Spring 2004 MW 10:35-11:50
TJ Hinrichs
First offered as an ExEAS course at Columbia University Spring 2004

An examination of the transmission, cultural roots, and modern re-invention of martial arts in East Asia, and their practice in New York City. Exploration of the adaptation of East Asian practices in an American context through historical research and ethnographic fieldwork on a local martial arts school. Analysis of methodological problems arising from the application of historical perspectives to contemporary practices, from ethnographic research, and from the combination of these approaches. Consideration of how cultural and embodied knowledge is transmitted from person to person and through time.

Limit: 15 students


Class Project:

Historical and ethnographic research on a local school or club that teaches an East Asian martial art. This may be a Columbia club. Where sources permit, the scope of historical research should include the founding of the school and the history of the martial arts lineage(s) in which the main instructor trained. Ethnographic research may include interviews with students and instructors, observation of classes and events such as tournaments, and interviews with students and instructors. Participation in classes is optional. While some types of investigation will be required of all students for discussion in class and in weekly journal, others will depend on the individual student’s project. It is not necessary to conduct field research every week. Students should narrow the scope of field research over the course of the semester as they develop their final papers.

Class Participation: 20%

Includes occasional short presentations and class discussion. Come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings, study questions, and field research findings where relevant. If you cannot make it to class, let me know as soon as possible, preferably in advance. Be considerate of classmates. If you disagree with them, attempt to express your reactions constructively. Grade will be based on quality of contributions rather than quantity.

Weekly Journal: 40%

Based on field research at local martial arts school (see Class Project). Should incorporate analysis of readings in relation to specific ethnographic situation. Average 3-5 pages/week, beginning with project proposal (due Febr. 9). Journals are to be turned in at the beginning of Monday morning’s class. You may skip the journal assignment up to two times.

Final paper (25-30 pages): 40%

History and ethnography of chosen martial arts school. Papers will be presented and discussed formally at a final course conference. While the weekly journal should cover a broad range of questions and topics, final papers should narrow in scope to develop a thesis.

Readings Available on Reserve and for Purchase
  • Hammersley, Martyn and Paul Atkinson, Ethnography: Principles in Practice, 2 nd Edition, (London and New York: Routledge, 1995). [ Butler Reserve]
  • G. Cameron Hurst, Armed Martial Arts of Japan: Swordsmanship and Archery, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998). [Starr East Asian Reserve]
  • Sun-Tzu: The Art of War, Roger T. Ames, introduction, trans., and commentary, (New York: Ballantine Books, 1993). [Starr East Asian Reserve]
  • Takuan Sôhô, The Unfettered Mind:Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master, trans. William Scott Wilson, (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1986). [Starr East Asian Reserve]
  • Wile, Douglas, Lost T’ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch’ing Dynasty, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996). [Starr East Asian Reserve]
Research Resources Available on Reserve
  • Journal of Asian Martial Arts. [See especially Michael Maliszewski, “Meditative-Religious Traditions of Fighting Arts and Martial Ways,” (July 1992), 1.3:1-105.] (Starr East Asian Reserve)
  • Draeger, Donn F., and Robert W. Smith, Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts, (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1969, 1980). (Starr East Asian Reserve)
Recommended for Research Reference
  • Nelson, Randy F., Katherine C. Whitaker, The Martial Arts: An Annotated Bibliography, (New York: Garland Pub., 1988). (Starr East Asian Reference)
  • Koryu.com Links to Martial Arts Print Magazines and Online Journals <http://www.koryubooks.com/links/mags.html>.
  • Links to MartialArtsSmart Magazines, including KungFuMagazine.com (online articles available), <http://store.yahoo.com/martialartsmart/magazines.html>.
  • Instruction & Research Services Committee, Reference and User Service Association History Section, American Library Association, “Using Primary Sources on the Web,” <http://www.lib.washington.edu/subject/History/RUSA/>.
Key to Readings


Class Schedules

Unit I. Orientations

Assignment: Choose a martial arts school. Begin preparing a tentative one- to two-page description of the school, instructor, and research plan (participation, observation, interviews). [due Febr. 9] Students should sign up to meet me at IAB 917 sometime during the next two weeks to discuss their projects.

