Subject of the Month

A monthly display featuring resources on specific thematic subjects.

What is a Zine?

 

denver zine library

Selectors: Miriam Saperstein and Gabby Bray


Zines (rhymes with beans) are a type of publication, usually made and printed using whatever supplies are at hand, at low cost.

A great definition comes from zine-maker and academic, Rafael Neis, who writes: "A zine, short for fanzine or magazine, is a small, independently published booklet, usually made on paper and reproduced with a photocopying machine or printer. Its formats, genres, and contents can vary widely. Historically, people and communities outside mainstream power structures (from punks, anarchists, to people of color, to queerfeminists) have made zines. Zines, and their reproduction and circulation, offer an alternative to commodified or hierarchical production of conventional print publication. The same is true for their ability to circumvent and bypass the constraints of the contemporary art world." Read more at the Association for Jewish Studies Website

"Denver Zine Library" by Elly Blue is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

How to Make a Zine

What goes in a zine? Whatever you want! People have made zines for visual art, for activism, for documenting a process, for journaling, for sharing poetry or research or fun facts about a subject. 

When starting a zine it can be helpful to ask, who do you want to communicate with? What do you want to share? 

Zine History

R. L. (2004). Fanzine Research: Some Sercon MusingsScience Fiction Studies31(3), 487–497. 

Bell, A. (1999). Science Fiction in Latin America: Reawakenings. Science Fiction Studies26(3), 441–446. 

Southard, B. (1982). The Language of Science-Fiction Fan Magazines. American Speech57(1), 19–31. 

Bartel, J. (2005). From a to zine : Building a winning zine collection in your library. ALA Editions.

Requires a Wayne State University login.

 Triggs, T. (2006). Scissors and Glue: Punk Fanzines and the Creation of a DIY AestheticJournal of Design History19(1), 69–83.

Radway, J. (2011). Zines, Half-Lives, and Afterlives: On the Temporalities of Social and Political Change. PMLA126(1), 140–150. 

Cresser, F., Gunn, L., & Balme, H. (2001). Women’s experiences of on-line e-zine publication. Media, Culture & Society, 23(4), 457–473.

Clark-Parsons, R. (2017). Feminist ephemera in a digital world: Theorizing zines as networked feminist practice. Communication, Culture & Critique, 10(4), 557-573.

Brouwer, D. C., & Licona, A. C. (2016). Trans(affective)mediation: Feeling our way from paper to digitized zines and back again. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 33(1), 70-83.

Teaching with Zines

Thomas, S. (2018). Zines for teaching: A survey of pedagogy and implications for academic librarians. Portal (Baltimore, Md.), 18(4), 737-758. 

Alexander, J. (2002). Digital spins: The pedagogy and politics of student-centered e-zines. Computers and Composition, 19(4), 387-410. 

Honma, T. (2016). From archives to action: Zines, participatory culture, and community engagement in Asian America. Radical Teacher (Cambridge), 105(105), 33-43.

Zine Gallery

cover of zine Summoning the Archive

Summoning the Archive

A zine about zine making and collecting that is also a record of conversations related to the 'Summoning The Archive' Symposium and Print Fest, May 11-13, 2017, in NYC.

16 guiding axioms for abolitionist organizing zine cover

16 Axioms for Abolitionist Organizing

A digital zine from Project Nia about organizing for abolition.

In Out mini zine

In Out

One-page mini zine made for the Quarantine Public Library by artist Kees Holterman, "exploring and reflecting on life inside and outside the home."

It is Right to Print at Home cover

It Is Right to Print at Home

One-page mini zine by Erik Pedersen with "simple build instructions for a reliable screen exposure unit."

Disorientation Guide to Librarianship cover

Disorientation Guide to Librarianship

A compilation zine "inspired by the LIS Microaggressions project, Fobazi Ettarh’s article 'Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves', and the many disorientation guides created by higher education students around the world."

Silenced zine

Silenced

A zine about "the brutal realities of solitary confinement" from the perspectives of people who have experienced it in Michigan.

The Quaranzine: Poetry in the Time of COVID-19

The Quaranzine: Poetry in the Time of COVID-19

A lengthy collaborative zine from 2020 consisting of poems written by dozens of creators inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please Add and Return: A Zine About Mail Art

Please Add & Return: A Zine About Mail Art

A zine about the history and theory of mail art as an alternative to the traditional museum or gallery experience.

Zine Collections