Abstract

This project explores through an unconventional assemblage of methods and theories the role of selfies in the contemporary process of subjectivation. Relying on an ethnographic methodology, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and queer theory, this project explore three virtual spaces where selfies live (Instagram, Tinder, and Grindr) and how selfies circulate through the circuits of desire facilitated by the technological interface. The goal of this project is to remind us that there is no essential self and to question such an assumption in any project. Therefore, this project is not invested in discovering the truth about ourselves, the other, or a specific imagined geopolitical construction. Instead, the goal of such an exploration is to take a seemingly banal object, the selfie, that is laden with political signification to see what it has to say about ourselves, as virtual human, and how “we” understand the world. As a result, through this project I invite the reader to delve into a world of ambiguity and to consider the loss of subjectivity not as a destruction of order but as a way to promote new subjectivities and theories based on the loss created by the cut of language on the subject.

Department

Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender and Women's Studies

Degree Name

MA in Gender & Women's Studies

Date of Award

2-1-2016

Online Submission Date

September 2016

First Advisor

Rieker, Martina

Committee Member 1

Morrison, Ian

Committee Member 2

Nelson, Diane

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

143 p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

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Approval has been obtained for this item

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