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The Tattoo Project: Commemorative Tattoos, Visual Culture, and the Digital Archive
Davidson, Deborah (Edt)
Canadian Scholars Press / Softcover / 2016-12-01 / 1551309459
Sociology / Toronto Authors
price: $59.95 (may be subject to change)
193 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 7-10 business days

Unique in scope and content, this methods-based text draws on the process of creating a digital archive of commemorative tattoos to examine the production and mobilization of knowledge across communities, disciplines, and space. Deborah Davidson’s multidisciplinary collection addresses the cultural history of tattooing and the social meanings and implications of commemorative tattoos—tattoos that hold significant value for their bearer.

A practical resource for those undertaking archival research or collecting and sharing information across disciplines, this text acts as a template for building connections between academic and non-academic communities. Bridging the gap between theory and practice, The Tattoo Project offers critical insights and tools for courses focused on research methodologies and digital humanities, and provides innovative content for those studying the body, visual culture, and commemoration.


• highlights several case studies and personal narratives to contextualize theoretical and methodological approaches
• includes photographs of archival participants
• features accompanying poetry by award-winning poet Priscila Uppal
• The Tattoo Project digital archive provides additional supplementary materials including photos, videos, and narratives

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introducing The Tattoo Project, Deborah Davidson


Chapter 2: Memories on the Skin: A Brief Cultural History of Tattooing, Margo DeMello

Chapter 3: Commemorative Tattoos as Visual-Material Media, Sara Martel

Chapter 4: Between the Inside and the Outside: Commemorative Tattoos and the Externalization of Loss or Trauma, Andreas Kitzmann

Chapter 5: Creative Methodologies, Gayle Letherby and Deborah Davidson

Chapter 6: Tattooing as Auto/Biographical Method and Practice, Gayle Letherby and Deborah Davidson

Chapter 7: Visual Research Methods: Memorial Tattoos as Memory-Realization, Deborah Davidson and Angelina Duhig

Chapter 8: Inscribing Memory as a Social Process: The Tattoo Artist–Client Relationship, Arthur McLuhan, with Wayne Galbraith


Poem. Not a Cliché, Priscila Uppal


Chapter 9: “Physical Words”: Scars, Tattoos, and Embodied Mourning, Kay Inckle

Chapter 10: Enshrined in Flesh: Tattoos and Contemporary Women’s Spirituality, Gina Snooks

Chapter 11: Memorial Tattoos as Connection, Andrea Warnick and Lysa Toye

Chapter 12: “Ingulule Ayidli Ngamabala”: A Reflection on the Spotted Soloist, Siphiwe Ignatius Dube

Chapter 13: I Am, Stephanie Pangowish

Chapter 14: Tattoo Memoir, Dave Mazierski

Chapter 15: Why I Get Tattoos: A Personal Perspective on Tattoos and Commemoration, Craig Roxborough


Chapter 16: What Is an Archive? Creators, Functions, and Value in Archival Practice, Lisa Darms

Chapter 17: Public Sociology and Digital Culture, Ariane Hanemaayer and Christopher J. Schneider

Chapter 18: Technology Design to Support Commemorative Tattoo Practice, Melanie Baljko

Chapter 19: The Coming Together of a Community of Practice: Commemorative Tattoos as Visual Culture for Community Engagement and Identity Formation, Anabel Quan-Haase

Chapter 20: Knowledge Mobilization: Engaging Beyond the Academy Walls, Krista Jensen

Reflection, Deborah Davidson

Author Biographies

About the Editor:

Deborah Davidson is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at York University. Her work focuses on wellbeing and social support, grief and bereavement, and life course.

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