Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban Studies


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Ward, Martha

Second Advisor

Ehrenfeucht, Renia

Third Advisor

Piano, Doreen


Zines are small circulation media that amateurs make and distribute. Inspired by both the lack of ethnographic research on the do-it-yourself (DIY) culture of zine-making in urban studies and the growing interest in ethnographically oriented research in literacy studies, rhetoric, and linguistics this research explores the people, places, and practices behind zine publication in New Orleans, Louisiana through participant observation at two specialized loci—the Iron Rail and punk shows—as well as semi-structured interviews with people who make, distribute, and consume zines. This research argues that zine-makers use zines to reinterpret urban space in search of an authentic relationship with the city. They then share these interpretations with others who participate in DIY punk culture. In doing so, zine-makers refuse conventional rules developed for classroom literacy and resist capitalism in their zines' content and in their methods of publishing by both building on local knowledge and opposing corporate media.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.