For centuries, tattooing in the Western World has been associated with primitive cultures, but Laurie Taylor discovers that there was an equally somewhat primitive nineteenth century practice, in which the British tattooed the name, crime, and date of sentence, onto the forehead of convicts transported from India. It was called Godna.
Laurie Taylor is joined by Dr Clare Anderson and Dr Jane Caplan to find out something about the history of the tattoo, how it was re-absorbed into European culture, why the practice of tattooing has so often been pushed onto the margins of society and what a tattoo means today.
ZOOS - WATCHING US, WATCHING ANIMALS
School holidays are about to start and a family trip to a zoo or wildlife park may well be on the cards.
Laurie Taylor talks to Dr Nils Lindahl-Elliot from the School of Cultural Studies at the University of the West of England about his current research project on the social history of zoos and how families interact there, both with each other, and with the animals.
Until recently, many zoos were modelled on Victorian conceptions of the zoological garden, and were seen as a way of educating their visitors about the science of their plants and animals. But during the second half of the 20th century, the debate around animal rights meant that people started to question the ethics of exhibiting wild animals, in what many regarded as restrictive, cruel enclosures.
New zoos across the world have responded to the criticisms by claiming they are important sites for conservation. But how much is this true? And what do zoos say about us?
The New Zoos: Science, Media, And Culture is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. It is a two-year comparative case study of the ways in which families interact with the new forms of display at two zoos: the Bristol Zoological Gardens, and the Paignton Zoo Environmental Park in South Devon.
Jenny Dare visited Chessington World of Adventures for the programme, to find out what happens on a trip to the zoo.
Dr Clare Anderson
ESRC Research Fellow, Department of Economic and Social History, University of Leicester
Legible Bodies: race, criminality and colonialism in South Asia
Publisher: Berg Publishers
Dr Jane Caplan
Lecturer in Modern History at the European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
Written on the Body: The Tattoo in European and American History
Jane Caplan (Editor)
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Off The Verandah – Bronislaw Malinowski (1884 – 1942) Programme 4, of 6
Available from the Royal Anthropological Institute
Dr Nils Lindahl-Elliot
Senior Lecturer, School of Cultural Studies at the University of the West of England
ESRC-funded research project:
The New Zoos: Science, Media and Culture
The Science in Society Programme of the ESRC
Signs of antropomorphism: the case of natural history documentaries (2001)
Social Semiotics, Vol. 11 No.3,
Mediating Nature: Environmentalism and Modern Culture
Publisher: Open University Press
Chessington World of Adventures
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