Archive for March 2024

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[Commlist] CFP: 'Being Furry': furry studies conference

Wed Mar 27 11:54:58 GMT 2024

*Being Furry: Rotterdam, October 2024*
*In association with the Otterdam Furry Arts Festival (Rotterdam, the Netherlands)*

Furries, loosely defined as fans of anthropomorphised animals and zoomorphic humans, have arguably existed since the 1970s. Yet, these remain an under-researched group. This could be due to academia viewing the fandom as “unworthy” of study (Roberts, 2015) the historically negative depiction of the fandom resulting in an aversion to being studied (Leshner, et al., 2018; Plante, et al., 2017), or any of a myriad of other reasons.

The most well-known efforts to study furries come from the International Anthropomorphic Research Project (2016; 2023), however many unique perspectives on the fandom are missing or unheard. Furthermore, those studying the furry fandom are largely disconnected from each other and lack a focal point.

This conference, the first of its kind, aims to bring together academics and furries from different fields and viewpoints. In doing so, this conference is the first step to formalising a field of ‘furry studies’ that explores and examines this creative community. Therefore, this conference marks the beginning of legitimising the field as a valid site for contemporary research, and to promote global and cross-field collaboration among furry scholars and those invested in this community.

The conference is part of the Otterdam Furry Arts Festival, a public event celebrating furry culture and art occurring in Rotterdam in October 2024. We encourage the wider furry community to take part as well as researchers, and we look forward to the insights this diverse audience will bring. Information about tickets for this event will follow shortly after the venue has been confirmed.

*Theme: “Being Furry”*
For the first furry studies conference, the theme, ”Being Furry”, will allow for a variety of proposals and act as a strong basis for the field's inception. The conference aims to inspire discussion, especially given that ‘if you ask ten furries to define what furry is, you’ll end up with eleven different answers’ (Plante, 2023).

Rather than deciding on a concrete definition of “what a furry is” with this conference, our point of provocation is “What is Furry”? Here are some topics to start your thinking. This list is by no means exhaustive, and we encourage proposals about “Being Furry” that go beyond these suggestions:

    Furry history: furry media, conventions, or activities.
    Examinations of the fursona: physical ephemera, psychological
    attachment, aesthetics of costuming and fursuiting, species
    prevalence or attachment.
    Furry identity: furries and queerness, the relationships between
    furries and wider LGBTQIA2S+ communities, neurodiversity in the
    fandom, experiences of BIPOC within the community.
    Sex and the furry fandom: sex positivity, kink culture, NSFW
    practice and artwork.
    Furry economies: artistic output, “suspiciously wealthy furries”,
    furries’ charity work, the relationships between furry and ‘big
    media’ outputs such as Disney films.

We encourage the submission of proposals for academic papers, short workshops, practitioner-based activities, best-practice showcases, and pre-formed panels. We welcome established academics at all stages of their careers, and warmly embrace independent scholars. We also encourage submissions from non-academic furries and welcome other presentation formats such as photographic essays, alternative presentation styles, etc.

Further details can be found on the Otterdam Furry Arts Festival website: <>

*What we’re looking for*
Please submit 500-word abstracts and/or proposals for panels, and/or other forms of contribution, by 17:00 UTC on Monday 10 June 2024. All submissions will be double-reviewed by a panel of researchers who are actively involved in furry fandom. You will be notified of the panel's decision on 1 July 2024. Please ensure that all submissions (if primarily written) are in PDF format.

Submissions must also contain

    Name of author(s)
    Affiliation of author(s), if applicable
    Email address of author(s)
    Title of proposal
    A short biography of each author (up to 150 words)
    References, if applicable

All proposals must be submitted via email to (submissions /at/ with “Furry Studies – Otterdam 2024” in the subject line.

This event is designed to build connections between those researching furries, providing an inclusive trans-disciplinary research and publishing space. Though based physically in Rotterdam, the conference will be a hybrid event with online modes of participation, to allow for proceedings to be as accessible as possible.

The official language of the conference, in which all submissions and eventual contributions are expected to be presented, is English. Selected papers will be developed for publication in a special issue of /Popular Communication/ focused on furry studies.

*Organising Committee*
Reuben Mount (Vanguard Husky), College of English and Media, Birmingham City University, England UK Rhys Jones, School of Culture and Communication, Swansea University, Wales UK
Tom Geller (Jack Newhorse), Stichting Otterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands

*Informal Enquiries*
(hello /at/

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