Tattoo: Histories and Practices




This course’s focus is on the social history of tattooing in Europe and North America from the mid-18th century to the present. The course also considers tattoo practices in Asian, Polynesian, and indigenous North America cultures. In addition to their own intrinsic interest, these practices and their histories are essential to a critical understanding of the development of tattooing within globalized modern and post-modern culture. Tattoo’s complex social histories mean that practices which some experience as liberating and celebratory can also read as insensitive or appropriative, and contemporary tattoo worlds are sites of rich and contentious discourses on race, class, and gender. Although tattooing can still be understood as a marginal practice, the questions that tattooing raises about authenticity, identity, belonging, and aesthetic experience are not marginal to contemporary culture.


Additional Information

Faculty: Felicity Lufkin
Semester: Full Fall Term
Time: Wed, 1:00 - 2:59 p.m. ET