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How to Topple the White, Upper Class Patriarchy in Higher Education with a Piece of Paper

This guide accompanies a workshop delivered by Zine Librarian Jenna Freedman and Zine Assistant Ren Huang BC '22 at Barnard College's Summer Pedagogy Symposium, July 2020.

Make a Zine

cover of the zine This Cat Will Eat Your DocumentsBrainstorm a Zine Unit or Zine Syllabus

Visual syllabus example.

Is the assignment around zine-making or studying zines? Or both?

Zine Making

Today we're making quarter size zines. The layout may mess with your head. That's okay; breaking your brain while making a quarter size zine is a rite of passage!

Suggested Themes

  • A class you're teaching
  • A unit in a class
  • An element of a class, e.g. a book, a skill
  • Course objective
  • How it feels to be you, right here, right now


psst--you can sign into Adobe with your Barnard or Columbia email address and get access to all of their products for free

With help from Milo Miller, famed QZAP co-founder, I've developed a zine template for myself for making a quarter-size zine that's eight pages long in InDesign. (This is not a template for a one-page folded zine. Those are easy to find.)

indd file

pdf file

docx file

[/new conten]


Something that symbolizes the course/unit OR a mind map of the course/unit

Page 2

  • Introduce your zine (pro-tip: you might want to do this at the end, so you know what you're introducing)
  • Metadata: contextualize for the reader
    • Author
    • Date
    • Publication location
    • Contact information
  • Freedoms and restrictions
    • Do you want to claim copyright?
    • Assign a CC license?
    • Reject copyright?
    • Control digital reproduction?
  • The required or repetitive stuff, like the honor code: consider using a QR code
Page 3

Rant, manifesto, I statements: why this course/unit matters

Page 4 (left side of centerfold)

Cartoon, sketch, art, doodles (be bold! draw stick figures!)

Page 5 (right side of centerfold)

Up to you!

Page 6

Pencil game: maze, crossword puzzle, word finder, quiz, survey, matching

Page 7

Recipe (could be literally about food, or it could be "how to get an A."

Back Cover (8)

Credits, playlist, reviews or recommendations

Another pro-tip: number your pages. This will help when you are assembling your zines.

Zine Elements

zine cover: Quechualish. Title in a pink banner over a sky with birds.Covers

color * construction paper * relief print * acetate


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

Pro Tips

  • 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