I am an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Elon University. I got my PhD in Anthropology from George Washington University, and I previously taught at both GW and Georgetown University. I am into media, science & technology, virtual space, self/group identification, animism, gaming, bodies, semiotics, pop culture, religion, cyborgs, and all manner of geekery.
I have many current projects in the air. They are all are quite different, but revolve around a common interest in digitally mediated cultural practice.
One of my current projects explores constructions of body-identity within the contemporary rise of white nationalist discourse in Internet spaces. I am particularly interested in how "whiteness" and gender are constructed in the process of radicalization among young people. This research is driven largely by the question: how does someone construct whiteness in digital space where there are no bodies? In other words, what is whiteness without bodies?
In a similar vein, I am also working with a co-researcher on the speculative fiction and literary curations of the online white power movement. Drawing from fictional works written within the community, we are looking at how imagined white nationalist futures work to make meaning in the present, and how they can (and do) work toward accelerationist violence.
I am also also continuing fieldwork that I began a decade ago, revisiting interlocutors to pick up research with the Otherkin community—a group of folks who identify internally as non-human. The Otherkin, in the "misfit" relationship between their bodies and their identities, represent a growing number of people in the industrialized North Atlantic whose burgeoning identifications—from neurodiverse to genderfluid—find traction in virtual space, and in the techno-animist experience it affords. In my research I have found that the Otherkin illustrate the ways in which Internet technologies aid in the alignment and reconciliation of misfit bodies and identities, both human and non-human.
I am also also also working on some super dense theories of Internet space, embodiment and emplacement. There's animism and Heidegger and LeFebvre and Peircian semiotics. There's spectra that become charts. There's an army of bricolage assholes using human-memes to create economies of selfhood. It's a lot.
In the past, I have researched and written about video game modding culture and the use of cheats in gaming, and how these practices can create meaning and cultural capital in gaming cultures. I worked with makers of machinima to explore issues of ownership, fan-fiction, and performance. I have also worked with issues of avatar embodiment, gender, and harrassment.
Before the doctoral program at GW, I earned MA in American Studies (also GW) focusing on videogame studies. Before that, I was a high school teacher in the Bronx for seven years, having earned an MS from CUNY, City College in Education, with a focus on Special Education. And long before that, I received a BFA at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, with a double major in Sociology and Theatre.
In corporeal form, I reside in Greensboro, NC with my wife, two kids & a cat. In virtual form, I am in front of you right now.
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Devin Proctor - email@example.com
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