Beyond Body Image CONFERENCE


NWSA 2009, Atlanta, GA

Conf. Dates: Nov. 12-15, 2009

Beyond Body Image: Teaching Fat Liberation and Fat Acceptance in the Women’s and Gender Studies Classroom

For this session, I invite individuals to submit abstracts who are interested in speaking on a panel at the 2009 National Women’s Studies Association Conference in Atlanta about their experiences teaching Fat Studies in Women’s/Gender/Sexuality Studies classes. While “Body Image” has long been a key component of many women’s studies classes, the extent to which these units incorporate Fat Studies varies considerably. With the continued rise in Fat Studies scholarship, more and more instructors are infusing Fat Studies into their courses and curricula. This includes discussions of fat activism, fat politics, the fat liberation movement, fat bodies in the media, fat resistance to the medical establishment and the push for fat acceptance. This panel is a chance for instructors to share the joys, successes, challenges and difficulties of teaching fat studies, as well as an opportunity to share concrete resources, strategies and pedagogical tools for successfully introducing students to some of the tenets of fat studies and fat activism. While the focus is on Women’s/Gender Studies, instructors who have taught Fat Studies in other disciplines whose work translates well to Women’s/Gender studies are also invited to submit.

Possible paper topics may include (but are not limited to):

* Teaching a Fat Studies Unit in Introduction to Women’s/Gender Studies classes 
• Student resistance to Fat Studies curricula, including discussion of fatness as inherently “unhealthy”
• Teaching about cultural fatphobia, sizeism and weight-based discrimination 
• Teaching about how and why fat is a feminist issue and a gendered issue 
• The professorial fat body and its relation to pedagogy
• Teaching Fat Activism and the history of Fat Acceptance Movements
• Using film, television and other popular media to teach Fat Studies
• Using non-fiction, memoirs, essays, academic articles, novels and print media to teach about Fat Studies and Fat Politics 
• Teaching Fat Studies and Intersectionality: the link between fat identity and race, gender, class, dis/ability, sexual orientation, age, and religion

Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to Joelle Ruby Ryan no later than Monday, February 9, 2009. Please write NWSA Proposal in the Subject Line. Please include a brief bio, a 100-200 word abstract and the following contact info: Name, Institutional Affiliation, Address, Phone and Email.

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