9th Annual Weight Stigma Conference

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FYI. CfP Special Issue of Fat Studies: Fat Social Justice Now!


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

Fat Social Justice Now!

Editor-in-Chief: Carla A. Pfeffer, Michigan State University, cpfeffer@msu.edu

Time Magazine headline in 2023 shouts: “More Than Half of the World Will Be Obese By 2035.” For decades, fatness has been decried as a global public health scourge, a crisis, an epidemic. An array of dietary, exercise, surgical, behavioral, psychological, interpersonal, and pharmaceutical interventions have been amassed with the aim of diminishing bodily fat, to no long-term avail. Alongside this costly array of interventions are myriad empirical research studies demonstrating the profound consequences of anti-fat social stigma and bias across nearly every facet of social life today-employment, health and healthcare, romantic relationships, public access and accommodations, legal systems, housing, education, families, socioeconomic status, public transportation, politics, religion, and the media. Even as representation of some fat bodies slowly begins to expand, supersize and infinifat people experience increasing social isolation, broad lack of access, care refusals, and public ridicule. Fatness is intersectionally experienced, producing variable outcomes for individuals and groups of people who live at these intersections. Few legal protections exist for fat people and fatphobia, anti-fat stigma, and discrimination have emerged as equal-opportunity antipathies, as common among social and political liberals as they are among conservatives.      

In the context of these difficult social realities, I invite papers for a special issue of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society, on Fat Social Justice Now! This special issue seeks to encompass a variety of topics around a broad definition of fat social justice. As such, I invite you to consider how fat social justice has been conceptualized in the past, its status today, and how we might more effectively envision and strategize around fat social justice for the future. To be considered for inclusion in this special issue, please send a tentative title, 200-250 word abstract, and current CV to: Carla A. Pfeffer, cpfeffer@msu.edu, by June 30, 2023. Any questions about the topic may also be directed to Carla A. Pfeffer at this e-mail address. Those invited to submit full papers (5,500 words or fewer, including references) will be notified by August 01, 2023 and will be required to submit a full paper by November 01, 2023.

Welcome topics include but are not limited to:

  • Shifts in fat social justice tactics, strategies, and approaches over time
  • Fat social justice manifestos for the twenty-first century
  • The role of fat acceptance in fat social justice (provocations welcome)
  • Access, accommodations, and the built environment
  • Intersections of fat social justice theories, politics, and social movements with crip and disability studies
  • The rise of bariatric surgeries and weight-loss pharmaceuticals in the context of fat social justice
  • Fat social justice within or across particular social contexts (e.g., relationships, families, legal systems, health and medicine, employment, education, housing, religion, politics, media, etc.)
  • Local and global fat social justice
  • Bodily autonomy, boundary and bodily surveillance, and bodily transitions in the fight for fat social justice
  • Barriers, challenges, and strategies for achieving inclusive and intersectional fat social justice
  • The role of Health at Every Size in the fight for fat social justice
  • Fat social justice-focused organizations, groups, and social movements
  • Building and promoting solidarity for fat social justice
  • The state of legal protections for weight, body size, and shape
  • The role of resilience, resistance, and activism for fat social justice
  • Necessary intersections, solidarity, and allies in the context of fat social justice (e.g., anti-racist, anti-sexist)
  • Art for fat social justice
  • Technologies for fat social justice

In addition to these topics, I also invite brief reflective essays on the outgoing and founding editor of Fat Studies, Esther Rothblum’s, many contributions to defining, nurturing, and elevating the field of fat studies. This special issue will contain a special section celebrating Dr. Rothblum’s scholarship, editorship, mentorship, and longstanding commitments to advancing social justice.

Fat Studies
 is the first academic journal to critically examine theory, research, practices, and programs related to body weight and society. 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.

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