Instruktørene fra Operasjon Interflex hadde oppstilling på festningen etter de returnerte fra England.

Call for Papers | Seminar: “Professional Identity Formation in the Military – from a Humanities Perspective”

The Military Humanities research group at the Norwegian Defence University College is delighted to announce their inaugural seminar.

About the seminar

Seminar dates: 12–13 November, 2024
Location (TBC): Den gamle Krigsskole (The Old National Military Academy), Oslo, Norway.
Theme: Professional Identity Formation in the Military – from a humanities perspective

Programme: TBA


The aim of this seminar is to explore the concept of professional identity formation in the military, specifically the role the humanities can play in both understanding this concept and in contributing to this process in a higher professional military education setting.

Recruitment, development and retention of personnel is a key challenge for Nordic and other militaries. The Norwegian Defence Commission has identified professional military education as significant in addressing these challenges (NOU 2023: 14). Understanding professional identity formation is an important aspect of this.

Military professionals’ identity as military professionals is, furthermore, a fundamental prerequisite for their functioning in a combat situation. Identity formation is, therefore, of profound importance in military organizations.

Professional identity formation (PIF) denotes a transformational process in which an aspiring professional internalizes the profession’s core knowledges, skills, practices, norms, ideals, priorities, and values; it describes how these knowledges are shaped, and how they are communicated to aspiring professionals. The term also covers how aspiring professionals negotiate between or merge their pre-existing values and knowledges with those of their chosen profession (Mount et al., 2022).

Research on “Military Humanities” 

As a research group based upon the premise that the humanities make distinct and vital contributions to military higher education and research on the military, complementing knowledges from other scientific fields, we wish to explore how humanities approaches, perspectives, and methodologies can shed light on military professional identity formation. We also wish to further develop “Military Humanities” as a field of inquiry.

We therefore welcome research papers and poster presentations exploring any aspect of military professional identity formation, from any humanities discipline. We also welcome presentations from other disciplines using perspectives, approaches or methodologies from the humanities.

Presentations may also include thoughts on how “Military Humanities” may be developed.

There are no limitations on geographical or time focus. The presentations should be delivered in English, to accommodate an international audience. Abstracts for 20-minute papers or for 10-minute poster presentations will be considered.

Suggested topics

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • The socially, politically, culturally and historically contingent nature of PIF.
  • How military professional education may support PIF.
  • Individually vs. socially focused interventions in PIF.
  • Ethical considerations in PIF.
  • PIF and the transition from higher education to professional working life.
  • Researching PIF in the military.

The goal is to create an opportunity to present ongoing as well as completed research to a diverse audience of academics and military professionals. Please note that as a further goal is for “military humanities” to grow as both a research group and a field of inquiry, this will be an in-person seminar only. There will be breakout sessions scheduled to network and collaborate on ideas of teaching and research.

As a step in developing “military humanities”, we will seek to publish a peer-reviewed edited collection on this topic. The editors will be Anne Marie Hagen and Kjetil Enstad (both Norwegian Defence University College).

Presenters may wish to put their contributions in this seminar forward for consideration for inclusion in this volume. Further details on this publication will follow this autumn.

Submission of abstract

Submit your abstract through this form:

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words. In the form, you will be asked to specify whether your presentation will be a paper or a poster presentation.

Do you have any questions? Please contact Anne Marie Hagen,

  • Submission deadline: 23 September, 2024.
  • Notification of acceptance deadline: 30 September, 2024.

When you have submitted your abstract, you will receive an e-mail confirmation.


Associate Professor Anne Marie Hagen works at the Military Academy, a part of the Norwegian Defence University College (staff page in Norwegian)

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Hagen, Anne Marie_2
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Military Humanities (MILHHUM) research group
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