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The Mark Of The Beast: Inscribing 'Animality' Through Extreme Body Modification

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Chapter Summary

Through an examination of the perspectives and experiences of those appearing in Animal Tragic, this chapter attempts to bring literature on body modification into conversation with human-animal studies. To begin this endeavor, the chapter contextualizes the contemporary popularity of body art and body modification. It discusses the links between the recent increased interest in body modification and enhanced human fascination and contact with animals and the natural world. The chapter then moves into an examination of inventive post-human forms being generated at the borders of the human and the animal. Particular attention is paid to the ways the transformations featured in Animal Tragic reinforce and/or challenge conventional ideas about humanity, animality, human-animal relations, and notions of the natural. The chapter talks about tattooing, which is recognized as "the most ancient and widely employed mode of permanent body alteration".

Keywords: Animal Tragic; animality; body art; human-animal relations; tattooing

10.1163/ej.9789004157736.i-296.55
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