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Zines@Douglas: Zines in the Classroom

Zines at the Douglas College Library, Zine resources for faculty and distros Zinesters

ZINES in the Classroom

Over the last few years, the Douglas College Library Zine collection has been used by several faculty in various ways.  In courses as an allowed primary source or assigned as a graded project where students create a zine on a topic, as a workshop to explore issues and create a voice for individual and collective experiences.   

Douglas College Faculty using Zines in the classroom

Here are a few Douglas faculty that have used Zines pedagogically in their courses or as transformative learning.  If you are interested in using Zines in the classroom connect with one of these faculty members who have already done it or book an appointment with a Librarian to learn more about the Douglas College Zine Collection.  If you are faculty who have used Zines in your courses please contact Gretchen at to be added to this exciting new area of the Zine library guide. 

Anthropology / Gender Studies Women Studies (GSWS)

Jaime Yard (Anthropology)

“I started using and making zines in my classes with students to encourage creative exploration of difficult ideas.  I love the DIY ethic and zines tend to present issues in a personal and direct way that resonates with students and invites them to do the same.  It’s a great opening to exploring questions of validity and reliability of information contained in different kinds of publications with students.” -- Jaime Yard

Jaime has used Zines and created Zine assignments for groups of students or individuals in the following classes.  

DACS (Disability and Community Studies)

Lisa Hansen, (Applied Community Studies) - DACS

ELLA (English Language Learning and Acquisitions)

Tina Fusco

ELLA instructor, Tina Fusco, used zines in her ELLA 0120 course (S2023) to explore perspectives of Canadian culture through the voices of her recent immigrant and international students.  The zine project allowed these students to broaden the college community student voice.  Created in class this collaborative class zine prompted students to share their experiences of coming to Canada.  


Amber Dawn.  (2019). From rants to love letters: sex worker zines tell many truthsBroken Pencil84, 13-18. 

  • In this article Amber recounts the need for zines for marginalized voices in the sex worker industry.  In her own words, "In the spring of 2006,  I was hired by AIDS Vancouver to coordinate a zine with male and trans spectrum sex workers in the Vancouver area. I hadn't seen a sex worker-authored zine before, but, as a full-service sex worker during a largely pre-social media age, zines as communication immediately made sense to me."

GSWS (Gender Studies Women Studies)

Sally Mennill (Gender Studies Women Studies / History)

In Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies (GSWS 1101-01) Sally's class collaborated and created this zine.  

In Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies (GSWS 1101-02) Sally's class collaborated and crated this zine.  

Paynter, Sarah (GSWS/Geography)

  • Sarah created a Zine matrix for her recent zine class assignment.  Located at bottom of this page.

Language Literature and Performing Arts

Janice Sestan (Communications / Global Citizenship Instructor)

  • Used zines in her GLGC 1101 course. "The students in Global Citizenship tend to be passionate about advocacy and social justice topics that they learn through the topic of UN SDGs, which is why I developed a zine assignment as part of the SDG Open Pedagogy Fellowship to deploy in this course".  -- Janice Sestan.


Jakub Bukowicz (Sociology)

  • Sociology 1100.  For many years Jakub has utilized the DC library Zine collective and integrated these independent perspectives in his Sociology courses.  

Lisa Smith (Sociology)

"As an instructor in sociology, I have found many ways to integrate zines into course content. I want my students to feel comfortable and confident reading academic readings, but I also want them to know about the people behind the topics we are learning about and see the connection to the 'real world'. I assign zines as course materials alongside other readings, to highlight the amazing work of grassroots activists to advance social justice and share examples of on-the-ground and experiential knowledge. Diversifying course content by drawing on alternative publications, models for students that knowledge comes in many forms. As a course assignment, zines provide an outside the box assessment style that centers diverse learning styles and skills sets. Finally, working with zines during in-class discussion activities can provide a powerful jumping off point for dialogue and discussion around knowledge sharing formats from physical to digital. We are so lucky at Douglas College to have access to the zine collection and as it grows so too do the possibilities for integrating into the courses we teach!" -- Lisa Smith (Sociology)

Why and How to Use Zines


  • Zines are primary sources 
  • Zines are often written by marginalized voices and these points of view may not represented in peer reviewed, scholarly publishing or mainstream media
  • Zines used as sources provide students with the opportunity to compare these perspectives and expressions of topics with their other research and peer reviewed sources which provides the ability to deeply engage with independent ideas. 
  • Students enjoy and engage with the process of expressing their ideas about important issues in a zine format


  • Browse the in house Zine collections in the library at either campus locations, you may find Zines on topics that you cover in your course/s.  If you find a zine that relates well to your course curriculum, refer them to your students to read.  Many of the zines are online for free and can be Googled to find online copies.  

  • You can assign zines to be read just you would other types of sources for your course.  The library can even put specific Zines on course reserves for you.

  • Allow your students to use zines as alternate material as part of understanding their research.  Allow them to cite the zine in their essay and add to their bibliographies and Works Cited.  How to cite a zine is in this guide.

  • Create an assignment where students create a zine as group project or as an individual project.  Don't forget to get your student/s to donate their print zine to the library zine collection! or submit their ezine to DOOR (Douglas College Open Repository).  Permissions will be needed but information is available on the welcome page of this guide.

  • Ask for a zine library class or workshop where students can learn about zines and make their own.   Contact the library zine team at for more information.  

Academic Libraries with Zine Collections

University of British Columbia (Xwi7xwa Library Guide) 

Zines created by Indigenous voices.    

Emily Carr University of Art + Design 

The ECU Library has a small but growing collection of zines that are located in the Special Collections Room on the first floor.  The purpose of the collection is to inspire and empower students to create and share their zines, and to provide examples of self-published works.

Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) Zine Library

an ever-growing collection of zines created to inspire, educate and entertain, to encourage collaboration between OCAD University students and to open up the world of zines for readers and creators everywhere! The collection is organized according to the following subjects: Art, Comics, Information/DIY, Music, Poetry, Politics, Queer, and Stories. The collection is currently located in the Learning Zone and open to visits from the general public."

Seneca Library 

The zine collection launch was held on January 22 in the Seneca@York library.  For the past few months, the School of Creative Arts and Animation, the Independent Illustration program and Seneca Libraries have been working together to launch a new Zine collection at Seneca@York Library.  The library’s collection of 140 titles includes a mix of purchased works as well as zines created by Seneca students.  This collection will continue to grow through ongoing donations from Seneca students, both individual works and group-created zines.

Barnard College Zine Library

"Barnard's zines are written by women (cis- and transgender) with an emphasis on zines by women of color. We collect zines on feminism and femme identity by people of all genders. The zines are personal and political publications on activism, anarchism, body image, third wave feminism, gender, parenting, queer community, riot grrrl, sexual assault, trans experience, and other topics."

Brooklyn College Zine Library

"Brooklyn College Library collects "zines about life in Brooklyn, as well as zines that have relevance for student interests, or the curriculum of Brooklyn College."

DePaul University Zine Collection

"This collection consists of zines published primarily within the Midwest, and welcomes current submissions from this geographic region."

Bingham Center (at Duke University) Zine Collection

"The Bingham Center's collection of zines created by women, girls, and women-identified people began when Sarah Dyer gave her collection of over 1,000 zines in the year 2000. Dyer collected zines for her Action Girl Newsletter, a networking publication for women’s comics and zines."

Zine Assignment Matrix