Professor Jessa Lingel Leads Zine-Making Workshop on Feminist Pedagogy

A New York City school teacher reflects on the experience of teaching a boys-only class about feminism. A single-mother student uses poetry to discuss the hidden struggles many people face while working toward a college degree. Graduate students reckon with how to handle the scholarly work of people who committed violence against women.

These are just three of the 14 pieces included in a new zine on feminist pedagogy, co-organized by Jessa Lingel, Assistant Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication.

“I’ve been wanting to make a zine about feminist pedagogy,” Lingel said. “Because I wanted advice on how to teach classes in a feminist way, how to bring feminist practice into the classroom.”

Each semester, the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Department (GSWS) at the University of Pennsylvania holds pedagogy seminars on a variety of topics. Last Spring, Lingel — who is also core faculty for GSWS — was asked to teach one. She suggested facilitating a collaborative zine-making workshop instead.

The first session of the two-part workshop involved brainstorming what a zine on feminist pedagogy might look like. Faculty and students from various departments and schools at Penn attended and contributed to the discussion. The group issued a call for submissions and ultimately received work from scholars at Penn and other universities as well as high school teachers, librarians, and artists.

At the second session, attendees determined which submissions would be included in the zine. Each attendee received a vote, and the group made decisions based on consensus. Lingel said one of the group’s goals was to curate a zine that was open and inclusive and featured diverse voices.

“I believe in zines as a mode of communication,” Lingel said. “Zines have a long history of giving individuals who aren’t always represented in mainstream conversations a voice.”

The zine, which includes contributions by Postdoctoral Fellow Rosemary Clark-Parsons and Dean’s Fellow Sharrona Pearl, is currently stocked at Blue Stockings, a feminist bookstore in New York City, and Wooden Shoe, an anarchist bookstore in Philadelphia. In addition, the Dallas Public Library has copies available. The zine can also be purchased directly from GSWS.

“I loved making this zine,” said Lingel. “It was one of the most fun things I did last semester.”