Date of Award
Master of Arts
Eleni Palis, Jessica A. Grieser
The concept of a “forever Internet” has been pervasive in the modern digital age, but the degradation of fan archives from the late 1990s and 2000s seems to tell a different story; as such, we find ourselves in the midst of a Digital Dark Age and we are losing independent digital fan archives quickly- what is happening and how can we save this digital cultural memory, particularly queer cultural memory? To lose these fan archives is to lose valuable insight into the lives and communities of the individuals who interacted in these spaces. By utilizing the lenses of play, theft, cultural memory and stewardship, we can begin to better understand the means and ways that these archives have fallen apart (or how they stick together in spite of overwhelming odds). Through the autoethnographic research of three emblematic fan archives in differing stages of life and security, this thesis attempts to shed light on a crucial issue in the modern age and provide a pathway for potential future means to get what we can out of the burning of our digital metaphorical Library of Alexandria.
Mangan, Grey D., "The Internet isn’t Forever: Early Internet Fan Archives, their Stewards, Lifespans, and the Political Nature of the Deaths of their Queer Communities. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2023.