Week 1

  • Introduction Jan. 21

Week 2: Designing the Ethnographic Project

Consider these readings in relation to your research project design. Would you feel comfortable with “covert” ethnographic research? If not, who are the “gatekeepers” that you might approach about conducting research? How might you go about approaching them? What “Plan Bs” might you use if your request is refused, or if at some later point people become reluctant about talking to you? What factors do you need to consider in order to make good field notes and analyze them?

  • Problems of Fieldwork Jan. 26
  • Hammersley and Atkinson, Ethnography, pp. [1-22], 23-156, [263-287].

[Alter, The Wrestler’s Body: “Search and Research,” pp. 1-25. EBOOK]

  • Fieldnotes and Analysis Jan. 28
  • Hammersley and Atkinson, Ethnography, pp. 175-238, [239-262].

Week 3: Change Through Time

  • Historical Narrative Febr. 2

What varying roles or meanings can history have for participants in a martial art? What is the relationship between what happens historically, and the ways in which historical narratives are constructed? What issues does this raise for the reading and analysis of histories of the martial arts schools you are studying this semester?

How does Zarrilli connect historical traditions with contemporary practices of Kalarippayattu? Do you find his analysis compelling, or does Zarilli draw connections where they might not be justified? What questions does he raise that you might want to consider in your own historical research? What sources will you use?

  • Thomas A. Green, “Historical Narrative in the Martial Arts: A Case Study,” in Tad Tuleja, ed., Usable Pasts: Traditions and Group Expressions in North America, (Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 1997), pp. 156-174. ERESERVE
  • Phillip B. Zarrilli, When the Body Becomes All Eyes: Paradigms, Discourses and Practices of Power in Kalarippayattu, A South Indian Martial Art, (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 201-242. ERESERVE
  • Cultural Mixing Febr. 4

For East Asian martial arts in NYC, we are looking at transmission across cultures. How might we think about exogenous cultural influences, or cultural mixing? In a New York City context, who is appropriating and translating what? What motivated both the presentation of particular images of kung fu, for example by Bruce Lee, and the reception of these, for example among African-Americans in the 1970s? Think about how you might approach questions such as these in the historical side of your research project.

  • Charles D. Orzech, “Fang Yankou and Pudu: Translation, Metaphor, and Religious Identity,” in Livia Kohn and Harold D. Roth, eds., Daoist Identity: History, Lineage, and Ritual, ( Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2002), pp. 213-234. ERESERVE
  • Vijay Prashad, Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity, ( Boston: Beacon Press, 2001), pp. ix-xii, 126-149. ERESERVE

Unit II. The School

Week 4: The School in Space and Time

Writing/field assignment (due Febr. 16): Map the school and activities that take place there. Does the instructor attach meaning to the arrangement of the school’s space? Do students? How does the space of the school structure activity there? What is the structure of the classes and other activities? What is the schedule of classes and other activities over a week/month/year? Which might you attend? Consider as you read what other questions you might ask and what you might look for.

  • Places Febr. 9
  • Alter, The Wrestler’s Body: “The Akhara: Where Earth is Turned Into Gold,” pp. 26-57. EBOOK
  • John Donohue, “Budo as Symbolic System,” The Forge of the Spirit: Structure, Motion, and Meaning in the Japanese Martial Tradition, (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1991), pp. 165-179. ERESERVE

[Francesca Bray, “Domestic Architecture,” Technology and Society in Ming China (1368-1644), (American Historical Association, 2000), pp. 55-63.]

[Henning Eichberg, “The Enclosure of the Body: The Historical Relativity of ‘Health’, ‘Nature’, and the Environment of Sport,” “The Societal Construction of Time and Space as Sociology’s Way Home to Philosophy: Sport as Paradigm,” Body Cultures, pp. 47-67, 149-164.]

