New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 2018. This book addresses graffiti practices, in cultures ranging from ancient China and Egypt through early modern Europe to modern Turkey, in illustrated short essays by specialists.
For most people the mention of graffiti conjures up notions of subversion, defacement, and underground culture. Yet, the term was coined by classical archaeologists excavating Pompeii in the 19th century and has been embraced by modern street culture: graffiti have been left on natural sites and public monuments for tens of thousands of years. They mark a position in time, a relation to space, and a territorial claim. They are also material displays of individual identity and social interaction. As an effective, socially accepted medium of self-definition, ancient graffiti may be compared to the modern use of social networks. This book shows that graffiti, a very ancient practice long hidden behind modern disapproval and street culture, have been integral to literacy and self-expression throughout history. Graffiti bear witness to social events and religious practices that are difficult to track in normative and official discourses. This book addresses graffiti practices, in cultures ranging from ancient China and Egypt through early modern Europe to modern Turkey, in illustrated short essays by specialists. It proposes a holistic approach to graffiti as a cultural practice that plays a key role in crucial aspects of human experience and how they can be understood.
Table of Contents
Preface (C. Ragazzoli, Universite de Paris-Sorbonne, France) Introduction (C. Ragazzoli, O. Harmansah, C. Salvador) Part 1: Graffiti and the Landscape (with an introduction by O. Harmansah) Chapter 1: The Scribes' Cave: Graffiti and the Production of Social Space in Ancient Egypt circa 1500 BC (C. Ragazzoli, Universite de Paris-Sorbonne, France) Chapter 2: Christian Graffiti in Egypt: Case Studies on the Theban Mountain (A. Delattre, Universite libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Ecole pratique des hautes etudes (EPHE), Belgium) Chapter 3: Graffiti or Monument? Inscription of Place at Anatolian Rock Reliefs (OE. Harmansah, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA) Chapter 4: Tweets from Antiquity: Literacy, Graffiti, and Their Uses in the Towns and Deserts of Ancient Arabia (M. Macdonald, University of Oxford, UK) Chapter 5: Gezi Graffiti: Shout-Outs to Resistance and Rebellion in Contemporary Turkey (C. Gruber, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) Part 2: Graffiti and the Wall (with an introduction by C. Salvador) Chapter 6: Gladiators, Greetings, and Poetry: Graffiti in First Century Pompeii (R. Benefiel, Washington and Lee University, USA) Chapter 7: A New Look at Maya Graffiti from Tikal (E. Olton, Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA) Chapter 8: Visitors' Inscriptions in the Memphite Pyramid Complexes in Ancient Egypt (c. 1543-1292 BC) (H. Navratilova, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Egyptian Expedition) Chapter 9: Carving Lines and Shaping Monuments: Mortuary Graffiti and Jews in the Ancient Mediterranean (K. Stern, Brooklyn College, USA) Part 3: Graffiti and the Written Page (with an introduction by C. Ragazzoli) Chapter 10: Verses on Walls in Medieval China (G. Dudbridge, University of Oxford, UK) Chapter 11: Graffiti and the Medieval Margin (J. Rogers, Mount Allison University, Canada) Chapter 12: Graffiti under Control: Annotation Practices in Social Book Platforms (M. Jahjah, Universite de Paris-Sorbonne, France) Bibliography Index