Possible Conference Travel Disruption

It seems there may be a rail strike that will affect services all over the UK from 9th to 11th June. As the Martial Arts Studies conference begins on 10th June, this could cause travel problems for some people.

My hope is that the strike will be called off. But if it isn’t, I am not sure about the level of disruption it will cause to rail services. An earlier strike is being planned for the week before our conference, and I will attempt to monitor the level of disruption caused to services into Cardiff during the first strike. This should help to clarify how much trouble a strike on the 10th is likely to cause.

For anyone who wants to look into this themselves, UK rail information is here: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/; but I will be monitoring developments closely and will try to keep you all informed.

For anyone who has not yet bought train tickets, or who decides to look into different means of travel, you might consider the following (cheaper) options:

National Express (coach) http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx

Megabus (coach) http://uk.megabus.com/

I expect these coach services will be in more demand during any rail strike, so it may be prudent to consider booking early, just in case. Plus, as I say, you are likely to save some money – possibly quite a lot – if you travel by coach.

Anyone who is really concerned, please contact me and I’ll offer advice.

Also, anyone who might be prepared to consider offering a lift to another conference-goer, please also let me know: BowmanP@cardiff.ac.uk

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Why is JOMEC hosting a martial arts studies conference?

The following post was written for the blog of the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. I have decided to post it here too – as it says something about the question of why.

Between June 10th and June 12th, the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies is holding a conference of ‘martial arts studies’. This may seem to be a peculiar combination. Why would these two things go together? What is the theoretical or practical connection between (on the one hand) any of the fields of journalism, media and cultural studies, and (on the other) martial arts. Indeed, to quote a recent email from one academic trying to make arrangements to attend, how does one explain to one’s employer “why a media studies scholar is asking for leave to attend a martial arts conference”?

As an academic who has long worked in the fields of cultural theory and popular culture, to me the connection between martial arts, media and culture has always seemed not only obvious but essential, indeed fundamental. For, although there are studies of martial arts in all manner of academic disciplines – from sports studies to history, anthropology, psychology and on to various fields and aspects medicine – one aspect of martial arts has always shone out to me, like a light that is so bright that very few people have actually looked directly at it. And it is this. Almost everything we think we know about martial arts comes to us through the media. Film, in particular, has been massively influential in the spread of information, or rather, beliefs about martial arts. But also television: TV action series since the 1960s in the West have regularly showcased martial arts fight choreography. At the same time, cartoons have filled children’s heads with the aesthetics of spectacular martial arts moves for decades. And computer games have actually given players a wide ranging technical lexicon for moves and styles.

Yet very few academics have taken what to me is the glaring, blaring centrality of media dissemination on board when they research martial arts. I have lost count of the number of books and articles that note on page one – often paragraph one –that Bruce Lee was enormously influential in the spread of martial arts around the globe. So ‘Bruce Lee’ is acknowledged as influential. But immediately after this observation, the studies simply abandon any further consideration of ‘Bruce Lee’. In other words, they abandon any consideration of the effects of media on cultures, practices, beliefs and everyday lives.

Consequently, for quite a while now, I have been exploring the often overlooked or downplayed centrality of film and other media to many aspects of martial arts in culture and society. In fact, I have written three books on the subject. The first, Theorizing Bruce Lee, insisted on placing Bruce Lee at the centre, rather than the margins, of any consideration of martial arts in the contemporary world. The second, Beyond Bruce Lee, built upon the first, to explore the ways in which ‘Bruce Lee’ functions in all sorts of cultural contexts. And the third, Martial Arts Studies (published this month), directly challenges anyone researching and writing on martial arts to face up to the power, force and implications of media in martial arts discourses, practices and cultures.

At the same time as this, Martial Arts Studies (both my book and the conference) seek to connect up academics and researchers from many different disciplines. For, there are ‘martial arts studies’ in all manner of different academic fields: science, medicine, history, sociology, ethnography, sports, psychology, leisure, health, film – you name it. But very rarely do people working in these different areas ever actually talk directly to each other. So, that’s what the conference seeks to enable: the cross-fertilisation of different approaches via conversations on a shared object – something all involved in hold in esteem, affection, even love.

