Browse Exhibits (12 total)

"Musings of a #Lonely Feminist": Solidarity, Dreams, Complaints, and Memories

“Who is the lonely feminist?” This is the question that begins each of the issues of the Austin-based zine, “Musings of a #Lonely Feminist”. The “lonely feminist” is a term explained throughout the zine: it is the feminist who wants so desperately to share their experiences and wants justice in gender equality, but does not know if anyone shares the same sentiments. The Feminist Action Project at the University of Texas at Austin was created to be a community for people like this. Through the Feminist Action Project, people of all sorts could come together and share their thoughts in a safe and helpful environment. From this organization came this zine, an artistic expression of those thoughts. A striking thing about zines is their rawness which adds authenticity, concerning feminism, to this zine which other resources may not have. This zine is a vulnerable and beautiful collection of poems, stories, artwork, and much more that ultimately forms a diverse record of the modern young American feminist experience.

Content Warnings: Nudity, Graphic Language, Triggers (Depression, Anxiety, Suicide, Sexual Assault, Abuse, Self-Harm, Eating Disorders, Violence).

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At the Confluence of Profit and Morality: An Examination of the American Funeral Industry in the Jessica Mitford Papers


In her 1963 exposé, The American Way of Death, Jessica Mitford explores the egregious abuses of the funeral industry in the United States. In doing so, she divulges the industry's unscrupulous business tactics designed to exploit grief as a means of maximizing profit. Examining the continued, sharp increase in the price of funeral services over the past century reveals the industry's prioritization of its rapacious pursuit of monetary gain over the emotional needs of those they are serving. In equating emotional healing with spending power, the avaricious undertaker has convinced the American public of the dollar's pecuniary catharsis: one can purchase a way out of grief. Through lavish and grandiose funeral services that beautify the deceased, it becomes possible to distance oneself from the harsh and brutal reality of death. Such an escapist attitude is a symptom of society's overemphasis on wealth which then facilitates the suppression of human emotion through the aforementioned process of beautification. Beyond this, however, the inability to provide such services implies a moral failure, suggesting that a lack of elaborate services would be to do one's deceased loved one a profound disservice. Bearing these factors in mind, this exhibit endeavors to examine not only the shift in funerary costs over time, but also the underlying causes thereof and, in doing so, aims to identify the role of money as an insufficient coping mechanism, one which alienates man from the very natural process of death. 




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Exploring the Social Inequality of Austin, Texas as Documented by Local Zine, "Canned"



In his 2014 Raw Paw Press zine, "Canned," artist Sean Morgan examines the ever-widening gaps between the Austin community's rich, poor, and the somewhere-in-between. In an honest, yet unconfrontational way, Morgan throws these discrepancies into high-relief with a dialogue that highlights prejudice and misconceptions, exclusion and inclusion, and human idiosyncrasies that transcend the social boxes that we like to invent. 


"Canned" explores the issues of socioeconomic inequality, privilege, and the decreasing affordability of Austin, Texas in the early 2010's.

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Indigenous Cartographies: Rethinking North American Spaces

Where in the world are we? Where in the world do we think we are?

If anything should be an objective and reliable source of information, maps should be. We trust maps to guide us, and to tell us where we are. However, in reality, maps are representations of the world we know, the world that holds the society in which we live - and they illustrate more about our society than its physical geograpy. 

Maps of North America show the Eurocentrism that inherent in our society. The distortion inherent to map projection enlarges white spaces and minimizes nonwhite spaces. The use of European toponyms on maps of North America communicates that the history of those spaces began with European "settlement" and not with North America's indigenous communities. In this way, maps are not so much truth as they are apocrypha. 

We do not only use maps to tell us where we are and to get where we are going. We use maps to teach our children where they are, where they live. When people think of the use of maps, generally, they think that the world becomes the map. But to the child, the map becomes the world. 

This exhibit contains some maps created by indigenous people of North America. Though the map projections are generally still distorted, the toponyms are indigenous and the territorial morphology is the design significant to a given indigenous community. These maps are still disputed and very controversial.

