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The Martial Arts Studies Reader answers this need, by bringing together pioneers of the field and scholars at its cutting edges to offer authoritative and accessible insights into its key concerns and areas. Each chapter introduces and sets out an approach to and a route through a key issue in a specific area of martial arts studies. Taken together or in isolation, the chapters offer stimulating and exciting insights into this fascinating research area. In this way, The Martial Arts Studies Reader offers the first authoritative field-defining overview of the global and multidisciplinary phenomena of martial arts and martial arts studies.
1. 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: Mixing Metaphors in Chinese Martial Arts and Art of the Bedchamber, Douglas Wile / 4. Masculinities, Bodies, and Martial Arts, Dale Spencer 5. Martial Arts and the Sociology of Gender, Alex Channon / 6. The Problem of Violence: Martial Arts as Coping Strategy, Sixt Wetzler / 7. Battling Demons and Fighting for Jesus: Martial Arts, Media and Material Religion, Esther Berg / 8. Martial Mindfulness, Chris Goto-Jones / 9. Re-Articulating Performance Ethnography for Martial Arts Studies, D. S. Farrer / 10. Liminoid Longings and Liminal Belonging: The Search for Meaning in the Modern Martial Arts, Benjamin N. Judkins / 11. Martial Arts as Aesthetic, Discursive, and Embodied Practice, Tim Trausch / 12. America’s Wars in Asia and the Dissemination of Japanese Martial Arts in the United States, Michael Molasky / 13. Good Game: How Combative Play Distinguishes Itself from Violence, Janet O’Shea / 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
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
Paul Bowman is professor of cultural studies at Cardiff University.

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