Feature: Martial Arts Studies no. 4 – Prof Lauren Miller Griffith

In the second of our two posts showcasing articles from issue 4 of Martial Arts Studies, Lauren Miller Griffith’s article “Virtually legitimate: using disembodied media to position oneself in an embodied community” examines how comments posted on YouTube training videos are providing encouragement for new practitioners of the Brazilian martial art of capoeira.

Read the whole article at: https://mas.cardiffuniversitypress.org/articles/abstract/10.18573/j.2017.10185/

““Quebra, moça,” the master said to me as he shook me by the shoulders. Break, girl. I was too closed, too cold, and had the habitus of a ballerina rather than a capoeirista. Training in Brazil, I could see and feel how each of our bodies were being remade according to the demands of this martial art, which demands walking a careful line between using proper form and cultivating a unique personal aesthetic. I was in Brazil for academic research on how non-Brazilians gain legitimacy within local capoeira academies, and about half of the class comprised foreigners. For them, it wasn’t just face-to-face instruction that they deemed necessary for success in the genre, it was face-to-face instruction in the homeland of capoeira. But not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to do this. Although capoeira has become more common throughout the world, there are still places where aspiring students may not be able to find a teacher. And for some students who do live nearby an instructor, the potential embarrassment of trying something new in front of other people can be a barrier to participation. For both of these groups, the Internet can be a useful resource.

Because my teacher in Brazil repeatedly told us that doing capoeira properly required sentimento (feeling), which is something you can’t learn from books or videos, I expected to find that the comment sections of YouTube videos on capoeira would be full of exhortations to find a ‘real’ teacher or take a ‘real’ class. Instead, using textual analysis of comments that had been left on tutorial videos, I uncovered an interesting pattern. Aspiring or novice capoeiristas would express vulnerability regarding their ability to do a move or play capoeira at all. This was often met with a hostile or homophobic comment from someone else, who did not appear to be a capoeirista. When this happened, another commenter would identify him or herself as a community insider, diffuse the ‘trolling,’ and encourage the original poster by telling him/her that anyone can do capoeira if they work hard enough. Rather than being disparaged as an inferior learning tool, online resources are being used by some capoeiristas as a way of inviting newcomers and geographically isolated students into the embodied community.”


Feature: Martial Arts Studies no. 4 – Prof Douglas Wile

Occasionally on this blog, we’ll be showcasing some of the fascinating articles we publish, by providing summaries written for the general public.

Here’s the first of two posts relating to issue 4 of our journal Martial Arts Studies. Written by Professor Douglas Wile, the article “Fighting words: four new document finds reignite old debates in taijiquan history” describes how recent discoveries of historical documents relating to taijiquan (tai chi) could influence the long-standing academic and political debates concerning the origins of this Chinese martial art.

Read the whole article at: https://mas.cardiffuniversitypress.org/articles/abstract/10.18573/j.2017.10184/


“For the millions of ordinary Chinese who stream into China’s parks and public squares every morning at sunrise, taijiquan [tai chi] is an essential health practice and social ritual. For Chinese intellectuals, the art is an iconic intangible cultural heritage and a flashpoint between traditionalists and modernists in the century-old culture war for the soul of China, that plays out in the midst of a national identity crisis. The key bone of contention is the origins of the art, with traditionalists tracing the creation to Zhang Sanfeng, a mythological Daoist immortal, and modernizers focusing on Chen Wangting, a seventeenth-century local militia leader in Chen Village, Henan Province. The latter version, first advanced by pioneering martial arts historian Tang Hao, has received official state endorsement. The two camps are divided over interpretation of a slim body of highly inconclusive evidence preserved in the style lineages of the Chen, Yang, Wu (Yuxiang), Wu (Jianquan), and Sun families.

