Alison Piepmeier, Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism

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NYU Press has   published a new book by Alison Piepmeier (English, College of Charleston).   In Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism, Piepmeier explores the content and significance of DIY feminist ‘zines — an informal communications phenomenon commonly associated with third-wave feminism (although later supplanted by the internet).

Here‘s the publisher’s description of the book:

With names like The East Village Inky, Mend My Dress, Dear Stepdad, and I’m So Fucking Beautiful, zines created by girls and women over the past two decades make feminism’s third wave visible. These messy, photocopied do-it-yourself documents cover every imaginable subject matter and are loaded with handwriting, collage art, stickers, and glitter. Though they all reflect the personal style of the creators, they are also sites for constructing narratives, identities, and communities.

Girl Zines is the first book-length exploration of this exciting movement. Alison Piepmeier argues that these quirky, personalized booklets are tangible examples of the ways that girls and women ‘do’ feminism today. The idiosyncratic, surprising, and savvy arguments and issues showcased in the forty-six images reproduced in the book provide a complex window into feminism’s future, where zinesters persistently and stubbornly carve out new spaces for what it means to be a revolutionary and a girl. Girl Zines takes zines seriously, asking what they can tell us about the inner lives of girls and women over the last twenty years.

The publisher’s blurb might be overstating matters a bit.   While this is the first full-length book about feminist ‘zines, it is not the first full-length book about third-wave feminism.   Piepmeier herself is the co-editor of an important book of essays Catching a Wave: Reclaiming Feminism for the 21st Century (Northeastern University Press, 2003).

I’m looking forward to reading this new book.

-Bridget Crawford

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