Cultural Skin Studies

Network of Scholars of Skin in Literature & Culture

About and Contact

Cultural Skin Studies is led by Dr Nicole Nyffenegger (Bern) and Dr Charlotte Mathieson (Surrey).

We both work on skin in literature and culture, though in different time periods, and we have an active international network which, since 2021, brings together scholars working in the field of cultural and literary skin studies from, currently, the UK, the US, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Italy.

We welcome new members to join the mailing list – where members circulate skin studies news, events, and publications – and the quarterly online reading group. If you would like to know more or to sign up to the list, please get in touch with us at or directly via our email addresses below.

Dr Nicole Nyffenegger

Lecturer in Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture
University of Bern, Switzerland

Publications skin studies:

  • “Skin Narratives: Speaking of Wounds and Scars in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus.” Stigma: Early Modern Marked Skin, edited by Craig Koslovsky and Kathrine Dauge-Roth, Penn State University Press, in the press.
  • “The Illicit Touch: Narratives of Abused Human Skin.” Touch, edited by Caterina Nirta, Danilo Mandic, Andrea Pavoni, and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, Westminster University Press, 2020, pp. 195-234.
  • and Katrin Rupp, editors. Writing on Skin in the Age of Chaucer. De Gruyter, 2018.
  • “Blushing, Paling, Turning Green: Hue and its metapoetic function in Troilus and Criseyde.” Writing on Skin in the Age of Chaucer, edited by Nicole Nyffenegger and Kathrin Rupp, De Gruyter, 2018, pp. 145-165.
  • “Saint Margaret’s Tattoos: Empowering marks on white skin.” Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, vol. 25, no. 4, 2013, pp. 267-83.

Dr Charlotte Mathieson

Senior Lecturer in 19th century-literature, University of Surrey, United Kingdom

Work in skin studies

  • “Cultures of Suntanning in Late 19th to Mid 20th Century Britain”, British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship September 22-23
  • “Stimulated by these agents to vigorous action”: the language of suntanning and materiality of skin in Victorian culture. European Journal of English Studies, Volume: 26, issue: 01, 124 – 144. 
  • “‘A brown sunburnt gentleman’: Masculinity and the Travelling Body in Dickens’s Bleak House.” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 36.4 (September 2014).

Blog at