PhD in LIS

Lingel, Jessa

Last year the note on Jessa's copy of my Winter Solstice Shout Out zine asked if she was going to make a dissertation procrastination zine. On the first page of Jessa's new zine she answers me, "Yes, Jenna. Yes, I am."

The zine cover is a a blue book, and much of the background is documentation of Jessa's journey to her doctorate. It's old school cut and paste with lots of handwriting. She shares her goal for her future life as a scholar and professor, "The way I mitigate the privilege of academic life is by believing I have an obligation to conduct research that's ethically responsible to the people I study and that's relevant to people outside academia. I also plan to be a kick ass teacher." Yes, Jessa. I believe you will!

Jessa takes us through her program from the first day, "Most of what I remember about orientation was trying to figure out who was gay and who wasn't." Queerademia! She makes the process of working one's way through a PhD program painfully clear. I used to be irritated that professors can be snooty about librarians' qualifications, in that most of us don't have a PhD and are therefore academically inferior. But you know what, the rigor of a PhD program really does teach you something. I own my lack of academic training, though I want to be clear that a PhD does not grant anyone intellectual superiority. :)

If you didn't already get this impression from the quotations I've shared, Jessa is an activist, as well as a scholar. The zine is infused with self-awareness and commitment to use her privilege for good. It's also awash in hard-won discipline triumphing (at least for the time) over snogging and grogging. The girl likes her booze, but she swore off it that last month of full-time writing (ten hours a day).

I am going to stop now instead of completely telling you everything about Jessa's zine, even though I'd like to. If you want a copy, email

Aug 13 2013