Embodied DIY: Feminist and Queer Zines in a Transglobal World

Call for papers – Special Issue directed by Paula Guerra and Laura López

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Important dates

Deadline for abstract proposal: 15 October 2020
Notification of acceptance: 1st November 2020
Deadline for full paper submission: 15 January 2021
Deadline for revised paper submission: 1st May 2021
Publication date of ZINES vol.2-1 : July 2021

This special issue of ZINES proposes to gather works of several researchers and zine-makers that analyse and produce zines that focus on gender and sexual dissidence around the world. In the last decades, we have witnessed the increase of the number of zines with the representation of the feminist and queer issues in a range of different countries, just like studies that have been aware of that (Harris, 2004; Kearney, 2006; Licona, 2012; Piepmeier, 2009; Poletti, 2008). Focus on these zines and publications in a special issue of this journal, will give us a better understanding of this phenomenon and the different state of the art among the five continents. We want to pay special attention to emerging scenes and populations oppressed by the colonial, patriarchal, and capitalist system. The importance of looking at not hegemonic spaces and bodies bring to the zines their original spirit as holders of counter- narratives.

Although the production of fanzines precedes the emergence of punk, the truth is that it was with it that fanzines became relevant as spaces for freedom of thought and creation, as well as an alternative to conventional media. Since the 1970s, the universe of fanzines has expanded not only thematically and stylistically, but also has extended its territorial coverage and the communication media used in its production and dissemination have expanded. In this special issue, we propose an approach that aims to look at fanzines as ‘communities’ founded around a cultural object, in the production of texts, photos and other materials about feminist and queer scenes around the world – linked or not linked to punk. Fanzines are understood here as an alternative medium of late modernity, capable of revealing the DIY ethos associated with it. Fanzines are material forms of symbolic representation. They are objects constructed voluntarily that allow individuals who participate in the process (of editing and distribution) to affirm their social existence, to integrate (sub)cultures, musical/artistic scenes or tribes, social movements, and to culturally participate in them; simultaneously, fanzines materialized in a local movement markedly youthful, stimulating an underground scene, and facilitating the dissemination of an anti-hegemonic culture of usually hidden stories. They are a fundamental element in the realization of tastes, affinities, social, political, ideological, and cultural memberships, lifestyles and musical styles.

Feminist and queer fanzines have contributed to ‘oppositional technologies’, that is, the use of DIY techniques, which the riot grrrl movement used plenty, from music production, zines, jewelry, clothes, etc. They have allowed the contestation of the dominant representations of women, which, in turn, has allowed them, in addition to the construction of new concepts of femininity, to also explore issues of sexuality, gender, identity, race, sexual orientation and class, especially through manifestos, visual representations, drawings and photographs.

The importance of using fanzines as intervention tools, and their consequent relevance for young generations, does not primarily reside in their impact for potential social change, but in the ability to construct these narratives in subcultural spaces, which might not only be important for the participants in terms of providing a means of self-representation, but more importantly, as a means to pedagogically work on their ability to teach and learn about differences. In this sense, we can assert that today’s feminist and queer zines not only are a collective media, in which their authors construct identities, communities, and narratives that shape their cultural moments, but are also instruments of feminist and gender education, transnational networking and pillars of the political and underground movement. A review of the escalation of the distribution of these zines in recent times, and the fundamental role that the internet has played, over and above the analogical zines and e-zine dichotomy, will provide us a closer view of the state of the art.

We welcome proposals by academics, students and independent researchers from any discipline or scholarly field, as well as by zine librarians, and non-academic zinesters who want to share their personal experiences or react to published papers. As ZINES Journal, this Special Issue Embodied DIY: Feminist and Queer Zines in a Transglobal World, also encourages papers submitted in unconventional format (e.g. collages, paste-up or other innovative editing, zines, photo essays, etc.).

Proposals might address, but need not be limited to, the following subjects:
• The role of subaltern identities in zines of underground urban cultures and their contribute as forms of anti-austerity and anti-neo-liberalism resistance and resilience.
• Challenging (and reconstruction of) the representations of female, male and non-binary identities in zines around the world.
• Transnational networking of feminist and queer movements through zines and the sedimentation of organic dynamics of active citizenship.
• Expression of the DIY culture made by non-binary, female or LGTBQ authors (podcasts, e-zines, tumblr, etc.).
• Zines as a platform for the distribution of different narratives of the Global South and LGTBQ+ diasporas.
• Feminist and queer zines as a space of resistance against the patriarchal, colonialist and capitalist system.
• Zines as political, cultural and artistic agents in marginal spaces made by feminist or queer authors.
• Representations of non-normative corporeality in zines.
• Visibility of anti-hegemonic artistic practices by feminist and queer zines in a transglobal world.
• Zines as objects and means of expressing cultural scenes, social movements and spheres of contestation in the North and the Global South.
• Zines as objects and means of alternative, libertarian, controversial and critical pedagogies.
• Reviews of zines or books which approach the topics listed above.
• In-depth interviews with zinesters of feminist and queer zines.

