Information, Medium & Society – The Publishing Studies Research Network International Award for Excellence

An annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the Information, Medium & Society – The Publishing Studies Research Network.

Award Winner for Volume 18

Are You Okay?: Mental Health Narratives in Art Zines from the Zineopolis Collection

This article explores art zines that contain visual narratives about mental health from this special collection. It questions how visual narratives about issues such as general anxiety disorder, burnout, and post-traumatic stress disorder can communicate to a reader through art zines. It will consider authorial illustration within self-publishing and how personal stories can be shared in an ultimately positive context. Well-being has become a particular focus for higher education in the UK with many students struggling with anxiety and depression. Art zines have an immediacy and democracy of production that means more stories can be shared beyond what is available in the mainstream. Ethical issues of circulating these art zines within a collection is also commented upon. Mental health issues have often been portrayed though the popular media unsympathetically creating stigma, whereas these selected art zines show care and understanding offering an alternative narrative.


Dr Jackie Batey is Senior Lecturer in Illustration, an internationally recognised academic researcher and practitioner at the University of Portsmouth, UK. Her primary research in Creative Practice consists of a 20-year corpus of independently-published artists’ books and art-zines. Her construction of Zineapolis, a field-defining digital research and dissemination platform for the genre, has increased the participation and visibility of non-academic artists. In her writings and lectures she has been a major voice in defining the genre of the 'art-zine'. She has shown how zines can reveal visual narratives often from voices that usually remain unheard. She is particularly focussed on what we can learn from visual narratives about lived-experiences concerning mental health. She is currently engaged in researching Authorial-Curation, where practice and research inform each other in the construction of a visual archive. Her research methods include drawing, printing, photography, collage and scribbling with felt-tips. Her own art-zines are regularly shown nationally and internationally. Examples of her work are held in many special collections, including Tate Britain, Yale Collection of British Art, Getty Institute, The V&A Museum and The British Library. Dr Batey’s research has led directly to curatorial engagement with world-leading institutions and has significantly influenced the scope of their permanent collections. Her art-zines are held in over 89 national and international Museums, Archives and Art Institutions.

Past Award Winners

Volume 17

The Beetle and the Bard: Aspects of 17th Century Printing Practice as Illustrated by the Works of Thomas Moffet and William Shakespeare

Alexandra Alvis, The International Journal of the Book, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp. 15-28


Volume 16

Could the Digital Option Work for a Book Market under Stress?: The Case of Greek Publishers

Anna Karakatsouli, The International Journal of the Book, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp. 1-11


Volume 15

Ben Lerner and the Novel in the Age of Digital Media

Denise Rose Hansen, The International Journal of the Book, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp. 11-21


Volume 14

Christine de Pizan and Emily Dickinson: Feminine Power through Textual Production

Keith Kopka, The International Journal of the Book, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp. 23-39


Volume 8

A Codicology of the Interface: Reading Practices and Digital Reading Environments

Voytek Bialkowski, The International Journal of the Book, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp.101–106


Volume 7

Peer Review and the Revolutionary Academic: A Kuhnian Critique

Adam Riggio, The International Journal of the Book, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.9–16


Volume 6

Innovation and the Future of e-Books

John W. Warren, The International Journal of the Book, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.83–94