The tattooed body invites interpretation. To become tattooed is to be both an object and a subject, actively writing to, from, and in collaboration with culture around a host of body-related issues. To personal narratives add social definitions of gender, ethnicity, and class; interpellation of citizens, criminals, and soldiers; immigrant nostalgia and community building; and desires for artistic expression. In conjunction with field research, Dr. Christine Braunberger examines historical, literary, and popular texts through theories of subjectivity, identification, transgression, and performance. First appearing in the National Women's Studies Association Journal, chapter five-"Revolting Bodies: The Monster Beauty of Tattooed Women"- has been a frequent contributor to contemporary debates concerning the role of the imagination in shaping the body. Other chapters first appeared in The Columbia Journal of American Studies and Genders. These explorations and more are gathered for the first time in this book, along with a new chapter contextualizing the work of storied tattoo artist Shanghai Kate.