8th Annual Weight Stigma Conference

Announcements

FYI. Fat studies: Rights, personhood, disposability, 6-8 July 2022 (virtual)

FYI.

Fat Studies: Rights, Personhood, Disposability conference (virtual).

This online conference will provide the opportunity for academics and activists around the world to consider fat rights, personhood, and disposability.

Fat Studies is a post-disciplinary field of study that confronts and critiques cultural constraints against notions of “fatness” and “the fat body”; explores fat bodies as they live in, are shaped by, and remake the world; and theorises how society conceptualises and pathologises fat bodies. Fat Studies scholars identify and discuss mainstream and alternative discourses on fatness, analyse size as a social justice issue at the intersection of oppression, and critically appraise size oppression as it is manifested in various societal institutions (medicine, media, education, etc).

For more information about the programme and to register, please visit: https://www.fsnz.org/fsnz-2022#20summary

FYI.

Would you like to be the Editor-in-Chief of Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body
Weight and Society?
Fat Studies is looking for a new Editor-in-Chief with an academic background in the
scholarship and theory that relates to body weight and appearance. It is a significant role,
with high profile, but one that is achievable within a continuing busy working academic
timetable.
The successful candidate will be responsible for editorial oversight, decision-making on
submissions, and driving the journal forward during an exciting period of change. They will
have authority to accept articles following suitable peer review and will ensure that
reviewers and authors adhere to the Journal’s Code of Publishing Ethics.
Taylor & Francis will provide remuneration for the role to cover any journal-related
expenses, assist in organizing regular board meetings, and supply annual reports reflecting
on the performance of the Journal. The Journal utilizes the online editorial office system
Editorial Manager.
Becoming the editor of a journal is a rewarding and fulfilling experience where you will build
your own networks, promote the research that you are passionate about, and be recognized
as a leading figure within the academic community.
Interested in applying? Here are the skills and attributes we would be looking for in a
successful applicant:
• Active involvement in the research community with strong personal networks
• Confidence to engage with authors and researchers to solicit the highest quality
submissions
• Awareness of the scholarly publishing landscape, particularly as it relates to open
access
• Strong organizational skills to ensure that submissions are handled in a timely
manner
• The ability to foster positive working relationships with colleagues such as associate
editors and editorial board members
The role will formally begin on January 1, 2023. There will be an agreed handover period
with the out-going Editor-in-Chief to ensure seamless transition.
Submitting your Application
If you would like to apply for the position of Editor-in-Chief please forward your CV, a cover
letter, and a vision statement to Alexandra Kanovsky
(Alexandra.kanovsky@taylorandfrancis.com) by September 1, 2022. Your vision statement
should be no longer than two pages and should cover:

Information Classification: General

• Where you believe the field is going, and the journal’s place within it
• How you would work in partnership with the editorial board
• How you would maintain and increase the quality of submissions
• How you would work with authors

WSC Draft programme and last day for Early Bird Registration

We are very excited to announce the draft programme for this year’s Weight Stigma Conference. Check it out here: https://weightstigmaconference.com/draft-programme-2022/

And today is the last day for early bird registration rates. Register now to get the reduced rates!

Ticket Types

  • Standard registration: Early bird rate (until 14 June, 2022) is €80. From 15 June, standard rate will be €100.
  • Student/low income: Early bird rate (until 14 June, 2022) is €50. From 15 June, student/low income rate will be €60.
  • To assist in developing local networks, the German Association against Weight Discrimination is able to sponsor 20 tickets for students and unfunded activists in Germany at a rate of €20. This ticket type is strictly limited, and if you are in this category but able to afford the higher-rate ticket, we’d be grateful if you would register in a higher band.

Poster Abstract Submissions

Don’t forget that abstracts are still being accepted for poster presentations. To submit an abstract, visit https://weightstigmaconference.com/abstract-submission/

Bursary Fund

And finally, we are still accepting donations to our crowdfunded Bursary Fund. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors and sponsors, we are now also able to provide some travel assistance to those who need it. If you haven’t already, please do consider making even a small donation via the Donate button on our homepage, our Go Fund Me page, or when registering to attend the conference through our ticketing site. These funds are ring-fenced for increasing accessibility and your donations continue to make a huge difference to those who would otherwise not be able to attend.

FYI. Sat 11 June: Association for Size Diversity and Health virtual conference

FYI.

The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) conference is being held virtually this weekend on Saturday 11th June.

