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The Fantasy of Embodiment: Afrofuturism, Cosplay and the Afrodiaspora


The Fantasy of Embodiment: Afrofuturism, Cosplay and the Afrodiaspora

Taylor, Nicole (2019) The Fantasy of Embodiment: Afrofuturism, Cosplay and the Afrodiaspora. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Cosplay, or costume play, refers to the act of dressing up as characters from Japanese manga and anime, television, film, comics, cartoons and video games. Costumes are infused with the imaginative power capable of transporting cosplayers into different realms of existence. Cosplayers step into the narratives of the characters that they dress up as. For people of colour (POC), most especially those who belong to the Afrodiasporic community, cosplay can be understood as a social experiment that creates a discursive space to play with preconceived racial stereotypes. Commonly, cosplay is described as being an expressive realm to show passion for a fandom, but by melding cosplay subculture with Afrofuturist theories on play, the power of the imagination, and the creation of alternative systems of being and belonging, it can be conceptualized as a tool that possesses the capability to (re)signify and (re)present blackness by encouraging cosplayers to take control of self-visualization. Along with building from the theoretical framings of Afrofuturism, this project makes use of interviews with Afrofuturist scholars and artists, as well as cosplay participants to interrogate the relationship between cosplay and authentic visual representation. This work culminates in a research-creation project that depicts a visual and interactive guide that expounds on how conceiving cosplay, as an Afrofuturist tool, can encourage a desire to play with embodiment to create new narratives that allow for greater expression from and for racialized cosplayers.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Taylor, Nicole
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:22 August 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jiwani, Yasmin
Keywords:research-creation, cosplay, costume play, afrofuturism, afrodiaspora, self-visualization, play, bricolage, visionary fiction, embodiment
ID Code:985846
Deposited By: Nicole Taylor
Deposited On:05 Feb 2020 03:02
Last Modified:05 Feb 2020 03:02


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