The pandemic has been isolating in many ways: in addition to the physical isolation of quarantines and the closure of in-person spaces and activities, the effects of the pandemic have not been evenly distributed, leading to a sense of social isolation. Many graduate students are navigating personal and professional losses, but may not have the strong support networks that would have ordinarily been built through our cohorts and interactions with others on campus. In response, this project invites participating graduate students to share our experiences in relation to one another through the creation of a collaboratively-authored zine series.
Since the 1980s, zines have been used in riot grrrl, queer and trans, and third-wave feminist movements to create layered, intertextual, multivocal representations of people's lived experiences, a form of autotheory. Key scholars in zine studies have traced zines' histories through waves of participatory feminist media as forms of communal and self-identity formation and identified zines as “third-spaces” where writers can rupture homogenizing narratives and express conflicting, multifaceted identities while creating coalitional communities. In this project, zines will allow graduate students to build collaborative, referential narratives, writing to each other about our experiences in and post-pandemic, and document these experiences for future years.
Any graduate students at Michigan State University are invited to participate, regardless of when you started your program. You are welcome to make as many pages as you like in the shared zine, using the supplies provided or incorporating your own materials, and writing under your own name, a pseudonym, or in anonymity. No artistic skill or zine experience is required! Below, you can find some helpful resources about how to make a zine and some examples of other people's zines. The zine-in-progress and supplies are hosted in the MSU Writing Center, which is located in Bessey Hall, Room 300.
At the end of the Fall 2022 semester, the finished zines will be digitized and displayed on this website. The original copies will be donated to the MSU Libraries Special Collections for preservation.
You can reach the project lead, Vee Lawson, at email@example.com!Join the Project!
Ask the front desk to check out the Spartan Zines project bin, work on your contribution to the zine, then return the bin to the front desk. Supplies are provided, but you're welcome to incorporate your own printed text, stickers, collage materials, or other artistic elements! There are prompts included in the beginning of the shared zine to help you get started, but please feel welcome to adapt them or to share any additional stories about your time at MSU!