  • Events Febr. 11
  • Clifford Geertz, “The Balinese Cockfight,” The Interpretation of Cultures, (New York: Basic Books, 1973), pp. 412-453. ERESERVE
  • Alter, “Wrestling Tournaments and the Body’s Recreation,” The Wrestler’s Body, pp. 167-197. EBOOK

Week 5: Teaching and Transmission

Writing/field assignment (due Febr. 23): How did the head instructor become a martial artist? Is martial arts teaching a source of income for the instructor(s)? Is it a primary source of income? Does that effect decisions about teaching? (How might you go about ascertaining that?) What is the instructor’s approach to teaching? Does the instructor interact with students other than in formal class settings? What happens there? Does the instructor accept all students or restrict entrance? Does the instructor have a set curriculum? Are there advanced classes for students who are being trained to become instructors? Who takes these? If not, how are future instructors trained, if at all? Have these aspects of instruction changed over the history of the school?

  • Modes of Transmission Febr. 16

What are the “modes of transmission” of knowledge in your school? How might you go about uncovering the relationship between mode of transmission and the knowledge transmitted?

  • Elisabeth Hsu, The Transmission of Chinese Medicine, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 1-15, 225-240. ERESERVE

[Alter, The Wrestler’s Body: “Gurus and Chelas: The Alchemy of Discipleship,” pp. 58-69.] EBOOK

  • Embodiment Febr. 18

What is embodiment? How is it transmitted? How might you go about exploring it in your fieldwork?

  • Carol Laderman. “The Embodiment of Symbols and the Acculturation of the Anthropologist,” in Thomas J. Csordas, ed., Embodiment and Experience : The Existential Ground of Culture and Self, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 183-197. ERESERVE
  • Brownell, Training the Body for China: Sports in the Moral Order of the People’s Republic of China, pp. 3-33.

[Alter, The Wrestler’s Body: “The Discipline of the Wrestler’s Body,” pp. 90-135.] EBOOK

[Martha McCaughey, “The Fighting Spirit: Women’s Self-Defense Training and the Discourse of Sexed Embodiment,” Gender and Society (June 1998) 12.3:277-300.] EJOURNAL

Unit III. Historical Roots/Resources

What do “historical roots” have to do with contemporary practice? Is there any point to studying them, beyond their meaning for practitioners? Is there a connection otherwise between historical traditions and what people do now? What is it? How do we get from ancient China to contemporary China, Japan, Korea, or New York City? Do New York City practitioners study these historical roots? Do these studies contribute to what happens in the martial arts school?

Week 6: Lineage

Writing/Field Assignment (due March 1): Chart the lineage of the school’s head instructor. What sources of information do you have besides the report of the instructor? Are there other instructors at the school who come from different lineages? What are the meanings of lineage for people in your school? Do particular students or teachers have expectations about the student-teacher relationship based on East Asian models such as those studied in class? Are there problems in your school due to people coming to the relationship with different expectations?

  • Traditions of Transmission in China Febr. 23

What was lineage, and why was it important in China? How was knowledge understood to transmit in various traditions in early and medieval China? In what ways did people differ about the ways in which knowledge should/can be best transmitted? What was the nature of the student-teacher relationship? Note that the monkey character * in Journey to the West is humorously subverting numerous conventions of the master-disciple relationship. And numerous other conventions as well. What are these conventions? By the sixteenth century, when this was written, what were the myths and ideals of esoteric learning?

  • “The Classic of Documents — The ‘Canon of Yao’ and the ‘Canon of Shun;’” Analects; and Zhu Xi, “Preface to the Mean by Chaper and Phrase,” in William Theodore de Bary and Irene Bloom, eds., Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), pp. 29-30, 41-63, 731-737. ERESERVE
  • T. Griffith Foulk, “Myth, Ritual, and Monastic Practice in Sung Ch'an Buddhism,” in Patricia Buckley Ebrey and Peter N. Gregory, eds., Religion and Society in T'ang and Sung China, ( Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, c1993), pp. 147-208. ERESERVE
  • “The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch,” Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1, pp. 494-504. ERESERVE
  • Nathan Sivin, “Text and Experience in Classical Chinese Medicine,” in Knowledge and the Scholarly Medical Traditions, ed Don Bates, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 177-204. ERESERVE
  • Alan J. Berkowitz, “Record of Occultists,” in Donald S. Lopez, Jr., ed., Religions of China in Practice, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), pp. 446-448, 451-453. ERESERVE
  • Wu Cheng’en (ca. 1500-ca. 1582), The Journey to the West, trans. Anthony C. Yu, Vol. I, (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1977), pp. 65-99. ERESERVE
  • Traditions of Transmission in Japan Febr. 25

