Critical Approaches, Zines, and Maker Spaces

Current faculty: Sean Pessin

Description: In this course, we will craft a variety of books—some recognizable, some odd, with a range of contents. In doing so, we will learn how to use making to develop inclusive communities by amplifying the voices of our communities. 

As various disciplines have undergone their turns toward pedagogy, an emphasis on process and learning often supersedes the creation of tangible products. Discounting what is made, though, doesn’t have to be the result of process-oriented learning! So much can be learned through the action of publishing. Borrowing from the fields of publishing studies, critical making, critical design, and critical cultural theory, we will experiment with play, pedagogy, and production with experiential projects, while also considering the ethics and responsibilities of publishing works in one-off editions or in larger print runs, as a single issue or in seriation. You will make conventional zines as well as some alternative and esoteric forms. As we do so, we will also draft approaches to forming and sustaining communities with our making. 

Field Trips: We may venture out to UCLA Special Collections and Archives, BookArtsLA, Skylight Books, LAPL Octavia Lab, and 826 LA: Time Travel Mart.

Year taught: 2021