Zine Assignment

This semester your explorations of the single story concept will culminate in a zine that you create! You can jump to find specific information about this project through the following links:


What is a zine?

What do I need to include in my zine?

How long does my zine need to be?

How do I create my zine?

How do I submit my zine?

How will my zine be graded?

Zine project checklist

Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this zine project is to 

  • continue emphasizing comprehension of key themes in our class: single stories, identity categories, hierarchies of power and privilege, and the relationship between individuals and structures. 
  • better understand the links between our individual experiences and social-political systems and structures.
  • practice applying ideas from our class to address real-world issues
  • develop more tools for noticing, analyzing, and transforming inequalities.

Ultimately, I see your zine as a creation that helps us imagine and perhaps even start building a world that recognizes people, places, and communities as “more than a single story.” In other words, how can we work to live in a society in which we don’t create these single stories about people and identities? How can we unlearn the single stories we’ve already been told— many of which we hear over and over and over?

**NOTE** 

Your zines may be made available to the public, as with the Chapman University Women’s Studies Feminist Zine Archive, so keep this in mind when you make your zine. If you have any concerns about making it public, please let me know.

The content of zines can sometimes be explicit and discuss content that might be triggering for folks. Please use wise judgment and take caution when exploring the zines based on their titles/topics.

What is a zine? 

Learn more about zines from this short video: What Is a Zine? I also encourage you to browse through the zines in the Chapman University archive linked above and collected in the Internet Archive.

What do I need to include in my zine?

Your zine will be based on your “More Than a Single Story” journal entries. You’ll draw from what you wrote for all four journal entries to create the content for your zine. 

  • Your zine must include content about all 4 journal entries.
  • You can copy/paste content from your entries into the zine, but you don’t have to
  • It’s fine to revise what you wrote, add to what you wrote, and put the content into a different form.
  • The zine can be a mixture of words and images.

Your zine’s audience is the general public, so you need to explain ideas and topics to a person who hasn’t taken our class.

How long does my zine need to be?

The zine must be at least 8 pages: 6 pages of content plus a front  and a back cover. 

  • One page = half of an 8 ½ x 11-inch sheet of paper (a sheet of printer paper). 
  • If you take two sheets of printer paper and fold them in half, you’ll end up with eight pages: 

  1 front cover page 

+ 6 pages of content (the journal entries)

+ 1 back cover page (the back cover must include information about sources you cite)

= 8 pages (the minimum page number!)

How do I create my zine?

You create your zine in one of several formats, based on your interests, what form/medium you feel comfortable working in, and what technology you use. Regardless of the format or program you use, remember that your zine must be six pages of content, and one page = half of an 8 ½ by 11-inch piece of paper

Here are some examples:

  • You can make your zine on paper and save it as a PDF (via scanning) or image files (such as JPEGs)
    • There are free apps that you can use to create PDFs if you don’t have access to a scanner. One that I’ve used— and is relatively straightforward— is GeniusScan, but there are many others.
  • You can make your zine using a program such as Adobe Acrobat, Canva, or another graphic design program, and save it as a PDF or a file in Google Drive 
  • You can use a “slideshow” program, such as PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Prezi
  • You can use a word processing program (like Microsoft Word)

If you’d like to work in another medium or have concerns about creating the zine, please contact me or our course GA.

How do I submit my zine?

You can save your zine as a file on your desktop, as a file in your Google Drive, or through another online platform. You just need to make sure that all the content is fully accessible; you can upload a file or link to a URL when you submit it in Canvas.

The deadline for submitting your zine is Monday, May 4, 11:59 p.m.

How will my zine be graded?

We’ll use the Zine Rubric to assess your zine. Please note that your grade will not be based on your artistic or creative skills. You can let your inner artist loose and include images, drawings, and unusual formatting! You’re welcome to use software and computer programs to assist in creating your zine. But you don’t need to! 

The most important part of your zine is the content that relates to each journal entry topic.  

Please use the checklist below to ensure that you’ve included all the components of the assignment 

  • A front cover 
  • 6 pages of content (words and images) that explores the “experience” and single story/stories you focused on in your journal entries
  • A back cover 

You need to include the following items in your zine. One way to organize it is one page per item, but you can also be creative with the organization. I just need to be able to find all the required parts.