In what ways is the iemoto similar to or different from Chinese lineages? Do Japanese traditions of transmission specifically draw on, depart from, or transform Chinese traditions?

  • G. Cameron Hurst, Armed Martial Arts of Japan: Swordsmanship and Archery, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), pp. 177-196.
  • Robert J. Smith, “Transmitting Tradition by the Rules: An Anthropological Interpretation of the iemoto System,” in John Singleton, ed., Learning in Likely Places: Varieties of Apprenticeship in Japan, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), pp. 23-34. ERESERVE
  • J. Thomas Rimer, “The Search for Mastery Never Ceases: Zeami’s Classic Treatises on Transmitting the Traditions of the Theatre,” in Singleton, ed., Learning in Likely Places, pp. 35-44. ERESERVE
  • Bill Haase, “Learning to be an Apprentice,” in Singleton, ed., Learning in Likely Places, pp. 107-121. ERESERVE

Week 7: Approaches to Power

Writing/Field Assignment (due March 8): Do the teachings of your school claim links to these ideas or to these specific classical sources? If so, how are these discussed or taught?

  • Virtue/Potency/Power and the Dao March 1

What is the “Dao”/”Tao”? What is “De” (usually translated Virtue, Potency, or Power)? What is qi? In what ways do these ideas differ between the readings? What are the ideals of being human, and the ideals of power in these readings? What types of power do these works critique?

  • Daodejing — William Theodore de Bary and Irene Bloom, eds., Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1, ( New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), pp. 77-94. ERESERVE
  • ZhuangziSources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1, pp. 95-96, 103-104, 106-107. ERESERVE
  • Mencius 2A:2 —Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol. 1, pp. 114-116, 126-127. ERESERVE
  • Strategic Positioning March 3

What is shi? With what type of battle is The Art of War concerned with? How does this contrast with earlier Chinese approaches to battle? With early western traditions?

  • Sun-Tzu: The Art of War, Roger T. Ames, introduction, trans., and commentary, (New York: Ballantine Books, 1993), pp. 32-171.
  • François Jullien, “Potential is Born of Disposition in Military Strategy,” The Propensity of Things: Toward a History of Efficacy in China (New York: Zone Books, 1995), pp. 25-38. ERESERVE

[Mark Edward Lewis, Sanctioned Violence in Early China, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990).]

Week 8: The Body and the Universe

Writing/Field Assignment (due March 22): How is the body discussed in your school? Are ideas such as Yin and Yang (In and Yô), Qi (Ki), or the Dantian (Tanden, “Cinnabar Field”) used to teach the way the body should operate? Do your schools teachings differ from the readings assigned here?

Final Paper Assignment (due March 22): Tentative Final Paper Topic

  • Body as Microcosm March 8
  • Nathan Sivin, Traditional Medicine in Contemporary China, (Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies, The University of Michigan, 1987), pp. 43-94. ERESERVE

[Douglas Wile, “Analysis and Translation of the New Texts,” Lost T’ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch’ing Dynasty, pp. 39-89.]

  • Alchemy, Cultivating Life, and Qigong March 10
  • Harold D. Roth, “The Inner Cultivation Tradition of Early Daoism,” in Religions of China in Practice, pp. 123-148. ERESERVE
  • Livia Kohn, Chapter 5, “Physical Practices,” The Taoist Experience: An Anthology, (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993). EBOOK
  • Nancy N. Chen, “Embodying Qi and Masculinities in Post-Mao China,” in Chinese Femininities, Chinese Masculinities: A Reader, pp. 315-329. ERESERVE  


Week 9: Buddhism

Writing/Field Assignment (due March 29): Does your school claim a Buddhist heritage? What is it?

