Olivia Wright


This paper examines the under-researched and undervalued area of American women’s prison zines. It discusses three publications created at the California Institute for Women, Frontera, during the 1970s, placing them in the wider contexts of prison reform and the women’s movement. Through close analysis, it demonstrates the influences of, and connections to, the feminist print culture at the time and how groups such as the Santa Cruz Women’s Prison Project enabled their publication and influenced their ideology. Examining women’s prison zines can contribute to conversations about women’s liberation by offering new perspectives on what I call ‘collective autobiography’, and giving voice to an obscured and forgotten community of women.

Author Biography

Olivia Wright is a Midlands3Cities-funded PhD student in the American and Canadian Studies Department at the University of Nottingham, researching women’s prison zines in America.