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FYI. CFP: Special issue of Fat Studies – Fat on the small screen: Televising fat


CFP – Special Issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society on “Fat on the Small Screen: Televising Fat,” edited by Daniel Farr


Proposal deadline: July 10, 2018

Manuscript invitations: July 20, 2018

Manuscript deadline: November 2, 2018

This special Issue of Fat Studies will explore the myriad ways that fat is portrayed and theorized on television.  In an era of growing visibility in television programs, fat bodies and identities are portrayed in diverse and sometimes contradictory manners.  The spectrum of body type/size and types of programs affiliated with those living fat lives vary from normalization and acceptance, to the medicalization and denigration of fat.  This issue seeks to explore the variety of fat identities, imagery, and portrayals found across television programming.

This issue aims to bring together explorations of specific programmatic and story-line focused fat imagery across genre of teen/family/sitcom programming, but to also explore the spectrum of reality-based imagery about fat lives.  We hope to examine the often dichotomous, complex, and at times contradictory treatment of fat—is fat to be accepted and treated with respect?  Is it to be treated with tolerance? Is it to be rejected? Perhaps there is a spectrum of “acceptable” levels of fat, based on qualitative or even quantifiable measures?

Along with a focus upon the imagery and its meaning, we also seek contributions that examine how audiences are receiving these images.  How are consumers watching, thinking about, and seeking out programming about fat?  What does this imagery mean to them? Do these programs change how people think about their lives? Does it change their behaviors?

This issue seeks to include contributions from a range of disciplines, methods, and theoretical approaches to forward understandings of the imagery that is being created.

Given the dual goals of this issue to explore fat imagery and audience reception, a variety of topics and programs will be considering, including, but not limited to:

  • Analyses of TV programs with a specific focus upon/inclusion of fat character story-lines
  • Gendering of fat – how are men portrayed?Women? Comparisons?
  • Intersections of fat with race/ethnicity, sexuality, class, etc.
  • Reality programming
  • Fat imagery of children/teens
  • Fat/thin imagery and character arcs
  • Cartoon imagery
  • Transformations of fat imagery over the history of television
  • Global discourses and variations on fat imagery on television
  • Audience and consumer responses

To be considered for this issue, please submit a 250-500 word proposal (or full paper draft) and brief bio or vita to Daniel Farr (dfarr4@kennesaw.edu) by July 10, 2018.  Any questions about this special issue may also be directed to this email.

Pending proposal acceptance, draft manuscripts will be expected by December 1, 2018.  Submission should be between 3,000 and 6,000 words (10-15 pages, size 12 font, double spaced) including all notes and references.  Manuscripts will be sent for peer review.

Reproductions of visual images will require permission 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.