Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)



First Advisor

Granville Ganter

Second Advisor

Steven Alvarez

Third Advisor

Jennifer Travis


This dissertation looks at the creation of both a literal and figurative clubhouse created by women, for women, through alternative publishing endeavors, including pamphlets, zines, and blogs, as women patchworked a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) feminism from the mid-20th century through today. I discuss alternative media utilized by marginalized, radical feminist groups and the application of newly-discovered feminist rhetoric throughout. I begin with an overview of feminist literacy and rhetoric, leading to a discussion of the pamphlets of the Women’s Movement in the 1960s. This sets the stage for the zines of the next generation, the 1980s and 1990s, in which women once again figuratively and literally copy and paste images and text, creating self-published pamphlets for dissemination among like-minded women, creating, in effect, a virtual clubhouse. I conclude with a discussion of the feminist blogosphere as it stands today, as a new iteration of ephemeral media and DIY feminism. My conclusions include the importance of the use of alternative medias throughout American feminism to engage in a participatory type of meaning-making for women, who were and are typically marginalized and often excluded from mainstream media.

I examine alternative media publication as a means of creating a place and a space for (almost) any woman to express herself, in any way she sees appropriate, necessary, or appealing. Building on decades of research into alternative media and marginalized discourse, this dissertation seeks to underscore and expand upon the production of alternative media during the recent waves of feminism. Women’s blogging offers more opportunities than ever before for networking, profit, society, politics, and activism. Both the DIY aspect of zine culture and the new methods of communication and languaging that have sustained a rhetoric of inclusion that is carried across generations.