Upcoming zine workshop helps to promote social justice at Washburn

A handmade tale: Zines come in a variety of sizes and topics, as evidenced by this small collection found in the Colorado College Tutt Library.

Charles Rankin

Achieving social justice might seem like a daunting task, but one faculty member at Washburn is hoping to help students take a step in the right direction by creating something real and tangible.

Dennis Etzel, English lecturer, is leading a zine workshop 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Feb. 22 in the Art Lab at the Mulvane Art Museum.

Students who attend will have the opportunity to begin work on their own zine, and to give voice to a social justice cause they care about.

According to Etzel, “zine” is a slang term for a homemade magazine. He said that this is a beneficial format to use to help pursue social justice.

“They are an inexpensive way to get one’s message out,” Etzel said. “It’s quite a trend now.”

Etzel’s inspiration was a similar project at the University of Central Arkansas and he is using the same template. The project’s website gives a broad example of what a zine can be.

“Zines can be comics, stories, recipes, drawings, poetry, essays, interviews, diary entries, or anything else you can imagine,” the site says. “Zines are reproduced inexpensively (typically photocopied) and shared to help raise awareness to a cause or simply to shed light on important issues of the times.”

Etzel is hoping that everyone attending will be able to leave with a template for a zine, as well as other zines.

“In this case, it [will be] made with one sheet of paper making eight pages,” Etzel said.

This isn’t the first time Etzel has used literature and art to help with social justice causes and it is not planned to be his last. He serves as the faculty advisor for Hope Through Headphones, an organization that uses music to help promote mental health.

Later this semester, Etzel will be working with Jericho Hockett, assistant professor of psychology, to edit a book of poems speaking out against serial assault, which will be released in April.

Etzel is excited for the zine project and is hopeful it will be  beneficial to the community.

“I hope [they] can come to see a kind of DIY way to create a book that holds the power of a voice for social activism,” Etzel said.