This sketch prompts you to think about ethical research practices that pay attention to collaboration as both a strength and foundation. The sketch, created by Jessica Caporusso, Baldeep Kaur Grewal, and Markus Rudolfi as part of the 6S research methods working group is used here with their permission for use as part of the 6S 2021 workshop.
Fanzines or “zines,” as they are more colloquially known, first originated in the 1930s craft scenes. Created by science-fiction enthusiasts and fans, these small-circulation, self-published zines took on do-it-yourself (DIY) aesthetic that pushed back against restrictive practices of commercial publishing houses. In the 1970s and ‘80s, this DIY ethos expanded through the confluence of punk activist scenes and music, peaking in ‘90s feminist movements, like Riot Grrrl, which saw zines as an outlet to challenge mainstream ideologies. Zines has since grown to encompass multiple genres, while retaining two core aspects: they are at once community-centred creative works that also provide a platform for under-represented voices through self-publication.
Inspired by DIY, community-centred practices, in this sketch, participants are asked to consider the research/writing process in ways that undo the fiction of the single-authored publication. This work is also significant considering the ongoing pandemic which has highlighted the indispensability of collaborators and open exchange of ideas in any research project, be it a sociology thesis or the speedy development of vaccines. Even as we celebrate these collaborations, the question of ethics should continue to trouble our methods and the products of our research. By prioritizing ethical research practices that pay attention to collaboration as both a strength and foundation, the sketch aims to build across difference to create a meta-“zine” of doing ethical research, collaboratively.