Photo by Grace Dawson. Caption: (from left to right) Hannah Hounsell and Sofia Karlsson creating a zine in the Co-Lab.

It’s Zine Week at the CoLab!

By Grace Dawson
gad1009@plymouth.edu

As soon as you step into the CoLab, colors and creativity abound. And from January 24th to January 31st, the CoLab, located in Lamson 003, has opened a “zine-ified,” even-more-colorful space which is available 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. As of this print, Friday is the final day, and the staff encourages all students to check it out!

The inspiration for this project was based on another project, the Cluster Pedagogy Learning Community (CPLC), which has been running for almost a year. “Zine Week is an event designed to engage faculty and staff— and some students– in communication about teaching and learning,” said Dr. Robin DeRosa, director of the Open Learning and Teaching Collaborative. The project was created by mostly faculty and staff, as well as some student members of the CPLC, focusing on open education and project-based learning.

“Zine Week will involve creating art based on one of the chapters in the collection,” said DeRosa. Students and faculty not already involved in the CPLC are invited, along with CPLC members, to choose a chapter from the collection and “ARTIFY it,” in DeRosa’s words. The art will then be published with the chapters. “It’s just a fun way for folks to engage with the ideas of the collection while hanging out in the CoLab and thinking creatively about pedagogy,” DeRosa said.

“Zine Week is an event designed to engage faculty and staff— and some students– in communication about teaching and learning.”

Dr. Robin DeRosa

Professor Matthew Cheney, a member of the CoLab who also worked on several environmental zines in college, was enthusiastic about the project. “I think Martha Burtis, our Learning Developer, and I were most excited about it because it took us back to our college years when there were zines,” he said.

Not only does Cheney enjoy the nostalgia of zines, but he also values the way they force people to think about how their work affects others, particularly in a culture where the online world is so highly valued. “It’s a way of thinking about how we do work and then bring it out to the public…we do so much of our work online in the CoLab,” he said, “what would it be like to go offline, and what advantages and disadvantages are there?” Of course, the classic disadvantage to zines is distribution. “It’s so much easier to reach people online,” Cheney said, going on to mention that they’re usually given to friends, put in indie bookshops, or handed out in public places. “This was always the interesting thing about zines…they never were distributed in an ‘ordinary’ way.”

Cheney also mentioned that it brings a tactile element to education. “It’s fun to just work with your hands,” he describes it as tactile, “it’s cutting and pasting and photocopying…[zines] were all so weird and different and unique that we wanted to capture some .” For additional information about the CPLC, go to https://colab.plymouthcreate.net/cplc/, and check out the collection at https://cluster-learning-at-plymouth-state.press.plymouth.edu/