Photos of honeycomb and bees have been layered into a rectangular repeating background.

Jidah Correll, Jessica Stokes, Ames Loji, and Michael Stokes “Introduction”

HIVES is an ongoing scholarly, artistic, and communal organization dedicated to developing an understanding of the ways in which matter and beings function in interdependent networks. HIVES is capitalized not because it’s an acronym, but rather to gesture toward the material reaction of bumps on skin and the physical space of a beehive. This research workshop reimagines a community space, a hive, for conversations on disability, race, and performance. Black feminist disability studies scholar Sami Schalk exhorts in Bodyminds Reimagined  “disability studies scholars to not merely include race, but to allow black feminist and critical race theory to transform the field.” In her piece, “Toward A Crip of Color Critique,” woman of color scholar Jina B. Kim moves away from a disability studies centered on a disabled subject and instead to consider disability as verb: “to take seriously disability as methodology is to take seriously this politics of refusal, to recognize disablement and racism as inextricably entangled, and to enact intellectual practices—like resistance to hyper-productivity—that honor disabled embodiment and history.”

In seeking practices of resistance and disruption, HIVES turns to the work of performers, writers, and artists drawing on disability and race, as well as their entanglements, to transform fields and imagine otherwise.

In this second volume of the Buzz-Zine, the HIVES Research Workshop and Speaker Series on disability, race, and performance welcomed submissions that reimagine practices of community and kinship and think through the ways forces of globalization and coloniality interact with disability, race, and performance. We sought submissions that resist, reimagine, and re-shape conversations on race, disability, and their overlaps through performance or through practices of refusal. In Black Madness::Mad Blackness, Therí A. Pickens notes how “disability functions as a social structure that by virtue of ableist reliance on pity and sympathy determines who gets to belong to the category of disabled and whose experience of illness can be validated in the public sphere” (Pickens 9). Following Kim and Pickens, Buzz-Zine Volume 2 is sharing how artists, activists, and scholars take up crip methodologies as necessary practices of remaking.

The contributors to Buzz-Zine Volume II have engaged in this work across a diverse range of mediums, disciplines, and perspectives. Together, their work invites meditation on the elements of subjectivity that transcend the discursively drawn borders of nations, cultures, and language. Many of the pieces in this volume have roots in intensely personal experiences of existing as a disabled person in the 21st century but grow branches that connect to the structural forces that bind us–capitalism, globalization, colonialism, racialization, and more. Together, within this volume, our contributors converse with and challenge both one another and those who engage with the zine. The collectivity within and between these pieces refuses any notion of disability as a purely individual experience, while also honoring the personal subjectivities that it does contain, ultimately remaking the dynamic where collectivity and individuality collide.

Zines and Process

Zines have historically been cheap and easy to produce/circulate increasing the accessibility of this type of independent publishing. However, they’ve often lacked image descriptions and lacked a multiplicity of formats thus limiting accessibility. With the Buzz-Zine, HIVES is working to increase access through digital cross-publishing and attention to multiple modes of engaging with creative and scholarly work. Early zines were a way for fans of science fiction to rank favorite stories, to propagate fan theories, and to form social groups; however, they also served gatekeeping functions, upholding some (white, male) voices and silencing others.  In the decades since the first sf zines, new movements and publications have made space for people whose ideas and voices have been suppressed in their subcultures (e.g. Riot Grrrl zines that pushed back against the “male-driven punk world of the past”). 

In the Buzz-Zine, we’ve gathered a hive of scholarship/poetics/art that challenges the boundaries and definitions of the zine while reimagining accessibility and community. The Buzz-Zine is a radically accessible zine that straddles material form and digital humanities. In its many incarnations, the Buzz-Zine continues to spread online, by mail through paper copies, in MSU’s special collections as both a paper copy and as a braille two-volume set, and will be featured in the forthcoming exhibition: Creativity in the Time of Covid 19, made possible by a Mellon Just Futures Grant. Volume 2 of the Buzz-Zine brings together scholars, musicians, videographers, and artists from multiple continents. 

This edition was curated, designed, and edited by Jidah Correll, Jessica Stokes, Ames Loji, and Michael Stokes.

This zine was made possible through an interdependent network of supporters, including but certainly not limited to Michigan State University’s English Department, a Michigan State University Creating Inclusive Excellence Grant, and support from the Creativity in the Time of Covid 19 Grant. If you are curious about what HIVES is, does, and will do: visit behives.org

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