Final Paper Assignment (due March 29): Annotated Bibliography

  • Chan/Zen and Tantra March 22
  • Takuan Sôhô, The Unfettered Mind:Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master, trans. William Scott Wilson, (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1986), pp. 12-92.
  • Otake Risuke, “Esoteric Buddhism and Japanese Swordsmanship,” The Deity and the Sword: Katori Shinto Ryu, trans. Donn F. Draeger, et. al., (Tokyo: Minato Research & Publishing, 1978), pp. 14-22. ERESERVE
  • Shaolin March 24
  • Meir Shahar, “Ming-Period Evidence of Shaolin Martial Practice,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (Dec. 2001), 61.2:359-415. ERESERVE

[Meir Shahar, “Epigraphy, Buddhist Historiography, and Fighting Monks: The Case of Shaolin Monastery,” Asia Major 3 rd Series (2002), XIII.2:15-36.]

Week 10: Fiction

Writing Assignment (due April 5): Can fiction really tell us anything about martial arts? If so, what? Does it contribute in any way to martial culture? Does martial culture contribute to fiction? For ideas, consider our discussions of the Zarilli reading (class 4) and Sun Wukong (class 10).

Final Paper Assignment (due April 5): Preliminary Thesis and Outline (1 page)

  • Chinese Fiction March 29
  • “Shi Jin the Nine-Dragoned,” Ebrey, Patricia, ed., Chinese Civilization: A Sourcebook, 2nd. ed., (New York: The Free Press, 1993), pp. 226-237. ERESERVE
  • “from The Romance of the Gods (Feng-shen yan-yi): Ne-zha and His Father,” in Stephen Owen,. ed., trans., An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911, (New York: Norton, 1996), pp. 771-806. ERESERVE

[Louis Cha (Jin Yong), The Deer and the Cauldron, trans. and ed. John Minford with Rachel May, ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).]

[Huanzhulouzhu (“The Master of Pearl-Rimmed Tower”), Blades from the Willows, trans. Robert Chard, (London: Wellsweep, 1991).]

[Louise Edwards, “Women Warriors and Amazons of the Mid-Qing Texts Jinghua Yuan and Honglou Meng,” Modern Asian Studies (May 1995) 29.2:225-255. JSTOR]

  • Japanese Fiction March 31
  • The Tale of the Heike, trans. Helen Craig McCullough, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988), pp. 1-11, 17-19, 358-425. ERESERVE

[Kenneth Butler, “The Heike Monogatari and the Japanese Warrior Ethic,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (1969) 29:93-108. JSTOR]

¸ Movie Night: TBA

Week 11: Cinema

Writing/Field Assignment (due April 12): Does cinema enter into the ways in which you see people in your martial art practicing or talking about martial arts? In what ways?

Final Paper Assignment (nothing due): Begin writing final paper

  • Hong Kong Martial Arts Film April 5
  • Yvonne Tasker, “Fists of Fury: Discourses of Race and Masculinity in the Martial Arts Cinema,” in Harry Stecopoulos and Michael Uebel, eds., Race and the Subject of Masculinities, (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1997), pp. 315-336. ERESERVE
  • Bhaskar Sarkar, “Hong Kong Hysteria: Martial Arts Tales from a Mutating World,” in Esther C. M. Yau, ed., At Full Speed: Hong Kong Cinema in a Borderless World, ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001), pp. 159-176. ERESERVE

[Stephen Teo, “Part Two: Martial Artists,” Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions, (London: British Film Institute, 1997), pp. 87-134.]

[Deborah Klens-Bigman, “Toward a Theory of Martial Arts as Performance Art,” in Jones, ed., Combat, Ritual, and Performance, ( Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002), pp. 1-10.]

