Furry fandom, aesthetics, and the potential in new objects of fannish interest


  • Kameron Dunn University of Texas at Austin




Animal, Art, History, Queer


Furry fandom has received little critical scholarly attention to date even though furries have populated the same spaces as other fandoms since the 1970s and engage in the same practices, including cosplay, fan art, and fan fiction. Yet furries deserve further study, particularly in light of the fandom's unique uniting feature: the object of fannish interest is an aesthetic. By deploying an aesthetic of anthropomorphic animals as text, furries broaden the notion of what an object of fandom can be and shed light on the sorts of transformative potential engagement that objects can have for fans. This argument, situated via a history of furry fandom in the 1970s, draws on fan-made sources, including today's furry art, to demonstrate how furry aesthetic manifests in real situations—and how furry aesthetic has the potential to broaden beyond studies of fans to queer and animal studies.