Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture

Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture

Paperback Zinester's Guide

By (author) Stephen Duncombe

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  • Publisher: Microcosm Publishing
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 178mm x 18mm | 658g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Bloomington, IN
  • ISBN 10: 1934620378
  • ISBN 13: 9781934620373
  • Edition: 2
  • Edition statement: Second Edition, Second edition
  • Illustrations note: 30 b/w illustrations
  • Sales rank: 188,263

Product description

Much history and theory is uncovered here in the first comprehensive study of zine publishing. From their origins in early 20th century science fiction cults, their more proximate roots in '60s counter-culture and their rapid proliferation in the wake of punk rock, Stephen Duncombe pays full due to the political importance of zines as a vital network of popular culture. He also analyzes how zines measure up to their utopian and escapist outlook in achieving fundamental social change. Packed with extracts and illustrations, he provides a useful overview of the contemporary underground in all its splendor and misery.

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Author information

Stephen Duncombe is an associate professor at New York University's Gallatin School and a lifelong political activist. He lives in New York City.

Review quote

"Here is an extensive analysis and critique of the zine as a whole by a professor, activist, and zine maker himself. Originally published in 1997, it gives many references to the broad world of zines at the time and even dating back to the 1930s. All subject remains timeless in effect and Duncombe espouses on each careful selection as it relates to the subject he is tackling. As a former self-publisher and now contributor, I never gave much thought to the history. For example, originating in the sci-fi world, the zine was birthed as a means to connect with like minded people to share ideas about stories read in glossier magazines, and even to self publish their own. The anti-consumerist nature of DIY publishing is a rebellion in itself and yet has a major craving for connection at the same time. Duncombe delves into this oxymoron and raises the questions: do zines make the difference it set out to do? Can they actually effect social change or rather implode in it's underground world? He sites arguments for both, afterall he IS part of it himself. These are all important queries that raised my eyebrows and had me pondering the broader effect of zines on our culture and society as large. Recommended." --Profance Existance