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University of Iowa News Release

March 18, 2005

'Zinester Extraordinaire' To Speak At UI Libraries

Zine expert Stephen Perkins will kick off the 2004-2005 Obermann Humanities Symposium at the University of Iowa with "No Compromise: Zines as Temporary Autonomous Zones" on Wednesday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m. in Shambaugh Auditorium in the Main Library.

Admission is free and open to the public. The lecture is part of the Obermann symposium, "Collage as Cultural Practice," which runs from March 24 to 26 at the University of Iowa. The lecture will be followed by a reception and gallery walk of the UI Libraries exhibition "Liberated Images: The Subversive Culture of Collage and Zines" in the North Exhibition Hall of the Main Library.

Perkins has been described as a "Zinester Extraordinaire." Besides creating his own zine, Box of Water, he has also reviewed other zines, organized exhibitions of assemblings and zines in his Iowa City Subspace Gallery, published a catalogue of his international zine exhibit with statements from over 300 zine editors, and collected over 3,000 zines. As a doctoral student at the University of Iowa, Perkins wrote his dissertation about zines, "Artists' Periodicals and Alternative Artists' Networks, 1963-1977." The thesis is on file in the Art Library.

Perkins is currently curator at the Lawton Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he curates extraordinary shows and teaches students the democratic spirit of making and exhibiting art. In 2000, he donated his collection of zines to the UI Libraries, which became part of the UI Libraries Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary Arts (ATCA) collection. The Periodicals and Zines Collection consists of journals, newspapers and zines dating from the 1960's. Most of these periodicals are art related or have artistic merit. It also includes periodicals concerned with music, film, poetry, politics, religion and sexual orientation. Implicit in the materials around which the program revolves is a sense of cooperation among the arts and other communication media.

Zines in the UI Libraries exhibition explore topics ranging from Dada and Surrealism to Health and Economics, as well as Zine History and Culture. In addition to the Libraries collection, zines have been provided by several local collectors and represent the local zine scene.

The lecture and gallery walk are sponsored by a University of Iowa Arts and Humanities Initiative Grant, the Department of English and the Center for the Book in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the University of Iowa Libraries. For further information, contact Rudolf Kuenzli (

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,