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Move Over Screens, Make Room For Zines

We hear constantly that “pens and paper are dead,” and “screens are taking over our lives.” But there is one small corner of the world where pens, paper, scissors and glue are alive and well: the world of zines.

Zines are handmade, self-published magazines that are about almost anything, from politics to music, arts and raw personal experience.

Zines date back to the 1930s and first grew out of science fiction fan culture. They evolved through the ‘70s and ‘80s alongside changes in technology, like photocopying, and then burst into broader public consciousness with the Riot Grrrl punk rock movement of the 1990s. Although zine creation died down a bit with the expansion of the internet, zines are now making a comeback.

Host Frank Stasio is joined by zine makers, a zine distributor, a scholar and an archivist to talk about the history and influence of zines and take a look at where zine culture stands today.

Image of excerpt of 'I believe'
Credit Cindy Crabb
"I believe, " the introductory piece from an anthology of the zine Doris written by Cindy Crabb.

Stasio talks with Cindy Crabb, creator of “Doris,” an autobiographical zine that has been published since the early 1990s; Nyky Gomez, the creator of Brown Recluse Zine Distro, a zine distributor for zines by, for, and about people of color; Bill Brown, creator of the zine “Dream Whip” and the founder of Durham’s first zine festival; Kelly Wooten, the research services and collection development librarian at Duke University’s Sallie Bingham Center who works with their expansive zine collection; and Janice Radway, a fellow at the National Humanities Center who is currently working on a book about the history of girl zines. 

Radway will be talking about her research at the center tomorrow night at 6 p.m.

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.