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This is part of a series of events presenting research on small press publications, raising questions for contemporary and future publications.

Programme (to be confirmed)

10.00-10.05 Welcome address

by Prof. Sharon Morris, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL and Prof. Clare Lees, Director of the Institute of English Studies, SAS.

Session 1:

10.15 – 11.45: QUEER READING GROUP: hybrid and public online event

Organised and hosted by artist and lecturer, Chester Tenneson, MMU, whose artwork and research focusses on trans masculine and Queer perspectives in art and pedagogy.

Chester Tenneson will bring together a group of students from Manchester School of Art to focus upon key LGBTQIA+ texts, discussing language and Queerness, reclamation and empowerment. 



David J. Getsy | Queer Art and Transgender Art Essays

11.45-12noon break

Session 2:

12noon - 12.45:  Recorded/live Tour of Manchester Poetry Lib. with Special collections

12.45 - 1.30: lunch break 

Session 3 :

1.30 - 3pm: ZINES: IN/OUT: THE INSTITUTIONAL DILEMMA:  Zine Libraries and Collections online panel discussion

Co-curated by Leila Kassir and Tansy Barton, Senate House Library, and Prof. Clare Lees, IES, SAS. Chair: Kirsty Fife, researcher into digital information and curating, MMU.


"the material itself, so beautifully and wonderfully varied, is often weird, ephemeral, magical, dangerous, and emotional..." from the Zine Librarians Code of Ethics, Preamble, 2015

As institutions, libraries and archives follow sets of rules for access, development, and description of their collections. Increasingly, libraries and archives are collecting zines - do-it-yourself, short-run publications created and distributed outside mainstream channels. This panel is made up of library and archive workers who have developed and organised zine collections in a range of institutions. The session will have four short presentations followed by discussion and will consider the ethics, challenges, and joys of zines in library and archive settings.


Holly Casio (she/her) and Kyle Gibbens (he/they) co-founders of the Queer Zine Library

Nicola Cook, Wellcome Library

Tavian Hunter, Stuart Hall Library at Iniva


Nicola Cook (she/her), Librarian, Wellcome Collection. I'm part of a team called Collections Information where I primarily catalogue and classify all formats of library material, and analyse and improve our metadata for increased discoverability and access. In 2017, I founded Wellcome's zine collection (officially launched in 2018) which primarily covers subjects like health, illness and the human condition. We’ve just surpassed cataloguing our 1000th zine, and you can browse our titles online

Kirsty Fife (they/them) is a Lecturer in Digital Information and Curatorial Practice in the Department of Information, Languages and Communications at Manchester Metropolitan University. They recently completed a PhD study exploring methods for documenting and archiving UK-based DIY music spaces at UCL. Before returning to academia they worked as an archivist for organisations including the National Science and Media Museum and the Parliamentary Archives. Outside of professional work they are active as a zine maker, musician and cultural organiser in UK DIY cultures.


Twitter: @diyarchivist

Queer Zine Library is a UK based diy mobile library sharing radical LGBTQIA+ self-publishing. The mobile library has over 1000+ queer zines, pamphlets, and comics and is catalogued and curated by the QZL collective. The collection is due to start its new UK tour at the end of October.


Instagram: @queerzinelibrary

3.00 - 3.15 break 

3.15 - 5.00: Zine making workshop: hybrid online public event

Chester Tenneson will be holding a zine workshop in the afternoon session at the Poetry Library and via Zoom, bringing together students from Manchester School of Art and Slade School of Fine Art, who have interest in language and Queerness. The focus of the session will be looking at the language of empowerment, gender euphoria and pride as protest. Activities will centre around writing exercises and exploration of material and form within zine making.

5pm: Closing remarks and information on future events

Clare Lees and Sharon Morris (performance reading tbc) summing up the day and providing an introduction to Spineless Wonders future events.

Unless stated otherwise, all our events are free of charge and anyone interested in the topic is welcome to attend. Registration is required for all events.