This talk will explore how to engage campus community members in dialogue through the creation of zines - low budget, do-it-yourself texts that allow any reader to become an author and share their ideas through print media. Topics covered will include collaboration with faculty on zine-related assignments and extracurricular “compilation” zines as a tool to extend ongoing campus conversations and to connect library staff with each other. Participants will leave prepared to start planning for zine-related programming on their campus.
Zines, Critical Praxis, Knowledge, Author, Collaboration, Academic Libraries
Zines as Critical Praxis: Collapsing Discourse Around Who Owns Knowledge, and What It Means to be an Author
Frank Livak Room
Zines are low-budget, DIY (do it yourself) texts that are produced beyond mainstream publishing channels. The central premise of zines is that all readers are authors; most zines are motivated by a desire to share information rather than make a profit. Collecting zines and creating zine-related library programming allows librarians to coordinate with the campus community to establish zine-making as a valuable tool in campus discourse. Zine-making collapses barriers among and between learners and teachers, and the use of digital and analog skills. Zines are hands-on, offline, and intimate artifacts in a time when much of our scholarship and discourse is being routed through increasingly and sometimes exclusively digital pathways. This presentation will explore the unique benefits of co-creating zines with readers and authors to extend scholarly and campus conversations that address students’ whole selves.
The SUNY New Paltz Zine Library has spent the last two years exploring these issues, both in the classroom setting alongside faculty, and outside of it by working directly with students and campus community members to create zines. Faculty collaborations include zine history lectures and workshops in the women, gender, and sexuality studies department, and workshops with fine arts and english composition classes. Outside of the classroom, we have collaborated with students, faculty, and staff to create zines about self-care, a zine to process reactions to the 2016 elections results, and an internal library zine for which fifty-six library staff members created pages introducing themselves and answering questions about their experiences working at the library. The creation, and the provision of access to zines in college and research library environments is a practice of critical engagement with issues around authorship and authority in academic environments. This presentation address theoretical, practical, and affective pedagogies of zine-making. Participants will leave prepared to start zine-related programming.