Martial arts have long touched the lives of countless people in untold ways. No single academic discipline can claim a monopoly on how and why and in what ways to approach and understand it. I personally want to insist that the media have a central importance to martial arts, even though that centrality often goes unnoticed. Others at the conference will focus on vastly different questions.

The keynotes and featured speakers at the conference reflect the richness and diversity of the field(s). Professor Stephen Chan, OBE, for instance, is Professor of Global Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and he has long advocated the teaching of karate in deprived areas of Africa, and has indeed for many years regularly taught karate in the UK and Africa – and always for free. Dr Ben Judkins is a historian of Southern Chinese martial arts, particularly Wing Chun Kung Fu, who has been instrumental in the development of academic approaches to martial arts by editing a highly respected academic blog focusing on research into Chinese martial arts. Professor D. S. Farrer, from Guam University, was one of the first scholars to have named and theorised ‘martial arts studies’ as a new academic field. Finally, Professor Meaghan Morris, from Sydney University (and Lingnan, Hong Kong) is both an intellectual giant in the fields of cultural studies and prime mover in studying martial arts in film and popular culture, globally.

As well as these keynotes, the conference has featured speakers, including Hutan Ashrafian, a doctor, surgeon, historian and martial artist, who will be offering a contemporary medical analysis and interpretation of the still-controversial death of Bruce Lee; and Sixt Wetzler, a scholar who has been proactive in the development of martial arts studies in Germany. In addition, the conference includes presentations from historians, philosophers, sociologists, film studies scholars, cross-cultural studies researchers, race, gender, ethnicity and cultural identity researchers, historians, sports studies academics, animators, media theorists and all manner of martial arts educators.

The conference is open to the public, though tickets are now in short supply. Anyone who attends is also invited to a wine reception on Wednesday 10th June, and is able to register for a conference dinner at La Bodega on Thursday 11th and a closing conference dinner (featuring the band Sweet ‘n’ Sour Swing) at Aberdare Hall on Friday 12th.

 Conference Check List: Martial Arts Studies

Bute Building, Cardiff University – location of
the Martial Arts Studies Conference
 
So, you want to go to the Martial Arts Studies Conference at Cardiff University from 10-12 June? That’s great! However, time is running out, so here’s your check-list of key things to do:
Everything you need to know about the conference should have an answer here:www.mastudiesrn.org If you can’t find the answer to your question, email the organiser:BowmanP@cardiff.ac.uk
Registration
The key thing to do first is to register. There are a range of registration options, depending on whether you want to attend for the full conference, or just one day, or a combination, and also depending on whether you are a student, or staff, etc.
Accommodation
Unfortunately, Cardiff University can’t provide accommodation, so check out our advice about accommodation herewww.mastudiesrn.org
Food, drink and socialising 
Refreshments and lunch will be provided throughout the days of the conference. As well as standard tea and coffee options, we are delighted to announce that Lishi Tea will be providing a range of fine Chinese teas.
On the first day, there will be a wine reception after our opening keynote (Professor Stephen Chan) on Wednesday 10th. This reception is in part sponsored by the publisher Rowman and Littlefield International, who are also having a book launch at that time. (If you want to buy Martial Arts Studies by Paul Bowman at a significant discount, order it here and collect it at the conference.)
After the first full day of panels and keynotes (Dr Ben Judkins and Professor D. S. Farrer), Thursday evening sees our first conference dinner – at Cardiff’s finest Spanish restaurant, La Bodega – a gorgeous venue, ideal for informal socialising whilst enjoying the most delicious tapas you can get. You need to register for this meal here:
After our closing keynote on Friday (Professor Meaghan Morris), Friday evening’s conference dinner takes place in Cardiff University’s elegant Aberdare Hall. You must register for this conference dinner here:
We are thrilled to confirm that we will be serenaded through Friday evening’s dinner by the remarkable sounds of Sweet ‘n’ Sour Swing.

