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Zines and Zine-Making at UCSB Library: Teaching with Zines

Why and How to Use Zines in your Teaching

This page provides resources for folx who are interested in using zines as part of courses and instruction. You may be wondering:

Why Use Zines in Instruction?
  • Zines are primary sources, written oftentimes by marginalized folx who lack access to more traditional or scholarly forms of publication and knowledge production. These perspectives are often excluded from consideration as "scholarly," perpetuating a hierarchy of whose knowledge matters in research
  • Zines cover an incredible array of general and niche topics and help to humanize the research process by centering and validating individual narratives and experiences
  • Making zines is a way to allow folx to think critically about content curation and multiple modes for expressing and representing research for a general audience. The fluidity of the zine format creates opportunities for folx to represent knowledge about their scholarly research topic in a personal way for an audience of their peers. Zine making is a powerful way of returning authority to students in the creation of research

If you are interested in incorporating zines into your course, reach out to the UCSB Zine Librarians Des Alaniz and Paige Sundstrom ( or for instructional design and assignment consulting. 

How Can I Use Zines in My Courses?

  1. Assigned Readings
    1. You can assign zines as reading for your course. You can find many zines online related to a number of topics or encourage students to visit the forthcoming Zine Collection at UCSB Library and identify a zine relevant to course topics. For a listing of zines that are freely available online, see the list of Digital Zine Collections. 
    2. You can integrate zines, primary sources, and alternative media into your course and encourage your students to attend zine-making events on and off campus. 
  2. References
    1. You can encourage students to seek out zines and incorporate them into the research process as legitimate sources worthy of inclusion in scholarly research
  3.  Zine Assignments 
    1. You can assign individual or group zines as an alternative or complement to an academic paper in your class. For examples of what these finished zines look like, check out the Simmons University Student Created Zine Collection.

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