Guest editors:

Paula Guerra is a Professor of the Department of Sociology at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto and an Integrated Researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the same University (IS-UP). She is an Adjunct Associate Professor of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research (GCSCR). Paula coordinates and participates in various national and international research projects in the field of youth cultures and the sociology of art and culture. She is also a supervisor of several master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral projects. Her current research interests include popular music, DIY cultures and careers, subcultures and post-subcultures, social critical theory, sociological theories, qualitative research methodologies, underground music and music scenes, cultural fields, art worlds, cinema, performance. She is the coordinator and founder of the KISMIF Conference. She is the author (with Andy Bennett) of the edited books DIY Cultures and Underground Music Scenes (Oxford: Routledge, 2018), (with Mike Dines, Alastair Gordon and Russ Bestley) The Punk Reader. Research Transmissions from the Local and the Global (Bristol: Intellect, 2019) and (with Pedro Quintela) Punk, Fanzines and DIY Cultures in a Global World. Fast, Furious and Xerox (London: Palgrave, 2020).

Laura López is a PhD student of the International Doctoral Program in Comparative Studies at the University of Lisbon (since 2017) and she collaborates in the research projects: DIIA-Iberian and Ibero-American Dialogues, and Feminisms and Sexual and Gender Dissidence in the Global South. In the academic year of 2018/2019, she was granted a scholarship (PD/BD/143049/2018) by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) with her thesis Queer Zines and Feminist Theory in Spain and Portugal, under the supervision of Professors Luísa Afonso Soares (University of Lisbon) and Carmen Romero Bachiller (Universidad Complutense de Madrid). She is a member in training of the Center for Comparative Studies.

Deadline for abstract proposal: 15 October 2020
Notification of acceptance: 1st November 2020
Deadline for full paper submission: 15 January 2021
Deadline for revised paper submission: 1st May 2021
Publication date of ZINES vol.2-1 : July 2021

Author instructions: www.strandflat.fr/zines

Guerra, P., & Quintela, P. (2016). Culturas de resistência e média alternativos: Os fanzines punk portugueses [Cultures of resistance and alternative media: The Portuguese punk fanzines]. Sociologia, Problemas e Praticas, 80, 69–94.
Guerra, P., Gelain, G., & Moreira, T. (2017). Collants, correntes e batons: Género e diferença na cultura punk em Portugal e no Brasil [Tights, chains and lipsticks: Gender and difference in punk culture in Portugal and Brazil]. Lectora, 23, 13–35.
Guerra, P., & Bittencourt, L. (2018). Grrrlzines: Resistance and Belonging in Riot Girls fanzines in the Portuguese punk scene [Grrrlzines: Resistência e Pertencimento nos fanzines Riot Girls na cena punk portuguesa]. Vozes e Diálogo, 17(1), 60–73.
Guerra, P., Bittencourt, L., & Gelain, G. (2018). “Punk Fairytale”: Popular music, media, and the (re)production of gender. In Gender and the Media: Wome’s Places. Published online: 30 Oct 2018. 49-68. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-212620180000026005
Guerra, P., & Quintela, P. (Eds.). (2020). Punk, fanzines and DIY cultures in a global world. Fast, furious and xerox. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Harris, A. (2004). Future Girl. Young Women in the Twenty-first Century. Routledge.
Kearney, M. C. (2006). Girls Make Media. Routledge.
Licona, A. C. (2012). Zines in third space. Radical cooperation and borderland rhetoric. State University of New York Press.
Lopez, L. (2019). Queer zines in Madrid in 1990s In Paula Guerra & Thiago Pereira Alberto (Eds.). Keep it Simple, Make it Fast! An approach to underground music scenes (Vol. 4). Porto: University of Porto – Faculty of Arts and Humanities. 342-352.
Lopez, L. (2020). Problematizing the methodology: challenges, conflicts, and contradictions in the study of queer-feminist zines in the Iberian Peninsula. Zines Journal, 1 (1), 28- 36
Piepmeier, A. (2009). Girl Zines. Making media, doing feminism. Routledge.
Poletti, A. (2008). Intimate Ephemera: Reading Young Lives in Australian Zine Culture. Melbourne University Press.

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