A furry project
I have a final project for college next semester and I was going to do it as a museum project called "Anthropomorphics through the ages" which would start with Egyptian gods and end with us. An alternative might be writing a book on furries - I found an interesting one called Goth: Identity, Style, and Subcultureby Paul Hodkinson.
While my museum project isn't likely to have too many problems if I write a book on furries exactly where do I go? We aren't all sweetness and light, but I worry anything I write on the more adult aspects of the fandom would be completely taken out of context. Besides Mark Evanier I've only heard second person accounts of what guests thought of going to Anthrocon and of furries in general. I know that we've gotten some good press too, but while I would definitely emphasize the good things furries do, I feel I would be lying if I left out the occasional dramas that arise as well as the mature aspects. Does anyone have any suggestions?
*Edit my proposal is thus:
For my independent project I intend to do the necessary research for a research paper on the subculture known as ‘furry fandom’.
My purpose would be to show how the furry community represents the American ideal of the ‘melting pot’ that is having a diverse, yet unified group that cooperates more or less harmoniously. Just as there is no easy way to define exactly what it means to be an American there is no easy way to define exactly what it means to be a furry. This would directly build on my American Study’s coursework I have done for Dr. Tingley on the topic of showing the American ideal of a ‘melting pot’ through the way that the furry subculture includes members of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic positions. I have always had a deep interest in mythology and folklore which lends itself well to studying the various ways anthropomorphic animals have appeared in different stories and legends around the world.
For the final project I will be researching: What is a furry? What ideas or ideals do furs have in common? How does being a furry tie into ideals of American unity? Is this a ‘real’ community? What are the facts about the community versus how they are sometimes portrayed? How is this group similar to or different from other sub-culture groups?
There is currently little academic research done into the study of the furry subculture group even though the subculture has been around at least since the 1980’s (if not earlier). It is, however, attracting more and more academic interest including a work recently created survey done by Dr. Kathy Gerbasi which studies furry psychology http://drg-kcgerbasi.livejournal.com/. I will not only be incorporating her study but also various web images as well as Disney’s Robin Hood animated film, The Furry Song by community member Kurrel the Raven, the website for Anthrocon, a large meeting of furries that occurs every year, news articles covering Anthrocon as well as other furry events, the Redwall series of books by Brian Jacques, as well as a survey I will be creating with the help of my brother Paul Brenner.
Books like Johnathan Silverman’s and Dean Rader’s The World is a Text: Writiing, Reading, and Thinking About Culture and Its Contexts will also be useful for helping to analyze the various different types of texts involved as well as provide legitimacy to the use of images, movies and other non-literature sources. I plan to draw on methods of examining texts of different disciplines in order to better understand the subculture as well as tie in American ideals like freedom and individuality to the subculture.