Photo credit: Max Mester
After more than a decade out of print, two students start Quake Magazine, Penn’s only publication on sex and sexuality.
The magazine wants to highlight the appreciation of bodies, relationships, sex and love of all kinds through an integrative, artful space. The content encompasses all types of creative expression, including photography, personal narration, poetry, and art. The Quake board will curate content for print by continually accepting independent contributions from contributors.
“We’re excited to see what people think of Quake this time around because the structure gives the contributors the creative direction,” said co-editor and college junior Sarah Finkelstein.
Quake first ran from 2005 to 2007 and then revived in 2008, though its tenure was short-lived, said Jessica Lowenthal, director of Kelly Writers House. In any case, the program ran out of funds and was conservatively criticized by alumni who spoke out against the explicit content, Finkelstein said.
Finkelstein and college co-editor sophomore Layla Murphy, a former Daily Pennsylvanian employee, decided to restart the magazine in September when Finkelstein’s friend, an archivist at Kelly Writers House, discovered issues of the original Quake Magazine. Murphy was convinced of the magazine’s potential to be an honest, accessible, and artsy outlet, and said the couple had decided to make the magazine their own.
With a new creative direction, the co-editors believe they will be less exposed to the criticism that accompanied the publication in the past.
“Penn is a different place right now than it was in the early 2000s. It is better for us in our goal not to be subversive or to have a shock value, but rather to make the conversation artful, ”said Finkelstein.
While aware of the shadow the previous iteration could cast on their endeavors, Finkelstein and Murphy are optimistic about what new place Quake could have in the Penn community.
“Sex culture is one of the few things [on Penn’s campus] that there is a lot, but that there is no mouth for it, “said Murphy.” If there is a platform around the subject, energy will have a place to go. We want to give bodies, genders and sexualities that are marginalized a space to grow. ”
As in the past, Publication requires legal advice to ensure that explicit or erotic material is handled sensitively. Lowenthal who serves As a consultant to Quake, he has connected the editors to Penn’s Office of General Counsel and helps them guide the Student Activities Council funding process and give them general control.
Although they haven’t yet received SAC funding, Quake was able to get seed capital from the Feminist Projects Fund through Kelly Writers House. The fund supports initiatives that explore gender hierarchy solutions across different media. Another student publication, Penn Appétit, was also launched with seed money from the Kelly Writers House, Lowenthal said.
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“Issues of security and data protection are much more in the foreground today than in the previous iteration. I assume that there will be a different focus. People were less familiar and less willing to speak publicly and educationally about sex, ”Lowenthal said.
Quake expects to hire fewer than 20 employees, led by department heads. Due to internet restrictions on adult content, the post will only appear in print, although Quake does post some promotional and educational content online.
Quake is currently accepting applications for its board through February 14th. The first print edition appears between the end of April and the beginning of May.