  • Japanese Samurai (or “Period”) Film April 7
  • David Desser, “Toward a Structural Analysis of the Postwar Samurai Film,” in Arthur Nolletti, Jr. and David Desser, eds., Reframing Japanese Cinema: Authorship, Genre, History, (Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1992), pp. 145-64. ERESERVE
  • Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, “Seven Samurai,” Kurosawa: Film Studies and Japanese Cinema ( Durham, NC: Duke UP, 2000), pp. 205-245. ERESERVE

¸ Movie Night: TBA

Unit IV. Modern Transitions

Is your martial art a “modern tradition”? What makes it “traditional”? What makes it “modern”? What makes it “national,” or “international”? Does the school’s self-history make claims to authenticity? What are these claims, and how are we to evaluate them? What historical processes of the last century contributed to its current shape and practice? What current factors do you see contributing to its continuing change?

Week 12: “Traditional” Martial Artists

Writing Assignment (due April 19): Who were the “martial artists” in the centuries leading up to the Twentieth? What martial “traditions” did they carry — or not? In what ways did the social and cultural place of martial pursuits differ in China and in Japan? Do you see this affecting practice in your school?

Final Paper Assignment (due April 19): Sketchy rough draft (~10-15 pages) with revised outline

  • Martial Arts, Class, and Gender in Late Imperial China April 12
  • Victoria Cass, “Warriors and Mystics,” Dangerous Women: Warriors, Grannies, and Geishas of the Ming, (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), pp. 65-85. ERESERVE
  • David Ownby, “Approximations of Chinese Bandits: Perverse Rebels, Romantic Heroes, or Frustrated Bachelors?” in Chinese Femininities, Chinese Masculinities: A Reader, ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), pp. 226-250. ERESERVE
  • Joseph Esherick, Origins of the Boxer Uprising, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987), 38-67, 206-240. ERESERVE
  • Wile, “Social and Historical Background of T’ai-chi Ch’uan in the Nineteenth Century,” Lost T’ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch’ing Dynasty, pp. 3-30.
  • Edo Samurai April 14
  • Hurst, Armed Martial Arts of Japan, pp. 7-100.

[Eiko Ikegami, The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995).]

[Satô Hiroaki, Legends of the Samurai, (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1995).]

[Thomas Cleary, Code of the Samurai: A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu, (Boston: Tuttle, 1999), pp. 12-98.]

[Satô Hiroaki, “Heihô Kaden Sho: Family-Transmitted Book on Swordsmanship,” The Sword & the Mind, (Woodstock: Overlook Press, 1985), 1-19, 55-125.]

Week 13: Modern Invented Traditions

Writing Assignment (due April 26): Is there something about modernity in particular that is conducive to the invention of traditions? In what ways is your own schools martial art a modern invented tradition?

Final Paper Assignment (due April 26): Complete Rough Draft (~25-30 pages)

  • Modernity and “Invented Traditions” April 19
  • Stephen Vlastos, “Tradition: Past/Present Culture and Modern Japanese History,” Dipesh Chakrabarty, “Afterword: Revisiting the Tradition/Modernity Binary,” in Stephen Vlastos, ed., Mirror of Modernity: Invented Traditions of Modern Japan, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), pp 1-18, 285-296. EBOOK

[Prasenjit Duara, “The Regime of Authenticity: Timelessness, Gender, and National History in Modern China,” History and Theory (October 1998)), 37.3:287-308.] JSTOR

  • Invented Martial Traditions April 21
  • Hurst, Armed Martial Arts of Japan, pp. 147-176.
  • Inoue Shun, “The Invention of the Martial Arts: Kanô Jigorô and Kôdôkan judo,” in Mirror of Modernity, pp. 163-173. EBOOK
  • Brownell, Training the Body for China: Sports in the Moral Order of the People’s Republic of China, pp. 34-64. ERESERVE
  • Andrew D. Morris, Chapter 7, “From Martial Arts to National Skills: The Construction of a Modern Indigenous Physical Culture, 1912-1937,” Marrow of the Nation: A History of Sport and Physical Culture in Republican China, ( Berkeley: University of California Press, forthcoming 2004), pp. 335-394. ERESERVE

Week 14: Globalization

Writing Assignment (due May 3): What is “Globalization” in the martial arts? The transmission of elements of East Asian cultures (or particular cultural practices) to the “West” runs contrary to the flow usually assumed for processes of globalization. What might that tell us about globalization theory? What is global or local in your martial arts school?

