10th Annual Weight Stigma Conference

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FYI. CFP: Special Issue of Fat Studies on Public Health and Healthism


Call for Proposals: Special Issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society on Public Health and Healthism

Fatness has been and still is seen as a major Public Health problem on a global scale – an understanding that contributes much to the discrimination and social exclusion of fat people and has led to a plethora of Public Health campaigns, programs and government measures to change people’s lifestyles and reduce the weight of populations. Simultaneously, a part of the Public Health community stresses the harmful effects of fat stigma, recognizing it as an independent health threat and proposes a focus on fitness rather than on weight loss.

While the community disputes the right strategy to better public health, others have pointed to the pervasiveness and normativity of health as a modern ideal. At a time when the boundaries of health become increasingly blurred, being healthy and constantly seeking health  and wellbeing is regarded as a prime ability of citizenship. Therefore, healthism does not only encourage moral evaluations of bodily self-conduct and legitimize interventions into fat people’s bodies and lives. It also forms a normative ideal that seems ineluctable in fat-positive communities as well. Who would not want to be healthy, not only with regard to citizenship recognition but also with regard to individual wellbeing and the absence of pain and ailment?

This special issue of Fat Studies on Public Health and Healthism seeks to discuss the conundrum of health and offer an interdisciplinary look at the nexus of health and fatness in Public Health discourses and practices, with a particular focus on the consequences of healthism for fat people and possible responses to it

Proposed topics might include, but are not limited to:

–    Historical and contemporary practices of evaluating health and fatness

–    Health Care bias and lacking access to health care for fat people

–    “Globesity” and the effect of healthism on development policies and making a global order

–    Negative health effects of fat stigma

–    Alternatives to the current treatment of fat bodies by the Public Health community

–    Health at Every Size, and definitions and practices of health that do not focus on weight-loss

–    Realignment of the right to health and the right to fatness

–    Critiques of health as a normative ideal

Guest Editors:

Friedrich Schorb, University of Bremen, Germany, schorb@uni-bremen.de

Nina Mackert, University of Leipzig, Germany, nina.mackert@uni-leipzig.de

with the Scientific Network (DFG) “Fat Studies: Doing, Becoming and Being Fat.”


To be included in this special issue, please send a 300-400 word proposal and a current CV to both guest editors by February 1, 2020. Any questions should be emailed to the guest editors.

Contributors will be notified of the status of their proposal by March 1, 2020. Full manuscripts, including all notes and references, should be between 3,000 and 5,500 words and will be due by July 1, 2020. If you wish to include reproductions of visual images with your article, please provide documentation of 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.