  • Your front cover includes a title (and may include other text/images)
  • Describe single stories: what is their power? How do they work? Whose “single stories tend to have more power in a given context?
  • Explain the larger systems and structures that both support the production/reproduction of these single stories and make it hard to change them.
  • Show how the intersection of multiple systems of power and privilege shapes the meaning and effect of a single story.
  • Show how we can transform single stories and/or single-story ways of thinking!
  • References to specific parts of at least 5 different course texts; at least 2 of these texts must be an essay that has a works cited section (the essays by Pem Davidson Buck and Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Hochschild’s are two examples).

— When using quotes, be sure to list the speaker’s/writer’s name

— Include the author/creator with the quote; if there isn’t an author listed, include the source’s title

  • a back cover that includes information about the sources you refer to: author/creator name(s), source title, where it’s published (such as our textbook or another website), and a URL if online

Below is the journal entries I have used for this semester. Journal entry 1 and 4 I can not access. You will have to write a journal for these and add into the zine project. We have discussed the below to give you an idea of the work.

Adichie – The Danger of a Single story Links to an external site.

Frye – Oppression.pdf

Lorde – The Master’s Tools.pdf


1.  Entry 1: reflect on the single stories: what is their power? How do they work? Whose “single stories tend to have more power in a given context?

Journal Entry 2

Stories tell us a lot about what society feels, perceives, or views certain matters whether expressly told or not. In reviewing the concept of intersectionality by Kimberlé Crenshaw about three decades ago, the term intersectionality was unknown, especially in legal matters (Hassel &Launius, 2017). She used the term intersectionality to describe how individual aspects of a lady work in tandem with one another and at times overlap and form this complex web that defines the complete person. Such factors include sexuality, gender, class, religion, status, race, and even built. Most conservatives who hold on to the historical tradition beliefs feel that the narrative is unjustified and positions some people to get special favors by virtue of their minority status. An example is that it is misconstrued by the conservatives the term places the non-white, non-heterogeneous people at the apex, and thereby they are treated as special.

In reality, the world is a complicated place because there exist rigid structures and beliefs that define people’s perceptions towards others such as superstitions, cultural norms, our own beliefs, and religious practices. Different groups are working towards oppression to maintain the status quo on how these minority groups are viewed in the general public. They believe they have the power to decide others’ fate or what is pleasant for others. They use prejudice-opinions formed on inadequate grounds, stereotypes-distorted beliefs that target certain groups negatively (Priest et al, 2018), oppression-the unjustifiable denying of personal rights to particular target groups, and privileges-according favors to certain well-connected groups at others’ expense.

People are of diverse characters and content. An example is that not all black women are illiterate and vice versa. Women can be of the same gender but their sexuality can differ a great deal. In as much as many powerful forces are working towards oppressing the minorities and maintaining the status quo, an individual/ group should work hard towards having a good perception about themselves and not what society judges.

Journal Entry 3

Intersectionality refers to that analytical ways forgetting to know or to understand how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combined to create the different modes of discrimination and also privilege. This aspect could be skin colour and appearance of a person as mentioned in Kimberley Crenshaw’s talk, bells hooks’ essay. (Overstreet & Case 2020)  Intersections of multiple structures affect the privilege and also discriminate in the following ways: People come from different social background’s and end up in a city or town that is cosmopolitan, the dominatnt group tend to overpower the few, for instance in school where the majority whites are asked not to teach the black what they know because they discriminate them on the basis of their colour. This kind of framework helps us to know how the institutions and the system of the day the way it produces the act of discrimination and also how the victims are suffering under the same for instance in Kimberley Crenshaw’s talk, bells hooks’ essay, the black skin women were undergoing this suffering where the education opportunity was not equal to all. Intersection of multiple structures in the society comes with very big lessons in today’s society for instance not all of us have the same level of understanding things, we all need each other regardless of our social backgrounds, in company’s people should be paid based on their work done and outcomes generated and not on the basis of the colour of their skin. (Settles & Jones 2020) References Overstreet, N. M., Rosenthal, L., & Case, K. A. (2020). Intersectionality as a radical framework for transforming our disciplines, social issues, and the world. Journal of Social Issues. INTERSECTIONALITY 3 Settles, I. H., Warner, L. R., Buchanan, N. T., & Jones, M. K. (2020). Understanding psychology’s resistance to intersectionality theory using a framework of epistemic exclusion and invisibility. Journal of Social Issues, 76(4), 796-813. Agénor, M. (2020). Future directions for incorporating intersectionality into quantitative population health research. American journal of public health, 110(6), 803-806.

Entry 4: transform the single story: what changes in individual/interpersonal and social/political spheres can prevent this single story from occurring?

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Joseph Mathenge

Author Since: February 25, 2021

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