Past Meetup

Matt Lodder - 'Not Just for Sailors!'

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In this talk, Dr Matt Lodder will examine the history of a tenacious cliché -- the idea that tattooing 'now' is a newly-emerged fashion trend suddenly finding favour amongst wider demographics than in the past, when it was confined to sailors, bikers, criminals and ne'r-do-wells. In a heavily-illustrated talk, tracing relentless examples of this claim in the British and American press from the present day backwards into the late 19th century, the talk will present a wider picture of this oft-maligned practice, and at the same time ask questions about cultural amnesia, the role of journalism in shaping our collective sense of history, and the problematic relationships between academic scholarship and popular understanding.