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Miguel Ramos Arizpe: "The Father of Federalism"


Miguel Ramos Arizpe is known in Mexican historiography as the "Father of Federalism", for his authorship of the Constitutive Act of the Mexican Federation and the Federal Constitution of the United States of Mexico in 1824. Miguel was an inhabitant of the frontier of the Spanish Empire. He was a congressman for the state of Coahuila in the Cadiz Cortes in 1811 and 1812, where he showcased beauty and riches of Nuevo Leon, Nuevo Santander, Coahuila and Texas. His genealogy can be traced back to first Basque colonizers of the Mexican North East. Miguel was an illustrated man, with liberal ideas for being a priest; he was also a philosopher and lawyer. He deeply desired to help his community prosper economically and politically, and was not afraid to propose more liberties to the Spanish Congress, even though it almost costed him his life.

              Miguel was not always so liberal, in fact, his political and religious affiliations set him more as an Ancien Regime character. In 1808 he wrote an essay named: "Demonstrations of fidelity and love towards our augustus and beloved sovereign Don Fernando VII from Borbon."  Ramos Arizpe was not wise, nor he pretended to be, he was affectionate to literature and literate science was not his strength; his intellectual genius was on knowing humanity and society.With the Napoleonic invasion of Spain, political modernity arrived to the Iberian peninsula and then to the colonies. Miguel was a leader of political modernity in Mexico, he represented the desires for justice and political-economic liberties, that inhabitants of the Mexican Northeast needed for prosperity and survival.

Pics, Jokes and Rock&Roll: Music and Subculture in Skater Zines

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This exhibit centers on three skateboarding zines. In order of appearance they are "Thing Bad #8", "Slee*Stak Issue II" and "Self Inflicted #4". Zines are home made publications, released in small runs and by virtue of their independence give an invaluable insight into raw subculture they represent. There is no regulation of its content, no corporate oversight, a zine is simply assembled, photocopied and distributed to members of the community. 

Over the past decade or so skater culture has been absorbed into the mainstream and heavily commercialized. These zines give a rare look into the raw, dissident and underrepresented side of the culture, giving a voice to ordinary citizens to express their passions, grievances, joys and humor through art. 

This exhibit is organized into five sections. The first focuses on zines, their history and what they are. The second focuses on the history of Skateboarding and skating culture, which is absolutely necessary to understanding the zines on display. Finally, the third, fourth and fifth sections focus on the zines themselves. Each is described in detail and selections of them have been digitalized for your viewing pleasure.

Although separated by location and time (the three zines were published in Washington State, California and Texas from 1996-2016) the three works on display are unified by a common subculture. This can be seen through their similar content, aesthetics and ethos. Collage, jokes, drawings, personal stories, music and photographs of skaters in action are big parts of all three zines and show how people can be brought together across decades and thousands of miles by a common passion and culture. 


I hope you enjoy exploring this exhibit as much as I enjoyed assembling it. I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Elon Lang and Elise Nacca for their patient guidance throughout the semester, and to all my classmates for answering my questions and providing help when I needed it. 


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Pilgrim's Map of the Holy Land for Biblical Research


It is difficult to know where one should begin when offering a brief explanation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For one, the history is complex and goes back for centuries, and picking a point in history from which to start the narration is difficult in and of itself. In addition, the complexity of the situation makes a “brief” explanation near impossible to offer.


For the purposes of this map, we will begin with Palestine’s shift from an Ottoman territory (pre-WWI) to a British territory (post WWI). As a brief point of clarification, nearly all who identify as Palestinians today are Arab, but not all Arabs are Palestinians. Before the Palestinian area changed hands, the British government had promised the establishment of a Jewish state in the area. At the same time, the British promised support for Arab independence during the Arab revolt. As the British administration attempted to use the area to fulfil both promises, it quickly became apparent that compromise was not going to work, and violent conflict ensued.


This map’s creation comes at a time when the crisis was coming to a crossroads. The Arab Revolt (1936-1939) was in full swing, while meanwhile, Hitler’s power was rising in Germany and pressure was increasing for the British government to make good on their promise for a Jewish state. There are multiple interpretations to the significance of this map. It is undoubtedly a manifestation of the religious significance of the area. With 111 pinpointed locations cross-referenced with their associated Biblical verses of reference and a trail that shows the journey of Jesus Christ, Pilgrim’s Map of the Holy Land offers important insight into the rich history of religion, culture, and conflict in the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

Raza Unida Party in Texas: An Introduction

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The Raza Unida Party (RUP) was a political party established in the early 1970s in Crystal City, Texas. The party was founded by José Ángle Gutiérrez and Mario Compean who had previously helped found the Mexican American Youth Organization, or MAYO. As a third political party, the RUP's goal was to serve as an alternative to the two-party system in the state. The party, focusing on the civil rights of minorities, primarily Mexican-Americans (also sometimes referred to as Chicanos), in Texas, was the first political party (and the only one to this day) in the country to have been formed by an ethnic group. 

