Making Zines, Doing Feminism
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!
We also encourage 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.
From 6:30 pm - 8 pm, join Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity in the Burge Union's Discovery Room (#1025) for our monthly Zine Night, a welcoming feminist space for people to connect and create in community.
- August 29th
- September 19th
- October 3rd
- November 7th
- December 5th
- January 23rd
- February 13th
- March 20th
- April 17th
- May 1st
Zine Making Kits
Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity offers free zine making kits upon request for our community members to encourage people to make zines as a way of doing feminism. Each kit includes: a pair of scissors, a glue stick, a magazine for collaging, assorted craft paper, stickers, two pieces of white printer paper, an ETCWGE pen, instructions for making your own mini zine and more! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free kit.
Collaborative Zine Projects
Call for Submissions: Disability Justice is a Feminist Issue
In conjunction with the 2022-2023 KU Common Book Program, which features Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century, edited by Alice Wong, Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity invites you to submit an 8.5" x 11" page exploring the themes of disability justice, ableism, gender, and feminism.
- Written and/or visual submissions may include, but are not limited to essays, poetry, narratives, fiction, collage, comics, drawings, or photographs.
- Submissions Due Spring 2023
- Please email digital or scanned pages to email@example.com or drop off hard copies at ETCWGE (Burge Union 1040).
Past Collaborative Zine Projects
- The Feminist Agenda
- The Body Positivity Project
- Smash the Patriarchy
- Horror & Gender
- What is Queer & Trans Liberation?
- Queer Futures
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) on Saturday, September 3rd, 11 am - 5 pm at Van Go, 715 New Jersey Street, in Lawrence, Kansas. Follow the PPZF Facebook page and the PPZF Instagram page for updates.
Workshops by Request
Since 2016, ETCWGE has offered over one hundred mini zine workshops at KU, including zine making series like Zines & Za, Mini Zine Mondays, Queer Zine Nights, POC Zine Nights; 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.
If you would like to request a mini zine making workshop for your class or organization, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See KU student journalist Lourdes Kalusha-Aguirre's piece for KU student radio (KJHK ) titled "Zines: The Ultimate Therapy and Freedom of Expression" in which she interviews our Assistant Director Megan Williams among other local zinesters.
To learn more about our Virtual Zine Club (2020-2021), read Alicia Marksberry's "KU's virtual zine club encourages creativity for social justice" in CHALK magazine.