Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Dr. D'Lane Compton

Second Advisor

Dr. David Beriss

Third Advisor

Dr. Christiana Croegaert


As emerging technologies rapidly change the way that individuals socially interact, researchers can look back to older theories of social organization in order to apply traditional concepts to new ways of being. A #shelfie is a popular hashtag used on Instagram, a social media application, typically used with a post that consist of any visual media containing book(s) or item(s) related to literature in a physical space within, around, and/or upon a piece of furniture. This thesis is centered around the examination of a data collection that gathered top #shelfie posts on Instagram for the purpose of visual content and textual analysis.

I argue that users are performing and constructing identities using curated #shelfies that actually span beyond the original typical bookshelf content, that this particular content is being utilized mostly by users identifying as women, and that it highlights areas of multiple framing occurring at the same time through Instagram and the objects being posted. My thesis is anchored within a multi-disciplinary framework that utilizes Erving Goffman’s theories of self and framing, cultural materialism as framing from scholars such as Daniel Miller, and that this analysis can be understood in a Deleuzian lens by examining how assemblage theory can help to navigate what #shelfie is, how it was produced, and what it may mean for future studies of digital media and the self. There will be no pixel left unturned.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.