Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


English Language and Literatures

First Advisor

Catherine Keyser

Second Advisor

Susan Vanderborg


With the rise of modern reproduction, anxiety over the difference between the authentic and counterfeit has risen. This has led to copious investigations into the nature of authenticity by such theorists as Derrida and Baudrillard, but this approach overlooks pertinent social questions. By looking into Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Invisible Man, I hope to foster a conversation about who counterfeits and what they get out of it. What rises from my approach is an understanding of counterfeiting as a manifestation of Foucauldian power. By dictating the terms of what is real and what is fake, certain groups of people perpetuate circumstances which benefit them at the expense of others. Counterfeiting, then, can be a form of protest within these systems but is always subordinate to the ability to label counterfeits as such. Do Androids Dream and Invisible Man demonstrate these principles particularly well because of their subtle exaggeration of existing approaches to counterfeiting. They push the fake to logical extremes where the logic of the authentic and inauthentic must be challenged.


© 2015, Matthew Gassan