English undergrad Kathryn Heffner presents at Sci-Fi Research Association in Liverpool

Monday, July 11, 2016

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.

Heffner is an undergraduate student in the Department of English, part of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She is also a Fulbright candidate and a community zine instructor. 


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.