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Scholar discusses cultural history of the modern tattoo

Friday, March 30, 2012

FREDERICK, Md.—An award-winning author and scholar will discuss the cultural history of the modern tattoo April 9 at 7 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center at Hood College.

The lecture is part of the College's annual Center for the Humanities spring colloquium series, which is funded in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant.

Juniper Ellis, professor of English at Loyola University Maryland, will give a lecture entitled "My Body as Book: Tattoo in Print and Skin." Her talk will focus on the origins of this unique art form, its spread throughout the world and how tattoos function as a symbolic and provocative form of cultural expression and communication.

Ellis is the author of "Tattooing the World: Pacific Designs in Print and Skin," which traces the origins and significance of the modern tattoo in the works of 19th and 20th century artists, travelers, missionaries, scientists and writers. Baltimore City Paper named it the best new book written by a local author.

The final spring colloquium event will be a lecture April 19 by Rebecca Skloot, award-winning author of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."

This year's colloquium, themed "The Book: From Print to the Digital Age," explores the past, present and future of the book, along with the numerous cultural changes it has weathered during its 2,000-year history. From the print traditions of medieval Europe to the impact of today’s digital technologies on human communication, the colloquium will examine whether the age of the printed book is coming to an end.

For more information, contact Rebecca Prime, Ph.D., Sophia M. Libman NEH Professor of the Humanities, at prime@hood.edu.