RUP was formed as a result of the political dissatisfaction Mexican-Americans felt not only with the Republican Party, but specifically with the Democratic Party in Texas and nationwide. Thus, the RUP quickly became committed to improving the conditions of Mexican-Americans locally and throughout the country. Not only was the party dedicated to having proper representation for Mexican-Americans in politics, but members of the RUP were also committed to improving the life of their people by fighting for social, economic, educational, and political justice and equity, to name a few. 

Although the party had its roots in Crystal City, Texas, RUP quickly became popular throughout various other parts of the country. Several chapters soon began to pop up in many counties throughout the Southwest, namely in California and Colorado, in addition to those in Texas. Furthermore, although RUP was a political party founded by Mexican-Americans and focused on the rights of Mexican-Americans, they recognized the overlap between the needs of Mexican-Americans and other minorities. Thus, they encouraged anyone dedicated to the fight towards equity and representation to join. The party came to an end in 1978 after having lost several elections that year. 

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Social and Political Resistance of Public School Integration During the Civil Rights Era

"Mobilize Community Support for Complete School Integration"

In the 1954 case, Brown v. Board of Education Topeka, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that racial segregation in the public school system was "inherently unequal." The case was brought forward by Thurgood Marshall as a class action lawsuit "on behalf of black schoolchildren and their families in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and Delaware, seeking court orders to compel school districts to let blacks students attend white public schools" (McBride, 2006). According to the nine justices, segregated schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment which prohibits states from denying citizens equal protection of the laws. This ruling repudiated the "separate but equal" doctrine established by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 and legally terminated de jure segregation in public school facilities. However, it did not abolish Jim Crow laws in the south which had a significant impact on progress of school integration. 

This exhibit will focus on the aftermath of the Brown v. Board ruling in various public school districts and the work of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE),u nder James Farmer's leadership, as they pushed to integrate schools in the hostile south and oblivious north. The primary goals of this research are to highlight the experiences of the African American schoolchildren who pioneered the school desegregation movement and to describe the social and legal roadblocks which hindered successful integration of public schools during the Civil Rights Era. 



McBride, Alex, "Brown v. Board of Education," 2006. PBS.

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Sumi Ink Club Zines


In this exhibit, we will examine the ephemerality of zines and how the ideas of the Sumi Ink Club connect to it in addition to the necessity of their preservation and collection.

Zines are significant because they are created outside of the mainstream, including the idea of what makes an item "valuable." Zines often take on a form of ephemera and disappear only a few years after their inception. Like zines, Sumi Ink Club embodies the ephemeral because the club only survives so long as people continue to organize meetings. With this in mind, the addition of zines into Sumi Ink Club's distribution medium allows for existence of the club to be more widely disseminated, becoming more than just something fleeting. Therefore, collecting and preserving zines is important.

Zines are published with low budgets and self or small publishing houses to prevent run ins with censorship and copyright, allowing for them to be printed as is. Although, Sumi Ink Club reworks all their drawings, the idea is still the same. By creating collections of zines such as those by Sumi Ink Club, we can teach future generations how society has challenged and transformed the walls of censorship and the control of information by mainstream mass media. Zines can be used as educational tools to draw students into libraries. Doors of creative opportunies open as students come to libraries to work with zines, 

This exhibit illustrates ephemerality of zines and the necessity of preserving and collecting them, but we also need to examine the problems with collecting zines and why there are so few zine collections. There are only two items in the exhibit because they are the only two items catalogged in the Fine Arts Library Zine Collection by Sumi Ink Club. Although there are likely a multitude of zines by Sumi Ink Club available, they are probably not catalogged into an academic library. This is because it is quite difficult to serialize zines, deterring librarians from collecting them. Because zines are mostly self-published, or published by small publishing houses, they lack the serials that regular publications have. Collecting and organizing them is arduous, but if we understand that they do not quite fit into the library definition of serials, we can adapt procedures to accommodate zines.

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