The theme of this year’s event is: Intersectional Liberation: What is Required of the Health at Every Size® Framework? Keynote speakers include Imani Barbarin, disability rights and inclusion activist and Da’Shaun Harrison, author of Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness and Anti-Blackness. For the full programme and to register, please visit https://asdah.org/conference/.

FYI. Note, WSC not involved in wording of this CfP. Guest editors aware of problematic framing. Please contact them directly with any queries.

Call for papers for special issue of AMA Journal of Ethics, July 2023: How We Over Rely on BMI

Patients who are fat or perceived as fat are commonly characterized by many clinicians as unreliable narrators of their own health histories, and negative bias can undermine diagnoses, intervention decisions, and even what some clinicians think fat patients deserve. Fat is widely considered a clinical threat and obesity is a descriptor applied to patients with BMIs at or over 30. While weight and BMI can be helpful clinical indicators, many of its applications are overvalued, imprecise, contested, and can incur substantial iatrogenic harm. This theme issue examines clinical and ethical shortcomings of medicine’s current approach to fat.

We invite manuscripts for the July 2023 issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics® that consider wide-ranging perspectives on interrogating BMI uses in fat persons’ marginalization as a source of iatrogenic harm and other kindred topics of clinical, ethical, social, and cultural importance.

Manuscripts submitted for peer review consideration and inclusion in this issue must follow Instructions for Authors and be submitted by 30 August 2022

Weight Stigma Conference bursaries

If you are a student from the Global South planning on attending the 2022 Weight Stigma Conference in Berlin, there is only one week left to apply for the Dr Cat Pausé Travel Bursary. Applications for standard bursaries are accepted until the start of the conference. For more information, please visit https://weightstigmaconference.com/bursary-application/

Accommodation in Berlin, WSC 2022

The official conference hotel is the Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte at Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 4, 10117 Berlin (NOT the Leonardo Hotel Berlin, which is in Charlottenburg and definitely not within walking distance of the venue). Thank you to an eagle-eyed delegate for spotting this. The link on the Information for Delegates page has been updated. If you have already made a booking, please make sure it is at the right hotel. As the conference rate was negotiated with the Mitte hotel, this will probably be fine, but just in case!

Details of the venue for the 2022 WSC and travel information are now available on our website. Please click here for more information.

WSC 2022 Keynotes and Registration Open

Keynote speakers

We are delighted to announce the keynote speakers for the 8th Annual International Weight Stigma Conference being held on 14-15 July, Berlin, Germany

  • Dr Hannele Harjunen

Dr Hannele Harjunen, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at  the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Harjunen’s research focuses on gendered body norms, fatness and fat studies, and intersectionality. Her recent publications include a monograph Neoliberal Bodies and the Gendered Fat body (2017, Routledge) and articles in Feminism and Psychology, Feminist Theory and Fat Studies: Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society.

  • Dr Doris Leibscher

Dr Doris Liebscher, PhD, is the head of the ombuds office for the Berlin state anti-discrimination law at the state office for equal treatment – against discrimination. The qualified lawyer did her doctorate with the constitutional judge Prof. Dr. Susanne Baer on the concept of race in the Basic Law and in US constitutional law; the work was awarded the Konrad Redeker Prize. 2012-2020 research assistant at the chair for public law and gender studies at the law faculty of the Humboldt University in Berlin; establishment of the Humboldt Law Clinic for Fundamental and Human Rights. 2005 co-founder of the anti-discrimination office in Saxony.

  • Dr Asher Larmie (The Fat Doctor)

Dr Asher Larmie, MD, (they/them) is a Transgender Non Binary GP and fat activist who is campaigning for an end to medical weight stigma. They are the founder of the #noweigh campaign. They have over 20 years of medical experience and have been fat for even longer than that. As the self-styled Fat Doctor, Asher started a blog in June 2020. They now also host a successful podcast and run a number of training courses as well as monthly webinars for people who are interested in learning about weight inclusivity. They have featured in a number of newspapers and magazines, and have experience speaking both on television and the radio.

Registration is open

Registration is now open. Ticket prices cover the two-day event and a reception on the first evening. There are three ticket types:

  • Standard registration: Early bird rate (until 14 June, 2022) is €80. From 15 June, standard rate will be €100.
  • Student/low income: Early bird rate (until 14 June, 2022) is €50. From 15 June, student/low income rtae will be €60.
  • To assist in developing local networks, the German Association against Weight Discrimination is able to sponsor 20 tickets for students and unfunded activists in Germany at a rate of €20. This ticket type is strictly limited, and if you are in this category but able to afford the higher-rate ticket, we’d be grateful if you would register in a higher band.

To register, please visit our booking site.

