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Alternative Identity Mediation Across Space and Performance

  • Author(s): Liu, Calvin
  • Advisor(s): Tananebaum, Joshua G
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

The furry subculture is a diverse community that practices a shared interest in anthropomorphism and zoomorphism. Anthropomorphism is the application of human characteristics onto nonhuman entities. Zoomorphism is the application of animal traits onto the human. Members of the furry fandom, commonly known as "furries," express their interest in anthropomorphism and zoomorphism through a variety of practices and in a breadth of venues. Two particular practices of interest are the fursona, the adoption of a furry persona, and fursuiting, wearing a mascot like costume of an anthropomorphic or zoomorphic entity. In this project, I conducted an ethnographic inquiry into the furry community. I combine posthumanist perspectives, cultural studies, and media studies along with ethnographic experiences to analyze the practices of fursuiting and the fursona. In my analysis I argue for how the affordances of digital spaces are reenacted within physical spaces and the role of artifacts as makers of space and as the means through which identity may be constructed, represented, and transferred.

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