Second Skin, Bigorio/CH 6-8 Oct 2010

Second Skin. A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Clothing, Body, and Religion

Convento St. Maria, Bigorio/CH, 6-8 Oct 2010

Download the program for “Second Skin”.


The human body inhabits a central position as communication medium within various systems. Through body, contents, ideas, or values are encoded, mediated, and decoded. At the same time, body itself is being constructed as “the” body through communicative processes and visual representations of (imaginary) bodies.

An important aspect of this dual relationship is the way the body is presented and staged through textiles, hair styles, jewellerey, accessory, gestures, posture, or habitus. Such external body representations are omni-present and are an important part of religious systems. Looking at body and how it is “prepared” and presented, complex communication processes can be observed. The staging of body, for example, is both mirror and place of production of socio-religious strategies of mapping the world. They are often associated with normative ideas, represent hierarchies or are connected with boundary processes.

The aim of this seminar, then, is to discuss body representations and strategies of “preparing” body. Papers discuss methodological approaches as well as historical and contemporary case studies.


The papers from the seminar have been published in Second Skin (ed. by Monika Glavac, Anna-Katharina Höpflinger, Daria Pezzoli-Olgiati, Vandenhoeck 2013).