March 26, 2008

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Posted March 26, 2008

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Author Janice Radway will give a lecture, "What are Zines? And What do Girls do with Them?" Tuesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is open to the public without charge, is part of the ongoing Women's and Gender Studies Program Distinguished Lecture series at Bucknell.

Phenomenon of zines
In her talk, Radway will explore the phenomenon of zines since the late 1980s, including the various definitions of a zine, asking, "Are they magazines, fanzines, little magazines, or small books? Are they unique works of art, underground publications, part of the radical press – or something else?

"How do definitions constrain our efforts to understand what zines have meant to all those young people involved in creating them, reviewing them, mailing them, and exchanging them with others through the '80s and '90s? Why should we care?
"This lecture seeks to explore these questions by focusing on the social practices and performances engaged in by girls during the 1990s when many turned to the process of zine-ing as a way to think critically about their daily lives as well as about the shape of the future," said Radway, who suggests that it is just as important to attend to the social relations enacted through zine-ing as it is to take account of the form and content of individual zines themselves.

Duke University professor of literature
Radway is Frances Fox Professor of Literature at Duke University. Previously she taught at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also served as editor of American Quarterly.

She is the author of Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature, and the recently published A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Middle Class Desire.

Radway is working on the history of the book in the United States in the 20th century (with Carl Kaestle) as part of the American Antiquarian Society's collaborative project on the history of the book.

Her research interests are in the history of literacy and reading in the United States, particularly as they bear on the lives of women.

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