Overview list (bio’s detailed below)

Panel 1 – DS Farrer & Jean-Marc de Grave

Panel 2 – Virginie Johan & Kathy Foley 

Panel 3 – Peter Lorge & Laurent Chircop-Reyes

Panel 4 – David A. Palmer 

Panel 5 – Georges Favraud & Laurent Chircop-Reyes

Panel 6 – Marceau Chenault 

Panel 7 – Benoît Gaudin 

Panel 8 – Benjamin Judkins, Andrea Molle & Gabriel Facal 

Panel 9 – Edouard L’Hérisson & Fanny Caron 


Panel 1 – Martialité: art, perfomance & religion

  • DS Farrer

DS Farrer is a social and visual anthropologist specializing in the anthropology of art and performance in Micronesia and Southeast Asia. He authored Shadows of the Prophet: Martial Arts and Sufi Mysticism (2009), edited War Magic: Religion, Sorcery and Performance (2016), and co-edited Martial Arts as Embodied Knowledge: Asian Traditions in a Transnational World (2011). Dr. Farrer’s current research regards art worlds and spiritual friendship in Malaysia, and embodied martialité, art and performance in Palau.


  • Jean-Marc de Grave 

Jean-Marc de Grave is assistant professor HDR at the University of Aix-Marseille (Department of Anthropology), and statutory member of IrAsia (AMU-CNRS, UMR 7306) where he is responsible of the axe of research n° 5 “Transmission of knowledge and know how, orientation of social values”. His thematic of research are: Rituals, education, body techniques, occurrence and competition of social values. More specifically he works on Javanese ritual initiation, Malaysian martial arts, Transmission and embodiment of knowledge and know-how, Formal and non-formal education, Javanese dance and women warriors in Java. He has spent 8.5 years on the fieldwork (Java, Sumatra, Celebes, Malaysia, Singapore). He has obtained the 2001 Jeanne Cuisinier Prize for his work on traditional Javanese initiation and the Scientific excellence award (2013-2022).


Panel 2 – Cosmologies & holistic references

  • Virginie Johan

Virginie Johan is Doctor of Paris-3 (Arts& Media) and qualified as Assistant-Professor in Arts and Anthropology (CNU 18, 20). She completed a Postdoctoral fellow at EFEO (Paris, 2018) and  taught as a Lecturer in Anthropology and Asian Performing Arts at Sciences Po & Paris-8 (since 2015). Virginie Johan is a Kutiyattam expert.


  • Kathy Foley

Kathy Foley is a Distinguished Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has also taught at University of Malaya, University of Hawaii, Yonsei University (Korea), and Chulalongkorn University (Thailand). She is author of the Southeast Asia section of Cambridge Guide to Asian Theatre (Cambridge, UK, 1993) and was editor of Asian Theatre Journal from 2005-2018. She received the 2019 Association for Theatre in Higher Education award for Sustained Excellence in Editing.


Panel 3 – Culture of wars

  • Peter Lorge

Peter Lorge is a historian of 10th and 11th century China, with particular interest in Chinese military, political and social history. He is author of The Reunification of China: Peace Through War under the Song Dynasty (Cambridge, 2015), Chinese Martial Arts: From Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press, 2012), The Asian Military Revolution: From Gunpowder to the Bomb (Cambridge University Press, 2008), and War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China (Routledge, 2005). Lorge is co-editor with Kaushik Roy of Chinese and Indian Warfare: From the Classical Age to 1870 (Routledge, 2014), and editor of Debating War in Chinese History (Brill, 2013), Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (The Chinese University Press, 2011), and Warfare in China to 1600 (Ashgate, 2005). His book series with Routledge, Asian States and Empires, has published thirteen books.


  • Laurent Chircop-Reyes

Laurent Chircop-Reyes is a sinologist and doctor of historical anthropology of Aix-Marseille University. He is currently member of IrAsia/CNRS (AMU), CECMC/CNRS (EHESS), and GEAS (FU Berlin). His postdoctoral project focuses on the links and mutual influences between trading networks, human mobility and local knowledge in Northern China (Ming-Qing). His research emphasis in particular on caravan knowledge and its role in security issues and in the shape of historical migration itineraries along trade routes between China and Siberia. Laurent Chircop-Reyes has defended his doctoral dissertation (2019) entitled Among the Merchants and the Brigands. An Ethnohistory of Northern China’s Escort-Masters (18th early 20th): From Social Body to Body Knowledge, and has also investigated into themes related to martial practices, rituals, body techniques and Chinese religions. He is also the founder of the academic blog “Les chroniques du wulin” dedicated to research on martial culture in China: https://wulin.hypotheses.org  


Panel 4 – Ethics in modern fighting games & martial arts

  • David A. Palmer

Dr David A Palmer is a Professor jointly appointed by the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong, which he joined in 2008. After completing his Ph.D. at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (School for Advanced Research, Université Paris PSL), he was the Eileen Barker Fellow in Religion and Contemporary Society in the Department of Sociology of the London School of Economics and Political Science, and, from 2004 to 2008, director of the Hong Kong Centre of the French School of Asian Studies (Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient), located at the Institute for Chinese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


Panel 5 – Folk religions, cultural heritage & health cultivation 

  • Georges Favraud 

Dr Georges Favraud is an anthropologist specialist in ancient Chinese embodied knowledge in practice and context (martial arts, meditation, medicine, divination, ritual, geomancy, cosmologies) and their contemporary changes. He also investigated ancient chinese local organizations (patrilignages, ancestral cults, worship communities, ritual transmission networks) and their contemporary changes, as well as the processes of modernization and globalization in their epistemic, cultural and political aspects.


