The Feminist Writing Collective tutorial reached out to students, faculty and staff calling for submissions for FemZine. The zine will contribute to the tutorial’s project titled “Writing in the Margins, Vol. 3: Erotic Autonomy, Self Care, and Beauty.” The writing collective accepted submissions in various formats including poetry, artwork and prose on topics such as social justice, gender and race.
“Zines,” are self-published and often non-profit books, papers or websites. Oftentimes, zines are works that are too controversial for mainstream media and are presented in a crude manner with a unique design. Zines have been recognized as one of the most popular methods of independent publishing, especially in communities identifying as “underground.”
Zines are each unique in their own way, with topics ranging from feminism to birds. The wide variety makes it hard to generalize these publications. Zine culture is often seen within some of the most enthusiastic movements such as punk, feminist and LGBTQ.
“Admittedly, I had no idea what a zine was before this year,” said thesis student Lauren Dejesus-Glasgow, who is currently taking the tutorial. “But from my understanding, a zine is just an independent publication of community art, whether it’s visual art or creative writing. It’s creativity operating outside of traditional standards.”
The Feminist Writing Collective is a collaborative tutorial started by Professor of Sociology Queen “Mecca” Zabriskie three years ago. The tutorial examines feminist thought, criticism and artistic production. It also looks at how racial capitalism, gender identity and class systems shade notions of beauty and self-care. Throughout the tutorial, students examined the mentioned intersections and worked to understand the different ways they manifest in peoples’ identities. The ultimate goal of the tutorial is to emphasize the idea of beauty formalities as a practice of self-care, and through that, self-care overall as a “revolutionary act of autonomy and reclamation of self.”
“This year we decided to do a theme of erotic autonomy, self-care, and beauty to refine our topics,” Dejesus-Glasgow said. “Since those issues are something all the people in tutorial have in common, we thought it would be a really good thing to explore together.”
On Dec. 5, the Feminist Writing Collective plans on having a zine launch at the Four Winds with drinks and catered food from the café. The launch will mimic an open mic night allowing those who submitted material to the FemZine to read and discuss their work of art.
“In light of the recent events with the posters, I feel like it will be really good for the community to come together with a powerful event,” Dejesus-Glasgow said. “It’s erotic autonomy! It’s self-care! It’s about maintaining your power outside of these people trying to take it away from you.”
The FemZines will be printed and available for distribution at the zine launch, as well as distributed around campus.
“Put your shit on paper! Put your shit on paper!” Dejesus-Glasgow yelled. “Sing about it, write about it, draw about it, anything! I just feel like having some kind of creative outlet is so important for your mental wellbeing. We get so bogged down in day-to-day things and we forget about taking care of ourselves.”