The next Martial Arts Studies Conference is exactly three months away, so I thought I’d take a few moments to give you all a quick update about both this and a few other developments in martial arts studies.
First things first: the conference schedule is taking shape nicely. As always happens, a few people have recently had to drop out and a few more people are currently jostling to get in – but such is life, and hopefully we’ll have absolute clarity in good time before the conference actually arrives!
The other big news about the conference is that I’m looking forward to showcasing some short films and filmmakers, some of whom will be joining us and on hand to discuss their works with us. So we will be able to spend some time watching a range of short films about different aspects of martial arts (and martial arts studies) in the company of filmmakers including Scott Park Phillips, Iveta Karpathyova and Philip Loy. I’m hoping that Soo Cole from Curzon films will also be able to join us, and that she will be bringing one or two short films that we can add to our list. I will try to remember to bring popcorn.
In the near future I will also be finalising plans for dinners for the three evenings of the conference. This is always the most tricky bit, I find, because not everyone wants to dine with everyone else. Consequently, I will organise dinners as an extra, and only for those of us who have the inclinations and energies to keep ‘conferencing’ into the night. Watch this space.
In other news, the martial arts studies book series is developing well, issue two of the Martial Arts Studies journal is on its way, and the third event in our Martial Arts Studies Research Network series has been confirmed: focusing on ‘mindfulness and martial arts’, it will take place at the University of Huddersfield on Saturday 19th November, in collaboration with Dr Ben Spatz and colleagues in drama, theatre and performance studies.
Mindfulness is both big business and a hugely contagious buzzword at the moment. In Huddersfield we will be exploring into its relationships with martial arts and other practices and discourses of the mind and body.
Watch this space for updates! Any questions – let me know!