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Authenticity, Authority, and Assemblage Masculinity: Geek Identity and Hardware Production in Networked Spaces


My project asserts that to truly understand masculinity and its alternatives within digital publics, we must first understand how physicality and embodiment inform these spaces. The work here focuses two interrelated questions, asking A) whether an attempt to create an alternative assemblage masculinities which ignore or erase hardware and embodiment will inherently recreate the hierarchical and "othering" violence against bodies within new social boundaries, and B) how/if reincorporations of material (hardware, embodiment) factors within digital publics are able to create truly alternative masculinities for "othered" bodies. Creating a theoretical foundation based upon both the examinations of Hayles Posthuman and Haraways Cyborg, the project focuses first on geek cultures which engage with hardware and the ramifications of these engagements on gendered and racialized bodies, and then examines the ways in which alternative economies of valuation inform identity, agency, and authenticity in a corporate/fan dichotomy that defines itself through both Henry Jenkins "textual loyalty" and hardware limitations.

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