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Tom Green

Professor (Retired)
  • (979) 458-5989
  • Anthropology 235C
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PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 1974


Folklore (particularly narrative, festival, and games, Religion, Culture conflict, Symbolic analysis, Martial arts.

Current Research Projects:

I continue to conduct research on African and African-descended martial culture in the Americas. The primary focus of this research has been the role of martial arts in African American cultural nationalism and the relationships among martial arts and expressive genres such as music, dance, games, and drama.

In 2012, I initiated fieldwork in northern China on traditional village martial arts with colleagues from the PRC. Our projects in Hebei, Henan, and Shandong analyze of the use of vernacular martial arts in post-Mao northern China to confront the potential social fragmentation brought on by the rapid social change that characterizes modernization. Our current project investigates the Liangquan Festival of  the Plum Blossom Boxers of Hou Mazhuang Village as a vehicle to maintain group cohesion in the face of the social and economic pressures that encourage residents to move to urban locations. Following the recognition of Plum Blossom Boxing as an example of Intangible Cultural Heritage, local government entities intend to develop the shrine devoted to Zou Hongyi, the patriarch of  this martial art,  into a tourist attraction. Future research will document the success of these efforts and the ways in which Liangquan and the performing community are affected.

Courses Taught:

ANTH 229 – Introduction to Folklore
ANTH 340 – Folklore and the Supernatural
ANTH 622 – Folklore Forms and Methods
ANTH 623 – Folk Narrative

Selected and Recent Publications:

2016       Thomas A. Green. “’The Play’s the Thing’: The Impact of Roger Abrahams’ Folk Drama Scholarship,” Western Folklore 3-4: 297-311.

2016       Zhang Guodong, Thomas A. Green, and Li Yun. “梅花拳的复兴与华北乡村 的群体认同” (The Revival of Plum Blossom Boxing and the Revitalization of Group Identity in Rural North China), Journal of Folklore Study 5:125-132, Shandong University, Jinan, PRC.

2016       “The Fifty-Two Hand Blocks Re-framed: Rehabilitation of a Vernacular Martial Art,” Martial Arts Studies 2: 23-33. Cardiff University Press, Wales.

2016       Zhang Guodong, Thomas A. Green, Carlos Guitierrez. “Rural Community, Group Identity, and Martial Arts: Social Foundation of Meihuaquan.”.” IDO MOVEMENT FOR CULTURE: Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology. 16: 18-29.

2010      Tom Green and Joseph R. Svinth, editors, Martial Arts of the World:  An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation.  2 volumes. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.