This collection of original articles brings together for the first time the research on graffiti from a wide range of geographical and chronological contexts and shows how they are interpreted in various fields. Examples range as widely as medieval European cliff carvings to tags on New York subway cars to messages left in library bathrooms. In total, the authors legitimize the study of graffiti as a multidisciplinary pursuit that can produce useful knowledge of individuals, cultures, and nations. The chapters-represent 20 authors from six countries; -offer perspectives of disciplines as diverse as archaeology, history, art history, museum studies, and sociology;-elicit common themes of authority and its subversion, the identity work of subcultures and countercultures, and presentation of privilege and status.
"The volume provides fodder to consider graffiti in one’s everyday environment, as a guide to students and scholars exploring graffiti. In this sense, the editors have achieved what they set out to do, that is, provide an easily accessible, theoretically grounded text, appropriate to utilize in undergraduate classrooms."— David Fazzino, Anthropology News (American Anthropological Association)