From today’s Department of Awesome Things That Also Make Us Feel Unbearably Old: New York University has acquired the papers of feminist, activist, and Bikini Kill and Le Tigre goddess Kathleen Hanna for its rapidly expanding Riot Grrrl Archive. The Tripwire reports today that the collection likely includes many of Hanna’s zines (Zines: Collections of images and ideas that people used to run off at Kinko’s and sell at the coffee shop before we had blogs), “much of her correspondences and plenty of material pertaining to her time in Bikini Kill, as well as various other writings.”
In the new issue of the university’s library newsletter Progressions, NYU notes the acquisition of these materials from the late 80s’/early 90s’ “political and cultural movement encompassing fanzine writers, musicians, teen activist, artists, and others,” explaining, “The Riot Grrrl Collection will support scholarship in feminism, punk activism, queer theory, music history and more.”
Considering that the average NYU student was likely born at the apex of the scene, it’s encouraging to see Hanna and her ilk not merely still out there maintaining musical relevance but simultaneously passing into the annals of contemporary scholarship. In fact, it rocks.
Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.