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Call For Papers – Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue

2010 February 5
by sizeoftheocean

I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am about this!  A fat studies conference!  In Australia!  With Charlotte Cooper!  And the absolutely brilliant Sam Murray!


Call For Papers – Fat Studies: A Critical Dialogue

To be held 10 ­ 11 September, 2010 Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

While cultural anxieties about fatness and stigmatisation of fat bodies in Western cultures have been central to dominant discourses about bodily ‘propriety’ since the early twentieth century, the rise of the ‘disease’ category of obesity and the moral panic over an alleged global ‘obesity epidemic’ has lent a medical authority and legitimacy to what can be described as ‘fat-phobia’. Against the backdrop of the ever-growing medicalisation and pathologisation of fatness, the field of Fat Studies has emerged in recent years to offer an interdisciplinary critical interrogation of the dominant medical models of health, gives voice to the lived experience of fat bodies, and offers critical insights into, and investigates the ethico-political implications of, the cultural meanings that have come to be attached to fat bodies.

This two-day event will put Australasian Fat Studies into conversation with critical fat scholarship from around the globe by gathering together scholars from across a spectrum of disciplinary backgrounds, as well as activists, health care professionals, performers and artists. This conference seeks to open a dialogue between scholars, health care professionals and activists about the productive and enabling critical possibilities Fat Studies offers for rethinking dominant notions about health and pathology, gender and bodily aesthetics, political interventions, and beyond.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

* Charlotte Cooper (Department of Sociology, University of Limerick)

* Karen Throsby (Department of Sociology, University of Warwick)

Abstracts are sought that engage with topics such as (but not limited to):

* Interventions to normalise fat bodies (such as diet regimes, exercise programs, weight loss pharmaceuticals and bariatric surgeries);

* The ethico-political implications of the medicalisation of ‘obesity’;

* Constructions of the Œfat child¹ in childhood obesity media reportage;

* Representations of fat bodies in film, television, literature or art;

* Intersections of medical discourse and morality around ‘obesity’;

* The somatechnics of fatness;

* Fat performance art, fat positive performance troupes;

* Histories of fat activism and/or strategies for political intervention;

* Fat and queer histories/identities;

* Fat embodiment online, the Fat-O-Sphere;

* Feminist responses to fatness;

* Constructions of fatness in a range of cultural contexts;

* Systems of body quantification, measurement, and conceptualizations of (in)appropriate ‘size’;

* Fat as it intersects with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender, disability and/or ageing.

Please send abstracts of 300 words, or panel proposals, to Dr Samantha Murray via email at by Friday, 16 April 2010.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. February 8, 2010

    I know!!!! It is so exciting isnt it???
    Are you planning to attend??? I desperately want to.

  2. sizeoftheocean
    February 8, 2010

    Most definitely!

    I haven’t worked out what I’m going to submit for an abstract yet, but I will certainly be there! I can’t wait!!!

  3. February 21, 2010

    Hi. I needed to advise you that some parts of your site are tricky to read for me, as I am color blind. I have problems with deuteranopia, but there are other forms of color blindness that may also get issues. I will understand the largest part of the webpage Okay, and those areas I have difficulties with I am able to read by using a adapted browser. However, it would be cool if you can keep in mind we color-blind types whilst carrying out the next site design. Thank you.

    • sizeoftheocean
      February 22, 2010

      Hi, thanks for bringing this to my attention. It’s not something I thought about when I was playing around with the themes recently. I’m just using a standard WP theme because I have no coding skills myself, but I’ll do some research and update it to a hopefully more friendly version soon.

    • sizeoftheocean
      March 6, 2010

      Hi Brakey – I’ve updated the layout of my site again, hopefully the design is a little friendlier. If you had the time to have a look and leave me some feedback, I’d really appreciate it – no obligation of course!

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