Skin, Culture and Psychoanalysis sets out to query the intersection of cultural and psychical meanings of skin in the contemporary moment as skin responds to new (and old) pressures and articulations. A variety of topics are herein addressed including the symbolic dominance of white skin, racialization, tattooing, cosmetic surgery, fabric skins, skin eruptions, second skins, the skin in self-harm, and skin as a site of psychic repair. The authors engage an array of objects and approaches fromthe clinical domain, literary fiction, television, film, video art, photography, fashion design, and poetry. In doing so, they highlight the situation of skin as a socially and culturally mediated exterior simultaneously negotiated at the interior or psychical level. This collection locates skin at the centre of inquiry, rather than as a jumping-off point from which to explore 'deeper' or 'thicker' issues, which tends to happen when skin is treated synecdochically as a stand-in for the body itself. Here, skin is a cultural object, and a psychical object, in its own right.
About the Authors:
SHEILA L. CAVANAGH is an associate professor in Sociology and the Sexualities Studies Coordinator at York University, Canada. She is author of Sexing the Teacher: School Sex Scandals and Queer Pedagogies (University of British Columbia Press, 2007) and Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality and the Hygienic Imagination (University of British Columbia Press, 2010) and has published articles in a range of international peer-reviewed journals.
ANGELA FAILLER is an associate professor of Sociology and Women's & Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg, Canada. Her research lies in the phenomena at the intersection of culture, embodiment and psychical life and has published writings on anorexia and self-harm.
RACHEL HURST is assistant professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Anthropology at St. Francis Xavier University, Canada, and author of'Surface Imaginations: Cosmetic Surgery, Photography and Skin' .