Sweet ‘n’ Sour Swing
 
Hope to see you there! Any questions, do not hesitate to ask!
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Conference Check List: Martial Arts Studies

May 16th

Martial Arts Studies Conference Dinner 1
Martial Arts Studies Conference Dinner 1

May 7th

Everything you know about Taekwondo
Everything you know about Taekwondo

May 6th

Get your 20% discount on Martial Arts Studies
Get your 20% discount on Martial Arts Studies

May 1st

Cross-Cultural Desire

Apr 30th

OUT NOW: Martial Arts Studies by Paul Bowman

Apr 26th

Three Days of Martial Arts Studies
Three Days of Martial Arts Studies

Apr 21st

New: One-Day Registrations
New: One-Day Registrations

Apr 17th

Call for Papers: The Invention of Martial Arts

Apr 16th

New Conference and Network Website
New Conference and Network Website

Apr 13th

Zhang Sanfeng, Taiji, me, and a plea

Apr 8th2

A Quick Overview of Key Martial Arts Studies Books
A Quick Overview of Key Martial Arts Studies Books

Apr 2nd

UPDATE on the Conference

Apr 2nd

Going, going… Last chance for half price registration

Mar 31st

Half Price Martial Arts Studies Conference Registration
Half Price Martial Arts Studies Conference Registration

Mar 26th

Call for Book Reviewers

Mar 23rd

UPDATE: New Paper and Book Launch

Mar 16th

Interview in Martial Arts Illustrated

Mar 13th

Sentimental Martial Fabulations

Mar 10th

Call for non-academic participants
Call for non-academic participants

Mar 6th

Conference Information (update)
Conference Information (update)

Mar 5th

Cinematic Reality – or, From Film Studies to Martial Arts Studies of Film

Mar 3rd

Martial Arts Studies Research Network (Participation)
Martial Arts Studies Research Network (Participation)

Feb 26th

Film Fight Choreography: From Realisms to Realities

Feb 25th

Action Aesthetics: Realism and Martial Arts Cinema

Feb 23rd

Here’s the Index
Here’s the Index

Feb 10th

Schedule and Info: 1st UK-China Media and Cultural Studies Association Conference

Feb 5th

Martial Arts Studies Conference Titles and Abstracts
Martial Arts Studies Conference Titles and Abstracts

Jan 30th

How to do things with the East-West Binary
How to do things with the East-West Binary

Jan 28th

Martial Arts Studies Conference Speakers
Martial Arts Studies Conference Speakers

Jan 26th

Accommodation: Martial Arts Studies Conference
Accommodation: Martial Arts Studies Conference

Jan 23rd

Conference Registration is now Open!
Conference Registration is now Open!

Jan 20th

New Journal: Martial Arts Studies

Jan 5th

The Circulation of Qi – in Media and Culture

Dec 15th

Martial Arts Studies: Call for Submissions

Dec 4th

Inaugural UK–CHINA Media and Cultural Studies Association Conference
Inaugural UK–CHINA Media and Cultural Studies Association Conference

Dec 4th

Martial Arts Studies Network

Dec 1st

Cardiff University Press: Update
Cardiff University Press: Update

Nov 20th

Cool War Hero: Bruce Lee’s Master, Cinematic Capital, and Hong Kong’s Final Fight
Cool War Hero: Bruce Lee’s Master, Cinematic Capital, and Hong Kong’s Final Fight

Nov 19th1

A Short Update

Nov 13th1

Chinese Media and Cultural Studies Conference
Chinese Media and Cultural Studies Conference

Nov 6th

Martial Arts Studies book and conference

Nov 4th

Essays in Italian
Essays in Italian

Oct 15th

International PhD Scholarship
International PhD Scholarship

Sep 30th

Hong Kong protest crackdown
Hong Kong protest crackdown

Sep 29th

Martial Arts Studies cfp
Martial Arts Studies cfp

Sep 27th

PhD Scholarship, Cardiff University
PhD Scholarship, Cardiff University

Sep 18th

More comparative kata!
More comparative kata!

Sep 11th

Difference and Dissemination in ‘the same’ kata
Difference and Dissemination in ‘the same’ kata

Sep 11th1

The Intimate Schoolmaster and the Ignorant Sifu
The Intimate Schoolmaster and the Ignorant Sifu

Sep 8th

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Conference Dinner 2: Friday Night

The third and final evening of the 2015 Martial Arts Studies Conference is given over to a Conference Dinner at Cardiff University’s Aberdare Hall.

