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Title: Empire, boundaries, and bodies : colonial tattooing practices
Authors: Anderson, Clare
First Published: 1-Mar-2010
Publisher: Berg (Bloomsbury)
Citation: Anderson, C, Empire, boundaries, and bodies : colonial tattooing practices, ed. Sappol, M, 'A cultural history of the human body in the age of empire', Berg, 2010, pp. 171-190
Abstract: In recent years the body has become a fashionable mode of enquiry into the nature of colonial societies. Historians have used a Foucauldian or Saidian framework to focus on the relationship between power and the body (notably within colonial institutions, but also those embodied in cultural practices), and/or on representations of the body (for instance in ethnographies of colonial difference). As Abby Schrader puts it, ‘the body itself constitutes a central text of cultural history’. India and Africa in particular have proved fertile ground for explorations of the colonial body, for it was peculiarly central to colonial understandings of societies in which the organizing principles of caste and tribe – with their seemingly incomprehensible array of ritual practices and taboos – seemed so important. In examining colonial tattooing practices and their representations, this chapter draws upon this empirically and theoretically pertinent set of historiography. It presupposes the surface of the skin – and its apparently permanent and always potentially visible inscriptions – as an important element of the embodied practices and representations that historians and anthropologists have described.
ISBN: 9781847887924
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Chapter
Rights: Copyright © 2010, Berg (Bloomsbury). Archived with permission of the publisher.
Description: The version available on the LRA is not the final print version and must not be cited. The final published version may be available through the links above.
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, School of Historical Studies

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