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FYI. Fat Studies in Canada (book) – call for proposals


Fat Studies in Canada: (Re)Mapping the Field

Edited By: Allison Taylor, Kelsey Ioannoni, Sonia Meerai, Calla Evans, Amanda Scriver, May Friedman

This edited collection will focus on the growing field of fat studies, specifically the emergence of fat studies theorists, academics, artists, and community activists in the colonial project known as Canada. As a field of research, fat studies criticizes dominant framings of fatness, particularly those of ‘obesity’ or an ‘obesity epidemic’, for the ways in which they marginalize fat bodies. Instead, fat studies seeks to understand the ways in which fatness functions simultaneously as a material experience and a cultural construct, with the aim of challenging—and ultimately dismantling— the fat oppression that is pervasive in contemporary Western cultures. Accordingly, fat studies takes a non-pathologizing approach to fatness, positing fatness as a form of human diversity and as a politicized embodiment and, therefore, offering a critical theoretical framework for identifying, analyzing, and resisting fat oppression. In critically examining attitudes around weight, fat studies argues that our knowledge of weight needs to be understood in an intersectional fashion, as weight cannot be understood without acknowledging the way people are situated in multiple forms of marginalization and oppression, embracing an intersectional approach to understanding fatness. Indeed, fat studies must consider how gender, race, class, disability, and other axes of oppression impact cultural ideas about, and individual and group embodied experiences of fatness.

While fat studies has been criticized for being U.S. (United States) centric, the field is growing in Canada, with scholars producing rich contributions to the field. With its focus on Canada, this edited book acknowledges that borders are a colonial construct and, therefore, posits Canada as an imagined space with real, material impacts on marginalized lives. As a settler society, in which the pathologization of body shape and size diversity plays a central role in the imposition and maintenance of white supremacy, it is especially urgent to consider fatness in a Canadian context. Indeed, it is imperative that analyses of fatness in a Canadian context consider the colonial and white supremacist nature of fatphobia because of the ways in which Canadian institutions such as policing target and enact violence against Indigenous, Black, and Brown bodies. It is within the context of an emergent fat studies field in Canada that we position this edited collection. This edited book thus looks to map the current state of fat studies in Canada, with particular focus on gendered analyses of fatness. In highlighting Canadian fat studies scholarship, we aim to chart the unique ways that scholars in Canada are troubling and thickening the larger fat studies literature.

Possible Topics Include:

  • The landscape of/positioning fat studies in Canada

  • Gender and fatness (femininities, masculinities, non-binary and trans genders)

  • Indigenous and decolonial approaches to fat studies and Canada

  • Race, racism, white supremacy, and fatness

  • Disability and crip approaches to fatness

  • Fatness and sexuality

  • Fatness and age/ing

  • Fatness, class, and poverty in the Canadian landscape

  • Axes of privilege and oppression with fatness

  • Canadian public policies, legislation, campaigns, and messaging relating to body shape, size, and weight

  • The medicalization of fatness in Canada

  • Fat activism in Canada: past, present, and future

  • Canadian media representations of fatness

  • mothering, fathering, and parenting and fatness in Canada

  • Fatness in the community

  • Variations in experiences of fat and size (i.e. superfats)

  • Respectability politics

  • Reconceptualizing ‘health’

  • Fatness and COVID-19

We welcome additional ideas for submissions!

We invite people to submit academic articles, stories, alternative forms of narration, illustrations, poetry, and other art works that highlight issues relating to fat studies in Canada.

Abstracts/Statement of Interest – Due Monday August 31st 2020

Please submit an abstract (for academic work, up to 300 words) or explanation (up to 100 words) of your submission by August 31st 2020 to fatincanada2020@gmail.com. Acceptances will be notified mid September 2020. Full drafts will tentatively be due December 2020.

In recognizing the fraught and unprecedented nature of this current time surrounding COVID-19, if you are intending to submit but need more time (for either abstract or full submission), please let us know and we will do our best to work with your timeline.

Under contract with Inanna Publications (https://www.inanna.ca).

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