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Crafting Contention: The role of zines in contesting mental health knowledge and practice

A study exploring MadZines (self-published magazines, perzines, graphic memoirs and comics about madness, distress and psychosocial disabilities).

Illustration for MadZine research project
Illustration for MadZine research project
  • Identifying how zines 'craft' specific forms of psychiatric contention (in content, form and style)
  • Investigating zine's use of humour, parody and subversion.
  • Exploring how zines can be used to resist marginalisation and pathologisation and offer alternative sources of information and support.
  • Explore the pedagogical potential of zines to transform professional and lay thinking about mental health; combat stigma, oppression and discrimination; and influence policy and practice.

  • Understand how critical approaches to mental health can be researched, understood and disseminated through zines.

  • Transform the way zines are understood, theorised, researched and utilised.

We will develop a methodology that is congruent, with zine ethics and practice. Using a Mad Studies lens, we will draw on dialogical narrative analysis and new materialism.

Project lead: Professor Helen Spandler

Researcher: Dr. Jill Anderson

PhD student: Tamsin Walker

Project illustrator, Dr. Jackie Batey (University of Portsmouth).

We are also working with individual zinesters and partner organisations.

You can follow on-going progress of the project at our MadZines blogsite

3 years: 2020-23

Twitter: @zinesmad

Instagram: Madzines

MadZines Website