New Book | Stigma: Marking Skin

Posted in books by Editor on April 25, 2023

From Penn State UP:

Katherine Dauge-Roth and Craig Koslofsky, eds., Stigma: Marking Skin in the Early Modern World (University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2023), 294 pages, ISBN: 978-0271094427, $120.

Book coverThe early modern period opened a new era in the history of dermal marking. Intensifying global travel and trade, especially the slave trade, bought diverse skin-marking practices into contact as never before. Stigma examines the distinctive skin cultures and marking methods of Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas as they began to circulate and reshape one another in the early modern world. By highlighting the interwoven histories of tattooing, branding, stigmata, baptismal and beauty marks, wounds and scars, this volume shows that early modern markers of skin and readers of marked skin did not think about different kinds of cutaneous signs as separate from each other. On the contrary, Europeans described Indigenous tattooing in North America, Thailand, and the Philippines by referring their readers to the tattoos Christian pilgrims received in Jerusalem or Bethlehem. When explaining the devil’s mark on witches, theologians claimed it was an inversion of holy marks such as those of baptism or divine stigmata. Stigma investigates how early modern people used permanent marks on skin to affirm traditional roles and beliefs, and how they hybridized and transformed skin marking to meet new economic and political demands.

Katherine Dauge-Roth is Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. She is the author of Signing the Body: Marks on Skin in Early Modern France.

Craig Koslofsky is Professor of History and Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Evening’s Empire: A History of the Night in Early Modern Europe and The Reformation of the Dead: Death and Ritual in Early Modern Germany, 1450–1700, and the coeditor of A German Barber-Surgeon in the Atlantic Slave Trade: The Seventeenth-Century Journal of Johann Peter Oettinger.


List of Illustrations

Introduction, Marking Skin: A Cutaneous Collection — Katherine Dauge-Roth and Craig Koslofsky

Part I | Marked Encounters in America, Asia, and Africa
1  ‘Pownced, Pricked, or Paynted’: English Ideas of Tattooing as Indigenous Literacy — Mairin Odle
2  Indigenous Taiwanese Skin Marking in Early Modern European and Chinese Eyes — Xiao Chen
3  Following the Trail of the Slave Trade: Branding, Skin, and Commodification — Katrina H. B. Keefer and Matthew S. Hopper

Part II | Marks of Faith
4  Jerusalem Under the Skin: The History of Jerusalem Pilgrimage Tattoos — Mordechay Lewy
5  Stigmata and the Mind-Body Connection — Allison Stedman
6  The Invisible Mark: Representing Baptism in Early Modern French Dramaturgy — Ana Fonseca Conboy
7  Rabies and Relics: Cutaneous Marks and Popular Healing in Early Modern Europe — Katherine Dauge-Roth

Part III | Standing Out: Marks of Honor, Shame, and Beauty
8  Skin Narratives: Speaking about Wounds and Scars in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus — Nicole Nyffenegger
9  Branding on the Face in Early Modern Europe — Craig Koslofsky
10  Mouches Volantes: The Enigma of Paste-On Beauty Marks in Seventeenth-Century France — Claire Goldstein

Afterword, Cultural Inscriptions: Body Marking after 1800 — Peter S. Erickson

List of Contributors

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: