Dr. Angel completed her PhD at University College London in collaboration with the Science Museum in December 2013, on the Wellcome Collection’s historical collection of 300 preserved tattooed human skins.
Her current research coheres around themes of memory, tactility and the affective force of human remains, particularly in relation to medical collections, human skin and the European tattoo. She is interested in medical and criminological discourses surrounding European tattooing, and the role that collections of preserved tattoos have historically played in the enactment of these discourses. Practices of marking, excising and preserving human skin in European medical-scientific contexts are at the core of her research, which deals with the both the symbolic power of the flayed skin, and its practical use in the fabrication of objects such as book covers, garments and display items. Methodologically, Angel is interested in exploring the intersection of ethnography and historiography, particularly in relation to the production of new historical knowledge.
Dr. Angel is currently a Society Fellow at Cornell University Society for the Humanities, working on the research theme Skin from August 2016 ~ July 2017. Her project explores the history and practices of flaying in art, myth and medicine.