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

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Posthum/an/ous: Identity, Imagination, and the Internet is a Master of English Literature's thesis written by Eric Stephen Altman and presented in May 2010 at the Appalachian State University.[citation needed]

The thesis is an examination of furry, otherkin, and otakukin as Internet subcultures. Sections of the thesis include aspects of self-identification, fan fiction, artwork, and sexuality. The title is derived from the ability of these fandoms to produce performative non-human narratives and traits in a non-human life that is posthuman and posthumous.[clarify]


This thesis uses a comprehensive theoretical framework to defend its argument.

  • On the first section, the Carnival of Community, places the internet aspect of the furry fandom in the context of human history. Theories as broad as Michel Foucault's The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences to queer studies and kinship theory to national (?) are used to explain the fandom involvement. Comprehensive descriptions of internet use are also profusely. For example, pages are devoted to the interpretation of a Google image in contrast with fandom creation beginning on page 28. Beginning on page 31, the definition of history is used to contextualize fan fiction. The section also describes colloquial surface-level information about the fandom.
  • The second section details Altman's ethnographic research about the internet's furry subcultures. The section details fandom members' online interactions, their influences, and their differences from their human counterparts. However, Atlamn's research is extremely limited with a seeming lack of parameters and protocol given the broad environments in which they are conducted. The interviews serve little more purpose than to advance Altman's narrative rather than build a survey of information as evidenced by the lack of statistics, coding, and quotations stylized like an English argument rather than a research piece.
  • The third section details the fandom's use of fan fiction. The piece uses many pieces of Altman's research as well. This section uses postmodern criticisms of power structures.
  • The fourth section details the fandom's dominant prominence of carnal fanfiction while using feminist and queer criticism.[clarify]

The conclusion remarks upon Altman's perplexion with fandom culture while trying to remain neutral in its analysis.

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