The Announcement of NYU’s new Riot Grrl Archive at Fales Library has brought new attention to Alison Piepmeier’s book, Girl Zines. Two blog reviews, here and here, and a great review in the Charleston City Paper:
Bringing these zines into her classroom, Piepmeier recognized their continuing popularity even in a time of blogs and social networking. When a New York University Press editor asked her if anyone had written a book on the subject, she found that nobody had. Her new book Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism unearths the phenomenon, analyzing titles like Fragments of Friendship, Grit & Glitter, and I’m So Fucking Beautiful.
Although the current crop of photocopied or self-printed zines have their direct roots in the Riot Grrrl music scene of the early ’90s (Piepmeier often refers to them as grrrl zines), she traces their ancestry through the scrapbooks of the 19th century, mimeographed pamphlets in the ’70s, and the ornate handmade packaging that some zines have been shipped in over the years to give her academic subject extra validity. “I too had fallen into the mindset that these weren’t important enough to study on their own,” she says. By placing them in a greater historical context she was able to take them seriously in their own right. “Many zines I read are incredibly thoughtful and complex,” she adds. “They’re documents of feminist and female legacy.”