Aca(diy)mia: Making Zines, Remaking Worlds

Hybrid; Mar. 7-Mar. 9

Facilitation Team:

Jason Luther, a white male with glasses and brown hair and a beard, smiles in his office. In the background are shelves with books and records, and a poster that says Kristin Prins, a white woman with light brown hair and bright blue glasses, smiles in her office. Behind her are a lamp, electric kettle, phone, feminist rhetoric books, and files. Aubrie Cox Warner, a white woman with red hair with shaved sides and black glasses. She is wearing a black leather jacket, blue shirt, and a bronze, pyramid-shaped pendant. Behind her is blue-gray siding. Megan Heise, a white woman with brownish-red hair pulled back, glasses, and a yellow shirt, framed by the inside of an inclined plane car and beyond that, green trees. Kristen Wheaton, a smiling white woman with pulled back brown hair, a silver nose-ring and dark glasses. She is wearing a pink sweater and black and grey patterned cardigan while standing outside in front of a stone wall covered in red flowers above and green ivy below.
Jason Luther
(in person)
Kristin Prins
(in person)
Aubrie Cox Warner
(in person)
Megan Heise
(on Zoom)
Kristen Wheaton
(on Zoom)

Abstract: Handcrafted Rhetorics is launching “Aca(diy)mia: Making Zines, Remaking Worlds,” a project in which collaborators will make their own manifesto zines for working “in but not of” (Harney & Moten, 2013, p. 26) universities, and build a community of support among practitioners across all positions and positionalities within higher education. Participants will not only (a) learn how to make zines, but also: (b) discuss how to utilize zines and other DIY (do-it-yourself) modalities in our various roles in academia, (c) reckon together with the violent and exclusionary histories of the university (and our own, specific universities), and (d) build community and solidarity networks to continue to engage in justice work within and beyond the university. Our core question across these four aims is: how can we, as full human beings, engage with the dehumanizing machinery of higher education in ways that are restorative, radical, and just?

What Draft Deliverable will be Presented at the Conference Showcase? In keeping with the DIY ethos and participatory politics of zines, the exact deliverable(s) for both the presentation at the end of the conference and in the longer term will be determined through discussion with participants. Over the course of the conference, participants will make practice paper and digital mini-zines, and also work towards larger individual and collaborative zines that can be showcased on the final day. They will learn about zine distribution networks and digital zine archives, and may choose to collaborate on creating one or both of these. If participants are interested, facilitators can support deliverables including scholarly production (for example, collaborating on a special issue of a journal or an edited collection on issues related to zines), student or community zine workshops, or pedagogical output (including developing assignments, activities, etc.) related to zines and other DIY literacy practices.

Who Should Apply to Participate? We are excited to invite participants with all kinds of different skills, roles, backgrounds, interests, and identities. Our workshop will be beginner-friendly in terms of making zines; all that we encourage of participants is to be prepared for a very non-traditional and atypical conference experience, ready for an atmosphere of emergence, and open to being comfortable with – and even valuing – failure.

What Do Participants Need to Prepare? [Note: The facilitation team will email all materials and instructions once all participants have been selected]

Participants will need to do three things prior to attending the conference: explore brief introductory materials to zine culture, read an antiracist zine, and gather materials to make their own zines.

  1. View introductory materials.
  • Read “Write Your Own History: The Roots of Self-Publishing” by Anne Elizabeth Moore from the Handbook of Public Pedagogy (2010) -- will be provided by facilitators
  • Watch “How To: Zines” (2016)
  • Watch “Zines: The Power of DIY Print” (2015)
  • Read an antiracist zine.
    In order to participate in the model of mail-based zine exchange and to think through how zines grapple with racism and other forms of marginalization, we will provide and circulate examples of antiracist zines prior to meeting (our tentative plan is to purchase these zines from Brown Recluse Zine Distro, a collectively-run zine distro for QTBIPOC by QTBIPOC. Our plan is to mail one to each participant to either their work or home address, which they will provide, and ask them to note the zine’s:
    • Content — What is this zine about? Is it mostly made up of text, images, or something else? Who is the author (or who are the authors)?
    • Materials — What is this zine made out of? What kind of paper? What kind of binding? What size paper? How many pages?  What colors, fonts?
    • Audience — Who would read this? Who would not? Are these named or implied?
    • Process — Speculate on how this zine was made. Was it collaged using scissors and glue? Designed with a computer program? A mix? Was it professionally printed? Reproduced via home printer or copy machine?
  • Gather some supplies.
    Zines emphasize the personal is political in that creators often make them from readily available materials. This could mean engaging with their own print and/or digital literacies through layout design, reclaiming sexist or racist representations through bricolage, writing or drawing narratives by hand, and/or scamming copies from work. While we will supply some basic items (paper, scissors, glue sticks, saddle stapler and other binding materials such as thread and needles), we will ask in-person participants to bring (and online participants to have on hand in addition to paper, scissors, and glue sticks):
      • Printed matter or ephemera, especially those that provide opportunities for reverso, what Licona (2012) describes as “critical reversals of the normative (and normalizing as well as often pathologizing) gaze” (p 70). This could include junk mail, recyclable materials like paper bags, or old magazines.
      • Pens/pencils/markers/something to write/draw
      • Alternatively: a computer with certain programs/access to a printer

      What Happens After the Conference? There will be a number of opportunities for further collaboration, many of which we see as emerging organically from the collaborative nature of the workshop and project space. While we want to collaborate fully with participants on what this might look like, some ideas include an edited collection with enculturation, a project with Kairos, and/or an edited collection through the Handcrafted Rhetorics SIG at CCCC. Pending availability of funding, we would love to follow the DIY Methods model and gather, print, and mail copies of all participants’ zines to one another. Following the lead of Rayner & Pasek (2023) with the DIY Methods conference, we also plan to explore (pending participant interest and consent) creating a digital repository of the zines participants make throughout the workshop. (This could be hosted on the Handcrafted Rhetorics website, an Internet Archive page, H-Commons, or the Watson website.) Depending on participants’ interest, we also would love to propose this collaboration as the launch of a solidarity network for zine distribution, DIY pedagogy and research collaborative opportunities, and radical care (Johnston et al., 2022, p. 14). While these are just some of our ideas, we also want to embrace the emergences from our hybrid time together and go in the directions participants are excited about, including some that we may not have yet thought of.

      Download the Complete Project Proposal for More Details