Thinking Through the Skin
Edited by Sara Ahmed, Jackie Stacey
Routledge – 2001 – 256 pages
This exciting collection of work from leading feminist scholars including Elspeth Probyn, Penelope Deutscher and Chantal Nadeau engages with and extends the growing feminist literature on lived and imagined embodiment and argues for consideration of the skin as a site where bodies take form - already written upon but open to endless re-inscription.
Individual chapters consider such issues as the significance of piercing, tattooing and tanning, the assault of self harm upon the skin, the relation between body painting and the land among the indigenous people of Australia and the cultural economy of fur in Canada. Pierced, mutilated and marked, mortified and glorified, scarred by disease and stretched and enveloping the skin of another in pregnancy, skin is seen here as both a boundary and a point of connection - the place where one touches and is touched by others; both the most private of experiences and the most public marker of a raced, sexed and national history.