Publication Date

Summer 2015

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Timothy Evans (Director), Ann Ferrell, and Erika Brady

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The furry subculture (also known as the anthropomorphic fandom) creates identity through anthropomorphism and therianthropy. Anthropomorphism is the giving of human traits to the non-human. Therianthropy is the giving of animal traits to the human. Through play and creating art, these individuals of the furry subculture take on an anthropomorphic identity (what furries call a fursona) while bridging local and global groups through communication technologies. For this folklore project I conducted ethnographic field works interviews with the Bowling Green, Kentucky fur group. I also build off of the interviews project with an online furry role-play group as well as a Manhattan, Kansas fur group. This thesis explores furry folklore: how members of the furry fandom create, relate to, and express their fursonas. This was done by looking at people’s narrative of joining the fandom and stories of their fursona creation, furry art, fursuits, and fursuit performance. At the same time it covers the complexities of furries as a network and how they mitigate stigma and identity.


Anthropology | Folklore | Social and Cultural Anthropology