Defense Date

2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Media, Art, and Text

First Advisor

Karen Rader

Abstract

This dissertation interrogates the construction of digital bodies on Facebook and Instagram from 2010-2020. Digital life is often positioned as immaterial and free of both embodied and material impact. Although there is a significant amount of scholarship regarding United States social media identity construction, there is little literature linking these user profiles to human, nonhuman, nonliving actors within corporeal and digital environments. I argue that the biological concept of metabolism, a function of the body that regulates what processes happen, aptly outlines the many human, machinic, and nonhuman lives webbed together to make a digital body. Through an interdisciplinary analysis of literary texts, historical documents, and the deployment of creative writing, hungry metabolic gothic monsters of zombie and vampire historically specific constructions which do differentially impact and harm humans and nonhumans.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

5-12-2022

Available for download on Tuesday, May 11, 2027

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