Registration is here:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/friday-night-conference-dinner-martial-arts-studies-conference-tickets-16954264662?aff=es2

All are welcome to this closing event.

(The brave among our number may consider venturing out afterwards into Cardiff City Centre, but Aberdare Hall will be the wisest and best choice for the main part of the evening.)

Conference Dinner 1: Thursday night at La Bodega

The first of our conference dinners during The Martial Arts Studies Conference will be held at La Bodega – Cardiff’s finest Spanish restaurant.

La Bodega is friendly, informal and provides food and service of the very highest standards. The food will flow from the kitchen all night and we will not be disappointed!

If you are attending the Conference, this dinner will be an ideal time and place to meet everyone else at the conference. Book early as there may not be enough places!

We are delighted to say that some generous sponsorship from RDX Sports means that we are able to offer this dinner FREE to the unwaged students who are presenting a paper at the conference.

Register here:

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/martial-arts-studies-conference-thursday-evening-dinner-la-bodega-tickets-16896348433

Get a 20% discount on Martial Arts Studies by Paul Bowman

Get a 20% discount on Martial Arts Studies: Disrupting Disciplinary Boundaries by Paul Bowman if you order online at www.rowmaninternational.com and use the code RLI052

Martial Arts Studies

Disrupting Disciplinary Boundaries

By Paul Bowman

“Following Nietzsche, Paul Bowman likes philosophising ‘with the hammer’. I think what he wields as a writer is more like a magic wand. Whisking received ideas of discipline, institution, tradition, body, nation, narration, media, theory and reality out of their usual academic slots, Bowman sends them spinning into the air to meet dreams, a visionary politics of culture and deep learning in martial arts. The result is intoxicating, a rush of energy from page to page. In Martial Arts Studies, impossible combinations take sparkling new shape and thinking is free to begin again.”

– Meaghan Morris, University of Sydney

April 2015 | HB £65.00/$95.00 9781783481279 | PB £21.95/$29.95 9781783481286 | eBook £21.95/$38.99 9781783481293

The phrase “martial arts studies” is increasingly circulating as a term to describe a new field of interest. But many academic fields, including History, Philosophy, Anthropology, and Area Studies already engage with martial arts in their own particular way. Therefore, is there really such a thing as a unique field of martial arts studies?

Martial Arts Studies is the first book to engage directly with these questions. It assesses the multiplicity and heterogeneity of possible approaches to martial arts studies, exploring orientations and limitations of existing approaches. It makes a case for constructing the field of martial arts studies in terms of key coordinates from post-structuralism, cultural studies, media studies, and post-colonialism. By using these anti-disciplinary approaches to disrupt the approaches of other disciplines, Martial Arts Studies proposes a field that both emerges out of and differs from its many disciplinary locations.

“What happens when a first rate scholar and long-time martial arts practitioner turns his attention to an orphan discipline? First, the field can never be considered marginal again; second, the founding fathers of martial arts studies will be challenged to step up their game to the next level; and finally, readers will get a crash course in the language and concepts of post-modern scholarship, allowing them to follow the ongoing debates in martial arts studies, where landing one good accusation of Orientalism, sexism or essentialism is like a flying roundhouse kick to the head. For those who seek a deeper knowledge of the role of martial arts in contemporary culture, and hence a deeper self-knowledge, they will find no better inspiration than Paul Bowman’s Martial Arts Studies.” – Douglas Wile, Author of Lost T’ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch’ing Dynasty and T’ai Chi’s Ancestors

Paul Bowman is Director of Postgraduate Research Studies in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. He is the founding editor of JOMEC Journal; founder of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Film and Visual Culture Research; Director of the Race, Representation and Cultural Politics Research Group and co-director of the Reconstructing Multiculturalism Research Network.

Contents 1. Martial Arts Studies as an Academic Field / 2. Writing Martial Arts Studies: Body, History, (Trans)Nation and Narration / 3. The Reality of Martial Arts / 4. Martial Arts and Cultural Politics Mediated: Disrupting Political Theory / 5. Conclusion: Orders of Discourse

For deliveries to North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Latin America

http://www.rowman.com

For deliveries to the UK and rest of the world

http://www.rowmaninternational.com

Don’t forget to enter code RLI052 at checkout!