Final Paper Assignment (due May 3): Complete First Draft

  • Nation, Colonialism, Diaspora, and Identity April 26
  • Eichberg, “A Revolution of Body Culture? Traditional Games on the Way from Modernisation to ‘Postmodernity,’” Body Cultures, pp. 128-148. ERESERVE
  • Bill Brown, “Global Bodies/Postnationalities: Charles Johnson’s Consumer Culture,” Representations (Spring 1997), 58:24-48. JSTOR
  • The Global and the Local April 28
  • Joana Breidenback and Ina Zukrigl, “Breidenbac and Zukrigl about the Dynamics of Cultural Globalization,” <http://cio.ceu.hu/extreading/CIO/Breidenbach_and_Zukrigl.html>.
  • Geoffrey Wingard, “Sport, Industrialism, and The Japanese “ Gentle Way: Judo in Late Victorian England,” Journal of Asian Martial Arts (2003) 12.2:16-25. ERESERVE
  • John J. Donohue, “Wave People: The Martial Arts and the American Imagination,” in David E. Jones, ed., Combat, Ritual, and Performance: Anthropology of the Martial Arts, pp. 65-80. ERESERVE

[Nancy N. Chen, “Transnational Qigong,” Breathing Spaces: Qigong, Psychiatry, and Healing in China, ( New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), pp. 159-184.]

Unit V. Methodological Problems Revisited

Week 15

Final Assignment (due May 7): Polish Final Paper.
Alternate due dates may be arranged no later than May 3.

  • Problems in History and Ethnography May 3

In the case of the traditions of martial arts, which are more poorly documented in the written record, can we write history as phenomena in the past connected and changing through time? Or can we only write about it as myth? What is East Asian about East Asian martial arts practiced in New York City?

*Sun Wu-k’ung, also spelled Sun Wukong, in Japanese Son Goku — yes, the basis for the “Dragon Ball Z” character Goku.

Passages of (perhaps) particular relevance in the Analects: 1:1, 1:2, 1:6, 1:7, 1:8, 1:14, 2:4, 2:12, 2:15, 2:17, 5:27, 6:2, 6:16, 6:18, 7:1, 7:2, 7:3, 8:13, 11:6, 14:25, 14:45, 15:2, 15:30, 15:35, 15:38.

You are responsible for participating in one outside activity over the course of the semester. The activity must be related to our main topic, "Stories of (Dis)location: Chinese Female Subjectivity in Transition." You have a lot of options (and if you find something that I haven't mentioned, then ask me if it's ok to use for your outside activity):

  • read an additional book about/by Chinese/overseas Chinese/Chinese American women and write a review of it

  • visit the China Institute; write a description and evaluation of what you saw and how it relates to our class

  • visit the Asia Society; write a description and evaluation of what you saw and how it relates to our class

  • see a film, rent a video by/about Chinese women or the Chinese diaspora; write a review of the film and its gender/sexual/cultural/(trans)national politics

  • surf the net and put together an annotated internet resource list on sites relating to Chinese women, gender/sexual politics for women in China, Chinese American women, transnational feminism and China, etc.

  • conduct an interview with a Chinese student and discuss some of the issues we've been discussing with her

  • trace the presentation of Chinese women in a major newspaper (over the course of several weeks) and write an analysis of the politics of these representations

  • collect numerous ads that invoke a sense of "Chinese femininity" and discuss in your paper the politics of representation at work in the ads

  • do biographical research into one of our authors and write a biographical piece about her and her work

  • study some contemporary artwork by Chinese women or women from the Chinese diaspora or Chinese American women and write an evaluation of the issues their work is addressing

Final Paper

I will give you guidelines on this assignment after we return from spring vacation.