Drawing on examples from art, media, fashion, history and memoir, cultural critic Rosemarie Garland-Thomson tackles a basic human interaction which has remained curiously unexplored, the human stare. In the first book of its kind, Garland-Thomson defines staring, explores the factors that motivate it, and considers the targets and the effects of the stare. While borrowing from psychology and biology to help explain why the impulse to stare is so powerful, she also enlarges and complicates these formulations with examples from the realm of imaginative culture. Featuring over forty illustrations, Staring captures the stimulating combination of symbolic, material and emotional factors that make staring so irresistible while endeavoring to shift the usual response to staring, shame, into an engaged self-consideration. Elegant and provocative, this unique study advances new ways of thinking about visuality and the body that will appeal to readers who are interested in the overlap between the humanities and human behaviors.