Introduction
in Tattoos in crime and detective narratives
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The introduction establishes the theoretical concept of remarking drawing on Jacques Derrida’s theories of the simultaneous act of difference and communality in writing (re-marking), before defining the tattoo and historical methods of tattooing. Reading the tattoo as simultaneously under and over-coded, the chapters argue that the tattoo has a meta, self-reflective and subversive function within the crime and detective genre itself. The introduction positions the collection’s approach to tattooing through a mini-literature review considering contemporary sociological, anthropological and historical responses. Tattoos offer complex articulations of place, gender, animal ethics, rule of law, violence, trauma, art, race and narrative. By responding to the sheer diversity of critical approaches that focus on the body and narrative – including, but not limited to, posthumanism, spatiality, postcolonialism, embodiment and gender studies, culminating in an interdisciplinary skin studies – the chapters demonstrate how the tattoo speaks. It is a complex story.

Editors: Kate Watson and Katharine Cox

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