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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
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