Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Cosplay is a portmanteau of costume and play, referring specifically to role-play. Cosplay consists of various costumed role-playing, such as anime, manga, video games, science-fiction, fantasy, horror, mythology, etc. In the 1990s, cosplay emerged as a popular street fashion subculture in Japan that has become a worldwide phenomenon. Cosplay was already present in North American popular culture in association with comic and science-fiction conventions. These events at the time were considered masquerades, not cosplay. Cosplay communities rely primarily on maintaining social relationships via internet communication and word of mouth. The standards for what constitutes cosplay are upheld by individuals, the community, and organizations. These organizations are made of security personnel, cosplay contest judges, local police, and convention staff. Through this ethnography on cosplayers, I will identify the hidden power structures, agency, and resistance or replication of hegemony in the community; by using a combination of interviews, participant observation, and auto-ethnography.
HILL, NATASHA L., "Embodying Cosplay: Fandom Communities in the USA." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2017.