CfP: DIY-ing Gender: A Zine Fest

by | 31 Jan 2023

Gender and Law at Durham (GLAD) supported by Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD) Will hold a zine fest at Durham University on 9th of June 2023! We invite all academics (especially PGRs, ECRs), and those outside of academia interested in gendered issues (broadly defined) to create a zine to distribute at the fair. 

What is a Zine? 

A zine (pronounced zeen) is a self-produced publication often in a scrap-booked/DIY aesthetic. While zines can be about any topic, they have played an important role in disseminating activist, anarchist, queer, and third-wave feminist thought. As a self-published medium, they allow for people to disseminate ideas/information/images/representations that are missing or excluded from dominant publications (whether that is mainstream media or academic texts). 

Why a Zine fest? 

We are running a zine fest as an alternative to traditional forms of academic gatherings. Zines are created to articulate emerging ideas, lived experiences, reflections, and radical perspectives that may be rejected or ignored by the mainstream. There is no reviewer 2 or a ‘required canon’ to cite – it is about expressing your ideas in a format that makes sense to you. Zines are never intended to have a wide circulation, they are about finding and making connections between people. It is not about defending the relevance or uniqueness of your idea to an audience, but about finding those who resonate with what you are saying. 

While we are not saying that all traditional academic gatherings should be replaced with zine fests, we do think there are a lack of spaces directed towards connection and creative expression in academia. We want to run a zine fest to foster that space. 

But I’ve never made a zine… 

That’s okay – neither had we until a few months ago. We will be running an online zine making workshop for any successful participant who wants more guidance on how to make a zine. The workshop will be held with enough lead time that you can implement the skills learnt in creating the zine that you will distribute at the sine fest. Plus, the whole ethos of zines is that they don’t have to be perfect – the event is about creating a space where we can draw on creative mediums to experiment with conveying our ideas beyond the limits of academic prose. 

Submission Process

We welcome any academic and non-academic from any discipline examining issues related to gender to submit a zine proposal. We appreciate that this is a wide scope (purposefully so), thus, to provide greater guidance we have listed some potential motivations for creating a zine out of your research/area of focus:   

  • You wish to communicate your ideas in an accessible manner to those outside of the academy 
  • You find the academic format and/or prose limiting in communicating your ideas 
  • You want to play with visual, spatial, linguistic, representational mediums of representing your ideas 
  • Your lived experience adds richness to your areas of research, and you want a medium that celebrates the value of subjective positionality
  • You want to push the boundaries of sense and sensibilities in your area 
  • Making a zine just sounds like a bit of fun 

A zine proposal will consist of a short abstract (250 words) and a draft page to your zine. You are not wedded to keeping the submitted page in your final zine – we are merely looking for evidence of commitment to the DIY zine ethos. Zine pages can be made digitally, or a pdf/jpg of a physical page.

Submissions should be sent to (note there is only one ‘g’ in the email address) by 31 March 2023. All successful participants will receive an invitation no later than 14 April 2023


31 March 2023 – Abstract/zine page submission deadline 

14 April 2023 – Notification of acceptance 

April/May 2023 (exact date TBC) – Online zine making workshop for accepted participants 

31 May 2023- Deadline to submit full zine 

9 June 2023 – Zine Fest! 


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