Indie media in a commercial world

About the speaker

Andi Zeisler is the co-founder and editorial/creative director of Bitch Media, a national nonprofit organization best known for publishing Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, which for 18 years has fused feminism and cultural criticism in a witty, readable quarterly publication. A longtime freelance writer, editor, and illustrator, Andi’s work has appeared in numerous periodicals and newspapers, including Ms., Mother Jones, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Utne, BUST, the Women’s Review of Books, and more. She is the coeditor of BitchFest: 10 Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and the author of Feminism and Pop Culture (Seal Press) She speaks frequently on the subject of feminism and the media at various colleges and universities.

REBEL The world of alternative magazines has always been built on aping the conventions of mainstream magazines while simultaneously rebelling against their content, but a rapidly changing media landscape means that today, there’s an ever-finer line between subversion and assimilation. This talk will look at a history of dissent in alternative publishing and consider what happens when the alternative itself becomes mainstream. As the cofounder of the magazine Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, my own path into alternative publishing will inform a look at the importance of making space for independent media in a commercial world—and underscore the assertion that print is still very much alive.

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Our bar for selling out was pretty low. If selling out was going to be defined by simply engaging with the mainstream, then we were already losing because that was exactly what we wanted to do. — Andi Zeisler

From an economic perspective, you can position yourself as an alternative, but if you're still dependent on the traditional revenue streams—that's going to complicate your ability to be truly alternative. — Andi Zeisler

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