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FYI. Call for abstracts – special issue of Fat Studies: Fatness and Law


Call for papers: “Fatness and Law”

A special issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society, guest edited by Stephanie von Liebenstein (fatness-law@gmx.de)

This issue will examine questions around the relationship between fatness and law (in the widest sense). It will highlight work supporting the establishment of weight as a protected class in antidiscrimination legislation and the development of legal practices acknowledging the right to be fat as a human rights issue. While the analysis of legislation to end the “obesity epidemic”, for instance, may provide valuable insights into the political workings of the legislative process, one main focus of this issue will lie on legal efforts aimed at improving the legal situation of fat people. Featuring both practical and theoretical approaches, the issue might address topics such as legal conceptions of fatness and discrimination, legal aspects of the relationships between fatness and employment, health care, children and youth, public law, education etc., laws and ordinances to fight “obesity”, but also e.g. the question why international weight-related antidiscrimination legislation has as yet produced so little litigation.

The issue invites contributions across a wide range of disciplines and methodological and theoretical approaches within fat studies. International voices discussing case law and legislation in countries other than the US are particularly welcome. Equally so are intersectional approaches and perspectives from other marginalized groups on weight-related legal struggles.

Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • fat people as legal subjects/fat people in court
  • weight as a discrimination category
  • fatness and fundamental rights
  • framing “fatness” in legal discourse/in litigation/in legal theory
  • intersecting identities, fatness, and law/legal theory
  • fatness, gender, and law
  • fatness, employment, and law
  • public accommodations, fatness, and law
  • fatness, public health, and law
  • fatness, health care, and law
  • fatness and disability rights
  • fatness, bullying, and the right to education
  • fatness and various other areas of law (insurance law, criminal law, youth welfare law etc.)
  • laws/ordinances aimed at fighting “obesity” and their impacts
  • law, politics, and fatness
  • fat activism aimed at improving the legal situation of fat people
  • learning from other marginalized groups’ legal struggles
  • development of criteria for what characteristics should be protected under antidiscrimination legislation
  • fatness, law, and the limits of law

To be considered for inclusion in this special issue, please send a 250-500 word abstract and outline of your projected paper and a current CV to Stephanie von Liebenstein, fatness-law@gmx.de by June 15th, 2018. Any questions about the topic can also be directed to this e-mail.

Final submissions should be between 3000-6000 words, including all notes and references, and should be received by December 31st, 2018. If you wish to include reproductions of visual images with your paper, you will need to receive permission to do so from the artists/copyright holders of the image(s).  All authors will need to sign a form that transfers copyright of their article to the publisher, Taylor & Francis/Routledge.

Fat Studies is the first academic journal in the field of scholarship that critically examines theory, research, practices, and programs related to body weight and appearance. Content includes original research and overviews exploring the intersection of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, age, ability, and socioeconomic status. Articles critically examine representations of fat in health and medical sciences, the Health at Every Size model, the pharmaceutical industry, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, legal issues, literature, pedagogy, art, theater, popular culture, media studies, and activism.

Fat Studies is an interdisciplinary, international field of scholarship that critically examines societal attitudes and practices about body weight and appearance. Fat Studies advocates equality for all people regardless of body size. It explores the way fat people are oppressed, the reasons why, who benefits from that oppression and how to liberate fat people from oppression. Fat Studies seeks to challenge and remove the negative associations that society has about fat and the fat body. It regards weight, like height, as a human characteristic that varies widely across any population. Fat Studies is similar to academic disciplines that focus on race, ethnicity, gender, or age.