  • Laurent Chircop-Reyes

*See above


Panel 6 – Ascetics, self cultivation, self infliction

  • Marceau Chenault

Since 2009, Marceau Chenault is an anthropologist based at the School of Physical Education and Health of Shanghai ECNU, and at the Qigong Research Institute (Shanghai TCM UNiversity). His previous research focus on qigong, taijiquan, TCM. Now, his research focus on the globalization of Chinese traditional health practices and their integration in European non-conventional medicine. He is currently working on an international collaboration with Shanghai University of TCM to develop new curriculum about non-conventional medicine, TCM and qigong at the Faculty of Medicine of Lyon1. He is also choreographer and contemporary dancer and perform with various artists in Shanghai. Their last experimental performance, with a designer of Tongji university and a German artist, was about human/non human movements.


Panel 7 – Channeled violence & transcendant experiences

  • Benoît Gaudin

Benoit Gaudin is assistant professor of sociology at Université de Versailles Saint Quentin, France. He co-edited with Prof. Johan Heibron (Erasmus University Rotterdam) the “Pratiques Martiales et Sports de Combat” issue of Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales (n°179, 2009). He also co-edited with Prof. Bezabih Wolde (Addis Ababa University) Kenyan and Ethiopian Athletics: Towards an Alternative Scientific Approach (IRD Éditions – Centre Français des Études Éthiopiennes, 2017). As a sport sociologist, he published several papers and book chapters on capoeira, martial arts, basketball and East-African athletics (track), the later in reviews such as Aethiopica – International Journal of Ethiopian and Erithrean Studies and Annales d’Ethiopie.



Panel 8 – Ethnoreligious identities, nationalism & political uses

  • Benjamin Judkins

Dr Benjamin Judkins earned a doctorate in Political Science from Columbia University. He has taught at the University of Utah where his research and teaching focused on international relations and the political economy of globalization. His book, The Creation of Wing Chun: A Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts (State University of New York Press, 2015) examines the various social, economic, political and cultural forces that helped to shape the emergence of southern China’s unique fighting systems during the tumultuous 19th and 20th the century. He is also editor of the Chinese Martial Studies Blog, Kung Fu Tea, and co-editor of the journal Martial Arts Studies.


  • Andrea Molle

Andrea Molle is Assistant Professor in Political Science and Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Society. His current research and teaching agenda focus on the investigation of the intersection of martial arts, religion and politics in different fields of the Social Sciences. Besides the martial arts, his specific research interests include international relations, computational social sciences, cross-cultural studies of new religions, religious violence and warfare studies. Much of his current research focuses upon the study of Krav Maga.


  • Gabriel Facal

Researcher in anthropology, associated with the the Asian Research Institute (IrAsia, Aix-Marseille), South-East Asia Center (CASE, Paris), and member of Local Heritage, Environment and Globalization (PALOC, Paris). His previous research has focused on martial initiations, civilian militias and Islamist jihadist groups in Indonesia. He is currently involved in a collaborative project in Indonesia and East Timor, titled POPEI-Coll “Cultural policies, local heritage and collaborative approaches in the East of India” (ANR-18-CE27-020). He is the founder of the observatory on Political Alternatives in Southeast Asia, ALTERSEA (https://altersea.hypotheses.org/).


Panel 9 – Methods: inner & outer perspectives

  • Edouard L’hérisson

Edouard L’Hérisson is a PhD student in Japanese studies (Inalco, IFRAE). He is currently writing a thesis dealing with the involvement of Shintô leaders within Japanese expansion in Manchuria during the first half of the twentieth century. His research focuses on the relationship between religion and politics in imperial Japan. He also works on the modernization of the body through the cases of modern Japanese gymnastics and martial arts, focusing on practices associated with religious and spiritual discourses.


  • Fanny Caron  

Fanny Caron holds a PhD Languages and Literatures of Asia (Chinese Studies), from Aix Marseille University. In her dissertation, entitled “From ancestral Orature to contemporary Literature of the Dakotapi and the Paiwan: (hi)stories of trans-indigenous resilience”, she used her education in both fields of General and Comparative Literature and of Chinese Studies to produce a multi-, inter-, and trans-disciplinary work. This transversal epistemological approach was particularly useful for her study of Indigenous orature and literature, where the writings of Paiwan and Dakotapi authors have been analyzed not only from a literary and stylistic standpoint, but also from an anthropological one. She is currently an associate researcher within the IrAsia research unit, of Aix-Marseille University (in partnership with the CNRS). Her research topics include: Paiwan/Dakotapi History, Indigenous Peoples’ Oratures, Literatures and art (Taiwan’s Paiwan People and the United-States’ Dakotapi in particular); Resilience’s Literature; Minorities and atypical people in Literature; Relationship with nature/the environment and the role of women within indigenous communities. As well as: the transmission and safeguard of ancestral knowledge and values amongst the Paiwan/Dakotapi; the revitalization of ancestral traditions and tribal identity through the works of Paiwan/Dakotapi authors and artists; the relationship between the Paiwan/Dakotapi and the(ir) environment in their orature and literature.