Masks and human connections: an introduction

Luísa Magalhães*, Cândido Oliveira Martins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This is a book about the human face and the timeless use of masks (persona) as symbolic and rich artefacts and as an acknowledged symbol in various cultures from the West to the East. The use of masks can be traced back to Greek comedy, alongside ideas of appearance, falsehood, masquerading, and transformation, whenever a different identity is assumed, either human or divine. Aristotle (335 BC-323 BC) was aware of the fact that the mask was an artificial satirical attire, either in comedy or tragedy, against the so-called inferior and ridiculous people, albeit adversaries, heroes or opponents. In the mediaeval and early modern periods, Greek influences expose a shapeless but laughable mask. Editors kindly provide some previous warning for future readers: “Ceci n’est pas une pipe…" (R. Magritte)-and this is not a book about the surgical masks in use during the latest Covid-19 pandemics. We are discussing the concept of mask as the idea of a cover, a protective device, or a disguise, a cosmetic element that remains ubiquitous in any human interaction.Herein lies the specificity of this book.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMasks and human connections
Subtitle of host publicationdisruptive meanings and cultural challenges
EditorsLuísa Magalhães, Cândido Oliveira Martins
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783031166730
ISBN (Print)9783031166723
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


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