Bursary Fund – supporting accessibility

As a reminder, and across all rates, further reductions or hardship requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The Weight Stigma Conference is a not-for-profit event and our ability to provide bursaries relies on the generosity of our sponsors and individual donors. A Donation button is also available on the ticketing website if you would like to make a small (or large) contribution. Donations will be used to provide financial assistance for individuals who might otherwise be unable to attend. Thank you. You may also donate on our Go Fund Me page.

To apply for a bursary, please use the Bursary Application form on our website. Standard bursary applications will be accepted until the date of the conference, with awards depending on availability of funding. A single Dr Cat Pausé Travel Bursary will be awarded. The deadline for applications is 31st May 2022. Application is via the same form.

Abstract submission

Abstract submission for oral presentations and conference sessions is now closed. We will continue to accept submissions for poster presentations until 30th June 2022, and will make acceptance decisions on a weekly rolling basis – so you will know within one week of submission if your abstract has been accepted. For more information, visit: https://stigmaconference.com/abstract-submission/

WSC 2022 in-person only (and details of plans for moving to a hybrid model from 2023)

The Weight Stigma Conference was founded in 2013 as a not-for-profit event and remains so to this day. Every year, ticket prices are set at break even levels and fundraising efforts continue almost till the day of the event to try and raise additional money that can be used to subsidise attendance for those who might otherwise not have been able to afford it.

We have also implemented a number of initiatives to increase access to and benefits from the conference. These have included mentoring for students (especially those from smaller institutions who may not have access to suitable supervision) and non-academics who had interesting ideas but weaker abstract submissions, crowdfunding a Bursary Fund, and paying for a CrossRef subscription so that we can assign DOIs to submissions so that students and those in the early stages of their career can strengthen their CVs. We have even managed to wangle accommodation in a handful of cases to tip the balance for students to be able to attend.

Additionally, the conference brochure (containing all abstracts and presenter contact details) is always freely available after the event, as are any slides, posters, or presentation materials that presenters are willing to share publicly. Thus, the majority of the content presented at the WSC is accessible to all.

However, we are aware that this is not the same as being able to attend and/or present virtually. This is a question that has arisen in the past, even prior to the necessities of the pandemic. It has always been a difficult decision for a conference that cares about social justice issues, but whose greatest contribution to the presenters and delegates experience is often simply being in the room. We remain a small conference and in the past, the decision has been made to focus on the in-person event. This is the reason that we chose not to move online during 2020-2021. In the last two years, we have also increasingly seen several larger conferences utilise a hybrid model. For the most part, this has been effective at transmitting information but largely underwhelming as a conference experience.

However, precluding virtual attendance is an increasingly untenable position in this day and age and one that should have been addressed earlier. Members of the conference team plus a number of external advisors have explored our options for increasing access to the conference. We understand that traveling, especially internationally, is not something that everyone is able to do financially, physically, and safely. We have been asking ourselves hard questions about what it would look like to move towards a hybrid model of this conference and how we can move forward responsibility within our limited budget.

Below, we will outline our reason for remaining non-hybrid in 2022, but also our longer-term plans to increase accessibility to the conference.

This year’s conference has a unique and critical focus on policy. Not only will it be held in Senate Hall at Humboldt University in Berlin, but local politicians and press will be attending to learn more about the mobilisation happening in Germany around anti-discrimination laws protecting fat people. Due to the activism and hard work of local activists, Germany may become one of the first countries to have legal protections implemented for people in bigger bodies.

Because of the high stakes of this year’s conference and the potential to impact actual laws and policy, the more people we have attending in person, the more powerful our message will be. Therefore our focus for this year is on increasing in-person attendance.

This has been a very difficult decision to make but we hope it is the right one to maximise the potential policy benefits of focusing the event on the ground in Berlin. But in addition, to our current policy of making abstracts and presentations freely available after the event, we will also make audio recordings of this year’s conference keynote sessions, and these will also be available after the conference for those who would like to hear what unfolded.

Beginning in 2023, we will be adopting a tiered rollout for increasing access online.

Next year’s conference will be in the United States and it will feature live online access passes for all of our keynotes, talks, and panels along with a few online meet-ups and group activities. People will be able to ask questions virtually in the live sessions and live captions will also be available.

Our 2024 conference will feature a fully hybrid model including both virtual and in-person access for presenters and attendees, hybrid workshops, networking, and more. We are carefully researching alternatives and ways to successfully bring online and in-person conference experiences together to ensure everyone gets the most from this experience, regardless of location.

We are excited about what’s to come and we look forward to seeing you in July in Berlin.

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