Making Zines, Doing Feminism
Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity encourages making zines as a way of doing feminism. Join us on Facebook!
What’s a Zine?
A zine (/ziːn/ ZEEN; short for fanzine) is a DIY medium with roots in 1930s science fiction fandom, 1970s punk rock culture, and the riot grrrl feminist movement of the 1990s. In her classic text Stolen Sharpie Revolution, zinester Alex Wrekk defines zines as “physical, printed, self-published creations that can consist of a single sheet of paper or many, fastened together, usually with staples; independently made for the love of creating and rarely make a profit; created by one person or with a group of people; usually photocopied.” Today, zines are also made and disseminated digitally.
Why Make Zines?
As zine scholar Alison Piepmeier argues in Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, zines enact what bell hooks describes as “a pedagogy of hope.” Zine making allows women, gender minorities, and other marginalized people to engage in creative self-expression, to speak for themselves in a society that often silences them. Zines allow makers to critique, question, resist, and reappropriate the patriarchal mass media by taking the means of production into their own hands. Zines are a powerful medium for advocacy and social change. They are at once personal and political. Moreover, zines promote community-building by fostering a gift economy of sharing and exchange; often, they are made collectively or in community with others.
Share your ideas, experiences, and knowledge — make zines!
To learn more about the power of zine making, see KU student journalist Lourdes Kalusha-Aguirre's piece for KJHK titled "Zines: The Ultimate Therapy and Freedom of Expression" in which she interviews our Assistant Director Megan Williams among other local zinesters.
For information on zines and zine culture, visit our evolving Zine Resources Guide.
We also urge you to explore The Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements in KU’s Kenneth Spencer Research Library, which includes nearly 1000 zines acquired from the now-defunct Solidarity! Revolutionary Center & Radical Library based in Lawrence during the early 2000s. In addition, zines from the Solidarity! collection are available for check-out through The Solidarity Library maintained by KU’s Ecumenical Campus Ministries. Locally, zines are available for purchase at Wonder Fair and Raven Book Store in downtown Lawrence.
Throughout the academic year, Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity and Students United for Reproductive & Gender Equity (SURGE) host a biweekly Zine Club. Our Zine Club is a welcoming feminist space for people to connect and create in community. To learn more about our Zine Club, read Alicia Marksberry's “KU’s virtual zine club encourages creativity for social justice” in CHALK magazine.
KU ETCWGE's Collaborative Zine Projects
Vol. 1, The Feminist Agenda
Educate & Act: The Feminist Agenda
The Feminist Agenda, Part IV of EDUCATE & ACT: CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IN 2020, is a zine release and reflection event featuring contributors to The Feminist Agenda, KU ETCWGE's inaugural collaborative zine project. View the zine above or visit bit.ly/KUETCWGE-TheFeministAgenda.
- Imani Wadud (she/her), Chancellor Doctoral Fellow & PhD Candidate, American Studies at KU
- Divya Radhika Bhalla (she/her), PhD Student, Creative Writing & GTA, KU Department of English
- An Sasala (ze/zir & they/them), Alum, MA in KU Film and Media Studies
- Isaac Thomas (he/him & they/them), Alum, BA in KU Linguistics
- Miguel Roel (he/him), ETCWGE Volunteer
- Rachel Sandle (they/them), Local Feminist Zinester & Communications Assistant, Spencer Museum of Art
- Megan Williams (she/her), ETCWGE Assistant Director
Co-sponsored by The Commons, Center for Service Learning, and Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity at the University of Kansas, EDUCATE & ACT: CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IN 2020 is a series of events leading up to the national presidential election in November 2020. Programs in this series feature experts on different aspects of U.S. democracy and centers opportunities for civic engagement.
The Body Positivity Project
Zine Release & Reflection: The Body Positivity Project
A panel and discussion reflecting on the release of "The Body Positivity Project," a collaborative zine compiled by Hannah Sigourney for her LDST 532 final project.
- Hannah Sigourney (she/her), KU Junior, Communication Studies & Leadership Studies
- Jyoti Gangaraju (she/her), KU Alum and Lawrence Community Member
- Nikita Haynie (she/her), Assistant Director, KU Sorority & Fraternity Life
- Clare Ballard (she/her), KU ETCWGE Make Zines, Do Feminism Facebook Group Member
- Megan Williams (she/her), Assistant Director, KU Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity
How to Make a Mini Zine
As part of Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity's Virtual Skill Share Series, Assistant Director Megan Williams demonstrates how to make a mini zine.
Make Mini Zines! Archive
Mini zines are tiny, 8-page zines, made by folding and cutting a single sheet of paper. Since 2016, Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity has offered over one hundred mini zine workshops at KU, including zine making series like Zines & Za at ETCWGE, Mini Zine Mondays at ECM, Queer Zine Nights with SGD, POC Zine Nights with OMA; workshops for undergraduate classes; and workshops for student organizations. We’ve also brought zine making and feminism to the community, offering workshops for local organizations including Girls Rock Lawrence, Lawrence High School’s Young Feminist Club, Boys & Girls Club, the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, and KC Zine Con, among others.
Over the years, we have collected some of our workshop participants’ mini zines in our Make Mini Zines! Archive.
If you would like to have your mini zine included in our archive, listed either anonymously or attributed, please send a scan or high-quality photograph of your mini zine to email@example.com.
Paper Plains Zine Fest
Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity is thrilled to partner with Wonder Fair in organizing the inaugural Paper Plains Zine Fest (PPZF) to correspond with the Paper Plains Literary Festival in Spring 2022. Follow PPZF on Facebook and Instagram for updates.