Date of Award

2018

First Advisor

Francisca Oyogoa

Second Advisor

Christopher Coggins

Abstract

Using Foucault’s theory of heterotopia as a framework, this work explores the identities and interactions that arise in cyber-heterotopias littered across the internet. The structure of each section mirrors the separate but interconnected quality of sites online, utilizing theory, images and chats, and at times confessional interludes. The nature of cyberspace is meditated throughout as a central theme, with figures such as the cyborg, beauty vlogger, troll, sex robot, and incel presented as archetypes for the reader to encounter, much like one would find online. With cyborgs conceptualized as natural dwellers of cyberspace, a medium that facilitates possible liberation only incidentally, questions of subversion and corporeality arise. First establishing different theorists’ perspectives on the cyborg, starting with Donna Haraway, the focus then goes on to shift towards hybrid alliances that might form, with particular attention given to queer, nonbinary, and subaltern women and people of color. Ultimately, this work aims to speak to the experiences that those marginalized “in the real world,” primarily Millennials and Gen Z-ers, might be attempting to unsettle with the formation of new personas and identities in the cyber.

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