Queering the Military: Sexuality in the Armed Forces

My current book project explores the ways sexuality has been constructed, policed, and managed in the British military from the 1980s to the present. It interrogates the institutional paranoia around sexuality as it was manifest in witch hunts of sexual minorities, sex scandals, hysteria about women going to sea, and the integration of LGBT personnel. It develops the work in my 2013 article in International Journal of Feminist Politics which won the 2012 Enloe AwardQueering the Military will be published by the Routledge ‘Interventions’ series in 2022.


Military Afterlives (2015-2021)

The Military Afterlives project aims to find out how veterans, and their families, experience the transition out of the military and back into civilian life. The project has been developed in collaboration with members of the veteran community and we are currently conducting interviews across the South West of England. Military Afterlives is funded by Volkswagen Foundation.


Stories in Transition: Examining the role of arts, culture and sport in supporting veteran transition to civilian life (2021-2023)

The Stories in Transition project pioneers creative methods to co-produce research with veterans about the role of arts, sport and culture activities in supporting military-to-civilian transition. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, University of Exeter and Manchester Metropolitan University. This inter-disciplinary project combines creative and collaborative research methodologies with a rigorous case study design to study three veterans’ organisations that use sailing, art, and archaeology in their work. Veterans’ voices are at the heart of the research process, and they are working with researchers to co-produce and co-author their own transition stories, including professionally-edited creative documentary films. The research has the potential to transform our understanding of both transition and the unique opportunities of arts, sport and culture activities.

Research supervision


Doctoral Supervision

Dr Sefina Dogo (University of Exeter) '‘Exploring the Impact of Gender Integrationist Policy in the Nigerian Military’  (2015- 2017)

Hannah West (Bath University) ‘Understanding 'female engagement': from Malaya to Afghanistan’ ESRC 1 + 3 PhD in Politics (2016 - present)


Emily Clifford (University of Exeter) ESRC 1+3 (2021- present)



Postdoctoral Supervision

Dr David Jackson, Postdoctoral Research Associate on ‘Military Afterlives’ project (funded by Volkswagen Foundation 2018-19) and Stories in Transition project (funded by AHRC 2021-present)


Dr Caroline Micklewright, Postdoctoral Research Associate on ‘Military Afterlives’ project (funded by Volkswagen Foundation 2021-present)



Dr Godfrey Maringira, Postdoctoral Fellow ‘Menace of Peace? African army deserters in exile in South Africa’ (University of the Western Cape, funded by Volkswagen Foundation 2015-present) 


Research students


I am happy to supervise research students working on: 


  • Critical Military Studies
  • Militarism and militarisation
  • Veteran transition and rehabilitation
  • Gender and sexuality in state militaries 
  • Innovative methodologies engaging theories of embodiment, narrative and co-production



I graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 2005 with a BSc (Econ) in International Politics and International History. I returned to Aberystwyth in 2006 to complete an MSc (Econ) in Security Studies. I then moved to the University of Exeter in 2007 to undertake a fully-funded PhD project under the supervision of Dr Nick Vaughan-Williams. In 2011 I joined the teaching faculty as Lecturer in Politics at the University of Exeter's Penryn Campus. I was awarded my PhD in 2012.

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