Skip to Main Content

WMST3535: Feminist Media Praxis

This guide accompanies library research instruction and an introduction to zines and zine making for Alex Juhasz's Media Praxis class at Barnard College, Fall 2023. Guide by WGSS librarian Liam Adler and zine librarian Jenna Freedman.

Zines Are

zine page excerpt that reads, "What is a Zine? * My definition: 'For me a zine is not just a self-made and self-published booklet but it is also situated within DIY culture. This means it is non-profit, non-commerical, low-budget, and non-competitive. Topics and styles can vary but it's important that zines remain accessible, both to readers (everyone can afford to buy or trade them) and to writers (everyone can make them). Zines don't exist as little paper islands but they are connected and blossom within a mutually supportive zine community."

Nijsten, Nina. Scissors & Chainsaws No. 2 : Diary Comic Zine Made in July 2020 During International Zine Month. Gent, Belgium: Nina Nijsten, 2020.

Zine Examples

Zine Library

Welcome to the Barnard Zine Library!

The Barnard Zine Library is part of the Barnard Library and Academic Information Services (BLAIS) in the Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning at Barnard College, Columbia University. The zines are described in the library catalog we share with Columbia University Libraries (CUL), CLIO.

photo of the barnard zine library stacks

Barnard's zines reflect the Barnard College student population with regard to gender. We have zines by women, nonbinary people, and trans men, with a collection emphasis on zines by women of color and a newer effort to acquire more zines by trans women. We collect zines on feminism and femme identity by people of all genders. The zines are personal and political publications on a wide range of topics, broadly addressing gender, feminisms, identities, political activism, and popular culture. Frequent topics include, for example, teenage girlhoods, punk cultures, COVID-19, riot grrrl, LGBTQIA experiences, BIPOC identities, travel, comics, physical and mental health, body image, gender nonconformity, discrimination, DIY and crafting, cooking, friendship, and much more. Our zines are at the lower end of the production level scale and typically cost $10 or less, with most of them in the $1-$5 range.

Our zines are cataloged in CLIO.

We have a zine club that makes a compilation zine every semester. The zine club been led by BIPOC and other students continuously since 2010.

Zine Elements

We have a Collage Corner in the Zine Library & Zine Kits that can be checked out.


color * construction paper * relief print * parchment paper


staples * sewing * stab * pamphlet * paper types * materials


illustrations * fair use/copyright * photographs * typography/handwriting * backgrounds


Essay * Poem * Review * Drawing * Collage * Personality Quiz * Crossword Puzzle * Playlist * Top Ten List * Likes/Dislikes * How To * Comic * Rant * Blank Space * Art * Handwriting * Typewriting * Design Software * Stick Figures

Metadata: author, title, publication location, publication date, freedoms and restrictions


personal * political * art * literary * split * compilation * minicomics * DIY


  • You can access the Adobe Creative Suite in the Media Post-Production Lab in MLC 105. Many zine library, Media Center, and Design Center staffers have expertise with Adobe CS applications
  • Google Presentations are surprisingly good for zine making. Be sure to change the page dimensions to a portrait style (e.g., 5.5x8.5) instead of landscape
  • If you insist on using Canva, use your own designs and graphics, or your zine might resemble other Canva-designed zines more closely than you intend

Pro Tips

  • For a half size zine (the size of a piece of printer paper folded in half), the zine's number of pages must be divisible by 4. For a quarter size zine, the  number of pages must be divisible by 8
  • Leave a 1/4" margin around your pages
  • Remember your zine will be copied or scanned, so light text and images may not reproduce well
  • You do you