About the Blog
The word “dermatographia” contains the wordbits “derm-,” meaning “skin,” and “-graphia,” “writing/drawing/recording,” creating a word that denotes “writing on one’s skin.” Medically, it’s the name of a non-lethal skin condition often related to more severe conditions like severe allergies or autonomic nervous system disorders.
The blog’s name is “Dermatographia” because it seeks to answer the question: What do we write on the skins of others, and how does what others write on our skins affect us?
Dermatographia-the-blog is devoted to intersectional literary criticism, exploring the ways in which multiple corresponding privileges-and-oppressions – race, sex, gender, orientation, ability, class, size, and so on – affect the stories we tell, and how those stories in turn affect us.
Many of these privileges/oppressions are literally “written on our skin”; many times, race, sex, gender, (dis)ability and other characteristics are often instantly visible and immediately affect how we regard, treat, and are regarded and treated by others in society. Many other times, these things are invisible, but they still affect the ways in which we respond to others and the ways in which they respond to us.
Consider, for example, the not-so-veiled reference in “dermatographia” to To Write Love on Her Arms, “a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide” – conditions that are sometimes not immediately visible, that sometimes leave permanent marks, but that always profoundly affect how one sees the world and is seen by it.
About the Blogger
Dani Alexis is a freelance writer, literary critic, and fierce advocate. She agrees with Flavia Dzodan and the fine folks at Tiger Beatdown that her feminism will be intersectional or it will be bullshit. She also blogs (irreverently) about the bookselling industry at The Book Cricket. She has a JD from the University of Michigan and a BA, summa cum laude, Honors, etc. from Ferris State University.