The new document finds, consisting of form manuals, theoretical texts and genealogies, discovered by the Li family of Tang Village, the Wang family of Wangbao Village, the Liu family of Zhaobao Town, and the Wang family of Shanxi, would be the earliest versions of the “classics” by two centuries, shift the birthplace from the Wudang Temple or Chen Village to the Thousand Year Temple, and introduce a whole new cast of characters as creators. If authentic, the documents not only force a revision of history, but strengthen the hands of traditionalists, who take comfort in the Daoist connections, and support modernizers in the confirmation of a role for Chen Wangting. With various “birthplaces” vying for market share in the Chinese domestic, and increasingly globalized, martial arts marketplace, new documents are used to buttress claims of authenticity on the basis of antiquity and originality, while in academic circles, scholars use the new evidence to challenge party line orthodoxy and press demands for academic freedom.”


Feature: JOMEC Journal no. 11 – “Diaspora beyond nationalism”

This is the first in a series of posts designed to introduce you to some of the journals and series we publish.

Read on for an introduction to JOMEC Journal no. 11, a special issue entitled “Diaspora Beyond Nationalism”, which was published in July 2017. This piece is written by Dr Idil Osman, guest editor of the special issue. You can find the issue at https://jomec.cardiffuniversitypress.org/15/volume/0/issue/11/

Population movements across borders are not a new phenomenon. But in the 21st century we have seen a significant shift in scope of international migration and rapid advancement of transportation and communication, making today’s world far more interconnected. Movements of such scale are bound to have substantial political, economic and social consequences.

Globalisation has also facilitated the rapid increase in transnationally available alternative media, which is supported by the advancement of a globally connected technological infrastructure.

The potential of alternative media was brought home in the first half of 2011, when revolutionary uprisings swept North Africa and the Middle East, which quickly came to be known as the Arab Spring. These uprisings saw the exits of two heads of states, Mubarak in Egypt and Ben Ali in Tunisia, and a political shake-up across the Arab inhabited lands. The Arab Spring is an indication of the palpable role social and new media can play in mobilising for political and social change. The Internet, along with mobile phones and digital video, enables people to organise politics in ways that overcome limits of time, space, identity and ideology, resulting in the expansion and coordination of activities that are unlikely to occur using other means.

This special issue addresses and engages these matters with articles that capture them from wide perspectives. It has been developed from a selection of exemplary papers that emerged from the Diaspora Beyond Nationalism conference, held in September 2015 at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. The issue also includes exceptional papers that were submitted after the conference took place. The papers showcase exciting and original scholarship from across a range of academic disciplines and theoretical perspectives, sharing concerns about the social, cultural and political significance of migration and diaspora communities in a range of national and transnational contexts. Their common thread is the notion of shifting identities, their flexibility in realignment and reconstruction amidst changing tides, means and circumstances, which expand far beyond notions of national identities.

We hope you enjoy reading the papers as much as we have enjoyed putting them together in this topical issue.

Call for contributions: Journal of Corpora and Discourse Studies

Cardiff University Press welcomes the forthcoming publication of the Journal of Corpora and Discourse Studies (JCaDS), a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal dedicated to the computer-assisted study of language in use as a vehicle of communication. Edited by an international team of scholars led by Professor Alan Partington of the University of Bologna (Italy), JCaDS breaks new ground as the first linguistics journal to fully embrace the principles of open science, offering not only open access to the journal’s articles but also open data that can be reanalysed and reused. In addition to original empirical research, JCaDS will publish reviews of books, software tools and corpora.

The journal is inviting contributions for its first issue, due in summer 2018.
It will consider original research articles using corpus techniques for the systematic examination of naturally-occurring language in specific settings and contexts. You can find the full call details here: JCaDS Call for Contributions. For further guidance please visit https://jcads.cardiffuniversitypress.org/about/submissions/

JCaDS also invites reviews of books, corpus software tools and corpora. Please contact the book review editor Sylvia Jaworska at JaworskaS@cardiff.ac.uk, with details of your proposed review.

To discuss potential special issues in 2019 and beyond, please contact the editorial team at jcads@cardiff.ac.uk.

Find out more about the journal on its official website at https://jcads.cardiffuniversitypress.org/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JCaDS_Journal, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JCaDS.journal.


