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The Martial Arts Studies Reader


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: What, Where and Why is Martial Arts Studies? Paul Bowman / 2. Early Chinese Works on Martial Arts Peter Lorge / 3. The Battlefield and the Bedroom: Chinese Martial Arts and Art of the Bedchamber Douglas Wile / 4. Martial Arts by the Book: Historical European Martial Arts Daniel Jaquet / 5. The Phone Book Project: Tracing the Diffusion of Asian Martial Arts in America Through the Yellow Pages, Michael Molasky / 6. Martial Arts, Media, and (Material) Religion, Esther Berg-Chan / 7. Liminoid Longings and Liminal Belonging: Hyper-reality, History and the Search for Meaning in the Modern Martial Arts, Benjamin N. Judkins / 8. 'He's an Animal': Naturalizing the Hyperreal in Modern Combat Sport, Janet O'Shea / 9. Martial Arts as a Coping Strategy for Violence, Sixt Wetzler / 10. Performance Ethnography, D. S. Farrer / 11. Martial Arts Studies and the Sociology of Gender: Theory, Research and Pedagogical Application, Alex Channon / 12. Masculinities, Bodies, and Martial Arts, Dale C. Spencer / 13. Martial Arts as Embodied, Discursive, and Aesthetic Practice, Tim Trausch / 14. Carnival of the Drunken Master: The Politics of the Kung Fu Comedic Body, Luke White / 15. Learning from Martial Arts, Meaghan Morris and Paul Bowman

About the Author

Paul Bowman is professor of cultural studies at Cardiff University.


This is a bold attempt to establish the possibility of a new field of study - at the very least a new inter-disciplinarity - with the even bolder distinction that the 'field research' of many of the contributors here is physical and pugilistic. The significations and stylisations of violence - their esoteric performability - make the martial arts susceptible to rich theoretical investigations, as well as being rich cartographies of violence as culturally expressed in many parts of the world. -- Stephen Chan OBE, Professor of World Politics, SOAS University of London
The Martial Arts Studies Reader is a definitive overview of an exciting new multi-disciplinary research field. This edited collection coherently presents a wide variety of approaches to the academic study of martial arts in an authoritative yet accessible way. It is thoughtful, refreshing, stimulating and I foresee its usefulness to researchers and teachers for years to come. -- Daniel Mroz, Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre, University of Ottawa
Few cultural artefacts excite the imagination more than the martial arts, but their myriad forms, lingeages, narratives, and practices can frustrate scholars even as they fascinate. With this volume, Bowman unfurls an exciting territory for the study of the martial arts, rich in multifarious significance; this is a wonderful roadmap for adventurers seeking to explore a complex and critical landscape. The accomplished contributors bring diverse experiences and perspectives, revealing the inter- and multi-disciplinary importance of this rapidly-emerging transnational field. -- Chris Goto-Jones, Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Humanities at the University of Victoria
The Martial Arts Studies Reader marks a milestone in the emerging interdisciplinary field of martial arts studies. It brings researchers from literature, history, sociology, philosophy, ethnography, anthropology, religion, law, sports science, performance, art, media, film, gender and cultural studies out of the ring, the cage, the dojo, and the wu guan into an engaging scholarly conversation that is genuinely global in its reach. This pioneering collection is essential reading for anyone who aspires to know more about the martial arts as an object of academic scrutiny as well as an art form and a way of life. -- Gina Marchetti, Professor, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Hong Kong
The Martial Arts Studies Reader succeeds in its goal of trying to 'capture and convey something of the emerging constellation of martial arts studies'. With few exceptions, this collection poses an array of interesting and thought-provoking questions and central issues about the budding field of martial arts studies, and does so in a way that is generally accessible to martial artist, scholar, and layman alike. * Martial Arts Studies, No. 7 *

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