© 2007

Tattoos in American Visual Culture

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Mindy Fenske
    Pages 1-10
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 157-201

About this book


In analyses of tattoo contests, advertising, and modern primitive photographs, the book shows how images of tattooed bodies communicate and disrupt notions of gender, class, and exoticism through their discursive performances. Fenske suggests working within dominant discourse to represent and subvert oppressive gender and class evaluations.


criticism culture evaluation gender photography

About the authors

MINDY FENSKE is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of South Carolina, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Accessible and wonderfully organised utilising a plethora of examples to demonstrate how the aesthetic perception of tattoos and the tattoo culture has shifted from deviance to social acceptance in the United States." - The Kelvingrove Review

"Unique in its focused study of the image-object of tattoos, Tattoos in American Visual Culture masterfully analyzes a range of texts - from flash books to parlor spaces to human bodies - in order to advance an original and provocative argument about the performance of performativity. As an interdisciplinary meeting of ethnography, textual/rhetorical studies, performance studies, and visual culture, Fenske's account of the tattoo will not only appeal to scholars and students interested in the performance of everyday life, but also to anyone who has suffered - or dreamed of suffering - under the ink gun." - Joshua Gunn, University of Texas at Austin