Tattoo Histories : Transcultural Perspectives on the Narratives, Practices, and Representations of Tattooing book cover
1st Edition

Tattoo Histories
Transcultural Perspectives on the Narratives, Practices, and Representations of Tattooing

Edited By

Sinah Theres Kloß

ISBN 9780367333256
Published November 28, 2019 by Routledge
336 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Tattoo Histories is an edited volume which analyses and discusses the relevance of tattooing in the socio-cultural construction of bodies, boundaries, and identities, among both individuals and groups. Its interdisciplinary approach facilitates historical as well as contemporary perspectives. Rather than presenting a universal, essentialized history of tattooing, the volume’s objective is to focus on the entangled and transcultural histories, narratives, and practices related to tattoos. Contributions stem from various fields, including Archaeology, Art History, Classics, History, Linguistics, Media and Literary Studies, Social and Cultural Anthropology, and Sociology. They advance the current endeavour on the part of tattoo scholars to challenge Eurocentric and North American biases prevalent in much of tattoo research, by including various analyses based in locations such as Malaysia, Israel, East Africa, and India. The thematic focus is on the transformative capacity of tattoos and tattooing, with regard to the social construction of bodies and subjectivity; the (re-)creation of social relationships through the definition of (non-)tattooed others; the formation and consolidation of group identities, traditions, and authenticity; and the conceptualization of art and its relevance to tattoo artist–tattooee relations.

Table of Contents


1. Indelible Ink: An Introduction to the Histories, Narratives, and Practices of Tattooing

Sinah Theres Kloß

Part I: Tattoos as Individual or Communal Body Projects

2. "I Just Want It to Look Pretty": Reproducing Heteronormative Gender Roles through Tattoo Reality TV: Miami Ink

Verena Hutter

3. Identity, Gender Roles, and Tattooing among Italian Lesbian Women

Alessandra Castellani

4. Mi Familia: Latina Women in the US Negotiate Identity and Social Sanctions through Tattooing

Beverly Yuen Thompson

Part II: Tattoos and Othering

5. "If Skin Were Parchment": Tattoos in Antiquity

Martin T. Dinter and Astrid Khoo

6. Marking France’s Enemies: Masculinity, Sexuality, and the Tattoo in Revolutionary France

Victoria N. Meyer

7. "So Much Magic on Your Flesh": The Ma(r)king of Selves in the TV Series Salem

Stephanie Weber

8. The True Life and Adventures of Tattooed Performers: Tattoos, Captivity Narratives, and the Savage in Literature

Amelia Klem Osterud

Part III: (De-)Colonization, Revitalization, and Cultural Appropriation

9. Indigenous (Re)inscription: Transmission of Cultural Knowledge(s) through Tattoos as Resistance

Pauline Alvarez

10. The Custom of Marking the Body among the Santals of India

Ata Mallick

11. Sacred Skin: Tattooing, Memory, and Identity among the Naga of India

Lars Krutak

12. Chinese Characters on Foreign Bodies: Chinese Character Tattoos and Cultural Appropriation

Guy Almog

13. Skinscape Souvenirs and Globalized Bodies: Tattoo Tourism and Language in East Africa

Nico Nassenstein and Maren Rüsch

Part IV: Tattoo as Embodied Art

14. Shame Laid Bare: Damien Hirst’s Tattoo Work butterfly, divided

Ole Wittmann

15. Incompatible Inking Ideologies in the Ancient Greek World

Owen Rees

16. Negotiating a Personal Experience: Identity Affirmation of the Horimono Artist

Hannah M. Y. Ho

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Sinah Theres Kloß is a research associate at the Morphomata Center for Advanced Studies, University of Cologne, Germany.