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!
For more information on zines and zine culture, visit our evolving Zine Resources Guide
Virtual Zine Club
Join ETCWGE, KC Zine Con, and Paper Plains Zine Fest for our Virtual Zine Club on Zoom. With Virtual Zine Club, our goal is to create a safer online space where all feel comfortable to have fun making zines, while respecting each other’s identities and boundaries. In the interest of fostering web safety, we have decided against making links to our Zine Club Zoom meetings public. If you would like to participate in any of our Zine Club events, please fill out our pre-registration form once and we will send you a link to each of our meetings via email or text message on the days that Zine Club goes live.
Thursday, May 7th, 6-7:30 PM
Host: Megan Williams
Theme: "The Feminist Agenda" - Create a page for ETCWGE's collaborative zine project.
Wednesday, May 13th, 6-7:30 PM
Host: Arin Sowell
Theme: "The Monster Mash" - Create a monster or creepy creature for KC Zine Con's Exquisite Corpse zine project.
Thursday, May 21st, 6-7:30 PM
Host: An Sasala
Theme: "Cooped Up" - Cooped up at home, what happens when we let our imaginations run free? Explore your post-COVID-19 fantasies. Who will you meet? Where will you go? What will you eat?
Wednesday, May 27th, 6-7:30 PM
Host: Divya Bhalla
Theme: "Musical Revelation" - Music can awaken and enlighten us. Is there a song, album, or artist that has expanded your consciousness or defined an important moment in your growth? Explore this idea in zine form!
Wednesday, June 3rd, 6-7:30 PM
Host: James Hirsch
Theme: "Alien Visitor" - Make a page for a collaborative zine that shows an alien what it means to be human.
Wednesday, June 10th, 6-7:30 PM
Host: Miguel Roel
Theme: "Poetic License" - Make a zine or collage inspired by a favorite poem or featuring your original poetry.
Wednesday, June 17th, 6-7:30 PM
Host: Sally Yue Jiang
Theme: "Lil Cute Thing Hanging Out in Space" - We're all just tiny dots hanging out in the universe. Make a zine exploring this idea!
Wednesday, June 24th, 6-7:30 PM
Host: AJ Gonzales
Theme: "Reproductive Justice & COVID-19" - How is the pandemic affecting the struggle for reproductive justice? How do we fight for "the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities" in the midst of COVID-19?
The Feminist Agenda: ETCWGE's Collaborative Zine Project
Call for Submissions
- What would your feminist political platform look like?
- What issue or issues disproportionately affecting women, children, and gender minorities must a feminist platform address?
It’s 2020, we are in the midst of a global pandemic, and November’s election will determine the U.S. presidency and its policies for the next four years. Regardless of who wins, the existing two-party system has failed to prioritize the material needs of women, children, and gender minorities. This reality is exacerbated for those who experience compound oppression at the intersections of race, ability, sexuality, class, and more.
With this zine, we would like to dream with our community about what a truly feminist political future would look like if we addressed issues facing women, children, and gender minorities.
We are calling on YOU to submit a 8.5" x 11" page for inclusion in this collaborative zine project.
Written and/or visual submissions may include, but are not limited to: essays, personal narratives, poetry, collage, comics, drawings, or photographs.
All submissions will be compiled into a joint zine and debuted in Fall 2020.
Please send questions and submissions to email@example.com by 9/30/20.
Thank you to our supporters: The Commons, KU Center for Service Learning, and Paper Plains Zine Fest.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 2021. Follow PPZF on Facebook and Instagram for updates.
Design concept & illustration by PPZF organizer Lydia Langebach