Written on the Body : the Tattoo in American and European History, Hardback Book

Written on the Body : the Tattoo in American and European History Hardback

Edited by Jane Caplan


Written on the Body surveys the history of the tattoo in Europe and North America from Antiquity to the present.

While the subject of tattooing has previously been approached from the viewpoints of anthropology, sociology and cultural studies, this is the first book to set the practice into a historical perspective.

This is partly because there was no obvious context for writing a serious history of it prior to the emergence of scholarship on the cultural history of the body.

The tattoo emerges as a haunting presence on Europe's margins, figuring as something alien and uncanny.

It seems to hover for much of its history in a space between the cosmetic and the punitive, frequently indicative of and complicated by the practice of penal violations of bodily integrity.

It is this fluidity of the tattoo's meaning, rather than its marginality, that is the focus of Written on the Body.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Body art & tattooing
  • ISBN: 9781861890627



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