a material culture study of the tattoo


This website represents my final term assignment for the graduate level course Topics in Material Culture (History 1543) at the University of Toronto.

Material culture “is the study through artifacts of the beliefs – values, ideas, attitudes, and assumptions – of a particular community or society at a given time.” (Prown 1982:2) The goal of the course is to demonstrate and study the importance of material culture for understanding history. Material evidence, long overlooked by historians in favor of documents and text, can provide unique and exciting insights into past and present culture(s) unavailable through documents alone.

This assignment is first and foremost a material culture study of my chosen object, the tattoo. It is also a research proposal for second term and a preliminary bibliography. It is a work in progress.


Questions and comments can be e-mailed to me at:



site map

the tattoo: Introduction

Methodology introduction and links to the models

the tattoo model

the tattoo: analysis

proposed research strategy

annotated bibliography


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