How we got here

The idea of setting up Cardiff University Press originated back in 2013 within a number of academic Schools, supported by the University Library Service. The vision was to be committed to innovation and excellence in publishing, for the benefit of both academia and the wider external community. In early 2014, following discussions with all three Colleges and approval from the University Executive Board, the project was given the go ahead to develop “a Cardiff University Press online brand”. A Scholarly Publications Manager was appointed, and the first meeting of what was to become our Editorial Board was held in November 2014.

2015 saw the appointment of our Executive Officer, and our first web pages began to take shape, along with general principles, selection criteria and other publication guidelines. In March 2015, JOMEC Journal became the first journal title to be officially accepted for publication, and supplied our first journal issue four months later. Martial Arts Studies and Romantic Textualities were accepted for publication soon afterwards.

Cardiff University Press was officially launched on 9th July 2015. Shortly before Christmas of that year Open Journal Systems (OJS) was adopted as our hosting platform for our publications (which had swiftly grown to five titles).

During the first six months of 2016 six more titles were accepted for publication, covering subject areas and disciplines from all three Colleges. The Press was also aware of an increased interest from researchers to facilitate monograph publishing.

Two student representatives joined the Editorial Board in January 2017, as part of our ongoing commitment to the professionalisation of students.  In July we formed a partnership with Ubiquity Press to enable future monograph publishing and larger range of online services to editors, authors and readers. We launched our new hosting platform, web pages and Press blog on Wednesday 25th October 2017, during International Open Access Week.

We’re hoping to launch our monograph publishing activities in early 2018. In the meantime, do contact us to express your interest in publishing a monograph with us.

Who we are

Prof Damian Walford Davies is Chair of our Editorial Board. Damian is head of the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff University, Chair of Literature Wales, and Fellow of the Welsh Academy. He is supported by three other Officers, seven Members and two Student Representatives. For full details of the Board membership, go to our web page at https://www.cardiffuniversitypress.org/site/about/.

Our Board Officers are:

Prof Paul Bowman, Editor-in-Chief. Paul is Professor of Cultural Studies in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. Within the School, he is Director of the Media, Culture and Creativity Research Group.

Sonja Haerkoenen, Scholarly Publications Manager, Cardiff University Library Service, and University Press Manager. Sonja has responsibility for day-to-day management of Cardiff University Press, and also for the activities of the Library’s Open Access Team.

Alice Percival, Executive Officer of Cardiff University Press. Alice works on a range of Press activities, including the provision of support for the Editorial Teams, and acts as secretary for the Editorial Board.

Meet the team

Come with us on a new adventure!

This is a very exciting time for Cardiff University Press. We’ve just moved to our new hosting platform, provided by Ubiquity Press. This platform will enable us to offer more services to our authors, editors and readers. Our web address remains the same: http://cardiffuniversitypress.org. We hope you like our new home!

The move will also allow us to enter a new phase of development. We’ve always had plans to expand into the area of monograph publishing once our journal publishing had been established. Our new partnership with Ubiquity Press will make that expansion possible, and we’re hoping to launch our monograph publishing activities in early 2018. In the meantime, do contact us to register your interest in publishing a monograph with us.

Watch this space, and share our adventure with us.

CardiffUniPress homepage

Welcome to the Cardiff University Press blog!

Thank you for visiting our new blog! We’re launching it during International Open Access Week 2017 – find out more about the week here.

Cardiff University Press is an online Open Access publisher of academic research, established in 2014 and launched in July 2015. We are currently unique in operating the Diamond model of Open Access, where no charges are made to authors, editors or readers for journal publications. This is also referred to as “free in, free out”.

We’ll be blogging about a variety of Press, publishing and Open Access topics – new ideas, work opportunities, calls for papers, news of our own journals and series, and much more. Do let us know what you’d like to see on our blog. We also hope to have some guest bloggers from time to time, so please get in touch if you’d like to volunteer! We can be contacted on cardiffuniversitypress@cardiff.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)29 22 510221.