Skin, Meaning, and Symbolism in Pet Memorials: Tattoos, Taxidermy, and Trinkets

Racheal Harris
Deakin University, Australia

Product Details
27 Jun 2019
Emerald Publishing Limited
232 pages - 129 x 198mm
Emerald Studies in Death and Culture
In response to increased academic interest in the fields of death studies, memorial studies, and human and animal studies, Skin, Meaning and Symbolism in Pet Memorials examines the mourning rituals which exist between people and their domestic pets.  

Paying close attention to the changing role and increased prominence of the companion animal in the domestic setting, each chapter considers a different form of companion animal memorialization, linking modern practices such as tattooing to historical examples of animal focused memento mori, particularly taxidermy. The final chapter adopts a forward focus in its provision of a framework for future studies related to how death and memorialization rituals are increasingly coming to occupy the digital space. While skin and touch are the focal points of many encounters explored in the text, what becomes evident is how the virtual realm is increasingly intruding into the touch experience. As a result, the posthumous, online afterlives of pets are set to become a social issue of increasing significance to the death and mourning experience.  

This work meets the needs of academics, post-graduate students and general readers alike, appealing to anyone with an interest in death studies, popular culture, tattooing and human and animal studies.
Chapter One Humans and Animals: Living and Loving since the birth of the Pet Keeping Era 
Chapter Two Tattooing: As Artwork, Language and Narrative 
Chapter Three Memorializing Animals: Meaning and Mourning 
Chapter Four Taxidermy: Echoes and Imitations of Life 
Chapter Five A Union of Forms: Taxidermy and Tattooing 
Chapter Six In the Skin: Memorial Tattoos Chapter Seven Animals Online: A New Frontier in Animal Studies?
Racheal Harris is an author and researcher working within the areas of religion, death, popular culture and science fiction. She has contributed to a number of edited collections on topics including: Pirates in Romance Fiction; religion in James Cameron’s Terminator franchise; and, depictions of death and folklore in The CW series, Supernatural.

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