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.
Zines & Za
Join us on most Wednesdays from 6 pm - 7:30 pm for Zines & Za, our zine night series hosted by our Zine Fellow Monty Protest. Our zine nights are a welcoming feminist space for people to connect and create in community with one another over free pizza (veg, vegan, and gluten free options). Click here for more information, including locations and each session’s optional prompt.
Zine Making Kits
Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity offers free zine making kits for KU students to encourage making 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, a pen, instructions for making your own mini zine, and more! Zine kits are available for pickup in the yellow Zine Machine outside our space (Suite 1040) whenever the Burge Union is open. Stop by and pick one up!
Collaborative Zine Projects
Call for Submissions
Remembering KU's February Sisters, Imagining KU's Feminist Future
In partership with the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, the Emily Taylor Center invites submissions to a collaborative zine project dedicated to the February Sisters.
- Pages should honor the feminist activism of the February Sisters in 1972 and/or imagine KU's feminist future by addressing the following questions: What would a university where "the pressing needs of women" — as well as those of femmes and people of marginalized genders — are met look like? How do we get there?
- Pages must be 8.5 x 11-inches in size and we suggest you leave a 1/4-inch margin around the edge of your page so that none of your content is cut off when the zine is printed.
- Written and/or visual submissions may include, but are not limited to essays, poetry, narratives, fiction, collage, comics, drawings, or photographs.
- Submissions Due: Wednesday, March 6
- Please email digital or scanned pages to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off hard copies at the Emily Taylor Center (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
- The Politics of Physical Appearance
- Grow, Grow, Grow
- Making Zines, Doing Feminism
- Why Reproductive Justice?
- Slash the Patriarchy
Paper Plains Zine Fest
Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity partners with Wonder Fair to sponsor the annual Paper Plains Zine Fest (PPZF) in early September. PPZF is a two-day celebration and exploration of zine culture across KU and the Lawrence community. The festival features our popular mascot Jammy, the photocopier; programming and events, such as participatory workshops, zine releases, lectures, panels, and film screenings; as well as a Vendor Fair featuring over 100 local and regional zine makers at Van Go.
Workshops by Request
Since 2016, ETC has facilitated mini zine workshops at KU. Past zine making series have included Mini Zine Mondays at ECM, Queer Zine Nights with Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity, POC Zine Nights with Office of Multicultural Affairs, and our Virtual Zine Club with KC Zine Con via Zoom. Throughout this period, we have also provided workshops for undergraduate classes as well as workshops for student organizations.
We’ve also brought zine making and feminism to the community, offering workshops for local organizations including Girls Rock Lawrence (now Amplify Lawrence), Lawrence High School’s Young Feminist Club, Boys & Girls Club, Lawrence Public Library, Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, and KC Zine Con, among others.
At present, we offer our Make Mini Zines, Do Feminism! workshop by request. During this fun and interactive three-hour session, participants learn about zines as a medium, discuss a feminist and queer (mini) history of zines, analyze the relationship between zine making and feminist practice, explore KU and local zine resources, learn how to cut and fold a mini zine, as well as take part in a community making and (optional) sharing process. If you would like to request this workshop — or a mini zine making workshop that is shorter in length and tailored specifically for your class or organization — please email us email@example.com as we would love to work with you to meet your particular needs.
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.