Professor Bickford received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rutgers University in 2002. From 2002-2004, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. His research focuses on war, militarization, the state, identity, memory, health, and technology in Germany and the United States. Dr. Bickford is the author of Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post-Unification Germany, and his fieldwork in Germany with former East German army officers examined militarization policies, and how states “make” and “unmake” soldiers. Professor Bickford was a Fulbright Fellow at the Universität Potsdam and a Fellow at the Social Science Research Council Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. He has also received research grants from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Center, Rutgers University, and George Mason University. Dr. Bickford is currently a member of the editorial board of Critical Military Studies.

Project Summary

This project examines the cultural, policy, and ethical implications of United States military medical research programs – “Skin-In Solutions” – designed to improve combat enhancement and resilience. It provides an analysis of current United States military medicine programs, biotechnologies, psychopharmacology, and other forms of technology designed to improve and enhance soldiers’ combat capabilities and ability to resist trauma, both during and after combat. The project also analyzes the discussions, debates, conceptions, and understandings of trauma and combat in the military, and how military officials, military medical professionals, and other researchers discuss, imagine, and conceive of ways to make “super soldiers” who can better withstand combat and combat trauma. Finally, the project examines current and planned attempts to develop medical technologies that aim to make the experience of war trauma a thing of the past, and considers what it might mean to be an “enhanced” soldier who no longer experiences psychological trauma.

Major Publications

Fallen Elites: The Military Other in Post Unification Germany. Stanford University Press, 2011

“Skin-In Solutions:” Militarizing Medicine and Militarizing Culture in the United States Military. North American Dialogue, Volume 11 (1), 2008.

Soldiers, Citizens, and the State: East German Army Officers in Post Unification Germany. Comparative Studies in Society and History 51(2) April 2009.