University of Iowa English major Kathryn Heffner presented a paper investigating early feminist science fiction fan communities at the annual Science Fiction Research Association conference in Liverpool, England. This year’s theme was “Systems and Knowledge,” which called for papers that examined the many modes of disseminating and maintaining information across Science Fiction scholarship. Heffner was placed on a panel about archival research and delivered her paper, “A Zine of Her Own: Fanzines Edited by Women,” on June 29. Her paper examines the paratext of the amateur published "little magazines" by fan communities (fanzines), which are held in the Mike Horvat and Rusty Hevelin Collection.
As a fellow for the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates program, Heffner worked with Dr. Amy Hildreth Chen and Pete Balistrieri in UI Libraries' Special Collections & University Archives to discover and investigate early science fiction fanzines. Her research examined three exemplary fanzines edited by women and argues that these material objects garner inclusivity and create visibility for female fans. Her trip was supported by the Department of English, Special Collections, the Honors Program, the Department of Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies, and a gofundme campaign.