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Posthum/an/ous: Identity, Imagination, and the Internet

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Eric Stephen Altman (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/
Advisor
James Ivory

Abstract: The Furry, Otherkin, and Otakukin are Internet fan subcultures whose members personally identify with non-human beings, such as animals, creatures of fantasy, or cartoon characters. I analyze several different forms of expression that the fandoms utilize to define themselves against the human world. These are generally narrative in execution, and the conglomeration of these texts provides the communities with a concrete ontology. Through the implementation of fiction and narrative, the fandoms are able to create and sustain complex fictional personas in complex fictional worlds, and thereby create a “real” subculture in physical reality, based entirely off of fiction. Through the use of the mutability of Internet performance and presentation of self-hood, the groups are able to present themselves as possessing the traits of previous, non-human lives; on the Internet, the members are post-human. The members no longer need to suffer through the society of humans around them: they can reclaim their past lives and live out a posthum/an/ous existence.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Altman, E.S. (2010). Posthum/an/ous: Identity, Imagination, and the Internet. Unpublished master's thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010