“I don’t put my name on it, but I think you can tell it’s me.”
October 18, 2018
Mermaid doodles meet math icons in Caroline Kulczycky’s Feminist Math Zine. Horoscopes, history, experimental art, factorials — it’s all fair game.
While crafting the zine, she’s also working on an independent research project about it for a Pitt Honors Fellowship.
“I find math beautiful and elegant and thought-provoking and challenging. I wanted to do more recreational math.”
Keeping the math interesting and accessible is her biggest challenge.
“I like helping people find the intrigue. I like to show them math that’s super cool, but that they can understand. I like to problem solve, and I guess it’s just a way of problem solving.”
Want to know what number or mathematical shape you are? Caroline’s playful approach includes quizzes and horoscopes.
“I’m super spontaneous. It’s a creative outlet. I like to be funny, and I like to be interesting. Sarcastic, but not too sarcastic. I just like making people smile and say, ‘Oh that was cool.’ I like having a platform to express myself in whatever way I feel like in the moment. It’s given me creative and general confidence.”
Women mathematicians take center stage not only on the zine’s pages, but also in its framework.
“One of the frameworks of feminist pedagogy was talking about leadership, empowerment, and community as strategies for implementing feminist pedagogy for students. So I introduced another one: authenticity, to help students become better students, better people.”
Her fellowship explores how zines have used authenticity, and how she can showcase it herself.
“I’m interested in authenticity as a value. I like to get nerdy about it. My authenticity is linked with my passion for these subjects.”
Mostly, she said, her zine is just for herself.
“Authenticity also means I can do what I want, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be about feminism or math. Having control over it is a big part of authenticity.”
Well, if that isn’t authenticity and feminism in action!
“The Fellowship definitely influences my zine, because I’m more versed in the values. I’m learning about the different subcultures that have used zines in a significant way.”