Chinese Culture and the Martial Arts

Bruce Lee. Jackie Chan. Mention Hong Kong to almost anyone you meet abroad and these are likely to be the first words you hear.

In fact, the martial arts are more deeply embedded in Chinese tradition than the popularity of Kung Fu movie icons or lion dances at Chinese New Year festivities might suggest. At the same time, the lore and practice of the Chinese martial arts themselves cannot be fully understood without recognizing how deeply they are intertwined with Chinese history and culture.

In this talk, Avron Boretz explores some of the obvious and not-so-obvious ways that the martial arts are an essential and inseparable element of Chinese culture, from folk religion to online video games, and discusses the relationship between martial arts and traditional Chinese models of masculinity.

This talk will be delivered in English.

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Avron Boretz is an anthropologist at CUHK and a market research consultant. He was formerly a member of the faculty of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and Director of the China Program at the United Board, a non-profit education foundation based in Hong Kong. Both a practitioner and scholar of the martial arts, he is the author of Gods, Ghosts and Gangsters: Ritual Violence, Martial Arts and Masculinity on the Margins of Chinese Society. Dr. Boretz holds MA and PhD degrees in Anthropology from Cornell University, as well as an MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures (Chinese intellectual history) from the University of Chicago.



7:30 PM @ Little l.a.b