POC ZINE PROJECT — A response to people in the academy contacting us looking for 'research subjects'

A response to people in the academy contacting us looking for ‘research subjects’

We don’t function to serve the academy, even though several POCZP allies move between worlds in academia. If you approach us to help you with “finding” POC for your “research” - whether you are POC or not - please be respectful. 

Don’t make assumptions about what you are owed as an academic. We don’t owe you anything. And if you are only contacting us for help with your “research” and not offering any support in return, it’s already a problematic exchange.

It is your responsibility to convince us why we should take the risk of introducing you to anyone within the POCZP community for your research purposes, and to then respect our decision when we decline (or choose) to connect you with people/collectives/etc. 

There is plenty of documented history of grad students & others in the academy culture vulturing on Tumblr and elsewhere and we want nothing to do with that. 

We don’t want anything to do with that if you are white or POC, because class issues are also a huge part of the related oppressions & exploitations that arise.

We are not a research buffet. We are human beings. Come correct, please. In your inquiry to POC Zine Project, make sure to consider the following:

1) What will encourage more people to help you (both as participants and to connect you to people) is to reveal as much as possible about yourself as you feel comfortable with, i.e. related links, a bio, some background on your experience as a POC (if you are POC) and how that informs your studies and career/activist path, etc. 

2 Consider if the roles were reversed, and what sort of language would inspire you to reach out to yourself. 

3) Consider what you can offer participants in return beyond being a part of your dissertation. What’s the incentive to open up their lives for your research?

If you are bold enough to include a photo of yourself, that will definitely result in more responses. Visual cues remind people of your human side. 

A photo of yourself will make it less intimidating for folks in our community who have a bias against those in the academy for various (often legitimate) reasons. If people can identify with you, they will contact you directly. 

We are not responsible for managing your relationships or advocating on your behalf.

4) Will your dissertation be available online, and approximately when? 

5) Can POCZP archive a print copy of it and also help share a digital version of it? 

6) Would you be willing to create a zine-version of your dissertation? We can support you in this process, if you’re interested.

7) Be nice. Remember, we don’t owe you anything. 


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  1. lifejourneyblog reblogged this from poczineproject and added:
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  6. birdrhetorics reblogged this from jarodrosello and added:
    I appreciate this critique! It’s really interesting that they suggest sending a photo of yourself. That had never...
  7. airhornoftruthandlove said: These posts are like the weird warning labels “don’t use this hair dryer while showering”… If that makes sense.
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  10. jarodrosello reblogged this from poczineproject and added:
    I love following the POC Zine Project.
  11. poczineproject posted this