Jessica Austin

Doctoral Researcher

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Department:Cambridge School of the Creative Industries

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Research methodology

Jessica’s thesis explores how users create their online identities and then perform these in different ways online, examining whether there are major differences in offline behaviour.

Jessica's Wordpress site


Jessica looks at fandoms in particular and how fans use different identities depending on the online context. She looks at how these identities are constructed, whether they are hierarchical, whether they deviate from offline social norms and whether online and offline identities are intertextual. She works mostly from the fan studies disciplines looking at fandom groups, such as the Furry fandom, Star Trek Fandoms and others.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • Romanian

Research interests

  • Fandom studies
  • Post human and A human theory
  • Research Ethics and Online Research Methods


  • MA Media and Cultural Politics, University of East Anglia
  • BA Politics, University of East Anglia

Selected recent publications

Austin, J. (2017), Book Review: Jenner, M. (2016), American TV Detective Dramas, Palgrave Macmillan: UK, Intensities: Journal of Cult Media, forthcoming.

Austin, J. (2017) Book Review: Stillerman, J. (2015) The Sociology of Consumption: A Global Approach, Polity Press: UK, Cultural Sociology, forthcoming.

Recent presentations and conferences

"'I hate Selena Gomez cus she is dating my man': Towards a Theory of Toxic Femininity" - Fan Studies Network Conference, 2017.

"'That duck is smart. And apparently on the internet, that duck is very sexy to some people': Anthropomorphisation in the Furry Fandom" - Anglia Ruskin University Student Conference, 2017.

"Fur and Loathing: Identity, Stigma and Online Furry Fandom” - Fan Studies Network Conference 2016.