New Zine publication: Outliers: Teaching & Learning Beyond the Norms
We are excited to announce the launch of a new “zine”, Outliers: Teaching & Learning Beyond the Norms, which aims to enrich debates and initiatives in student mental health.
In this 72-page issue, over 25 Mad, neurodivergent, and disabled students and alumni from Canada, the United States, and Belgium engaged broadly with the following questions:
- What are Mad and neurodivergent students doing to advocate, resist oppression, support each other, and/or to build community in colleges and universities?
- How are Mad and neurodivergent students influencing what is taught about mental health, addiction, and neurodiversity and the ways colleges and universities address students’ mental health needs?
- Emerging from these creative alternatives, what inspirations, provocations, and recommendations do Mad and neurodivergent students have for postsecondary learning and teaching, professors, staff, and fellow students?
- What do Mad and neurodivergent students want the future of learning and teaching to look like? What needs to change?
Titled Outliers, various meanings and experiences of being an “outlier” in post-secondary education come alive in the zine through collage, drawing, painting, photography, poetry, song, and stories on the following themes:
- Contributors discuss Mad/neurodivergent student lives and practices that stand apart from the neurotypical, such as experiences of trauma and shame, resistance, entangled body-minds, being labelled and misknown, and longing for more fluid and open identities and interpretations.
- They identify the formative ways Mad/neurodivergent students are detached and removed from belonging in post-secondary environments through the corrosion of sanism, ableism, capitalism, whiteness, and shiny stories of “inclusion” and “resilience” that silence and erase narratives of struggle.
- Authors and artists draw on Mad/neurodivergent knowledges that do not fit the dominant medical model pattern, and which are often disregarded as forms of expertise.
- They desire and describe Mad/neurodivergent student spaces of community and mutual support away from the conventional surveillance of and services for students in distress.
Often outliers are represented visually as singular, lonely examples of divergence from the “line of best fit”. The Mad Student Zine Team hopes instead that this zine draws outliers together by creating connections between Mad and neurodivergent student initiatives, documenting students’ knowledges, and encouraging further student organizing! They call on post-secondary institutions and instructors to listen by enhancing accessibility, Mad Positivity, and respect for neurodiversity in teaching and learning.
The Zine Team gratefully acknowledges funding from McMaster University (Arts Research Board; Student Success Centre’s Career Access Professional Services Program; MacPherson Institute’s Student Partners Program) and the Educational Developers Caucus.
- The first Mad Student Zine issue, This Insane Life, was published in 2014 by McMaster student members of the Hamilton Mad Students’ Collective.
- The Zine Team’s sibling zine, Dis/orientation: Navigating Accessibility in Teaching and Learning – A zine by disabled students and alumni at McMaster University, was published in 2021.