Not Out of Date, but Out of Time: The Materiality of Zines and Post-digital Memory


The importance of zines – as documents of history and contemporary media – has recognisably increased in the past decade, and not only media scholars but also historians are paying closer attention to this type of alternative media. We have witnessed both the building of zine archives – digital and physical – and zines being acknowledged as historical resources. Traditionally, zines have been studied from the discursive perspective of subcultures, identities, fan objects and musical genres; therefore, the material component has been overlooked or taken as a matter of course. But with the post-digital situation, the material is more visible and reminds us of the intertwined relationship of the discursive and the material. This paper argues for the possible contribution of media theory to historical research and calls for a deeper understanding of the materiality of zines and the material networks surrounding them as well as the research environment for historians.