CFP: Historicizing Fat (6/7/07; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Elena Levy-Navarro
contact email: 



Essay Collection, "Historicizing Fat"

Elena Levy-Navarro=20

Date for completed essays: 6 July 2007


I am seeking original essays for a collection provisionally entitled, =
"Historicizing Fat." The aim of the collection is to use history to =
interrogate the construction of "fat". In particular, I am especially =
interested in using history in order to undercut the claim that the =
contemporary category, "obesity," is a transhistorical and universal =
phenomenon. I can see a variety of essays that would fit into the =
volume from essays that are more theoretical in nature to those that =
offer more specific, contextualized readings of "fat". Essays might do =
any of the following:

  a.. Give the category of "obesity" a history and show some of the ways =
it has been imbricated in other discourses of oppression, i.e. racialist =
  b.. Consider how fat has influenced the popular and/or critical =
reception of a figure - whether an author, a historical personage, or a =
literary character. Such papers might explore the ways that a new =
understanding of "fat" might lead to a new assessment of the figure. =20
  c.. Examine how certain literary and/or historical figures, whether =
fat or thin, use "fat" in order to secure their reputation or privileged =
  d.. Examine a specific historical and cultural moment in which "fat" =
is conceptualized in ways quite different than our own. This would =
include periods or cultural moments in which "fat" may not register at =
all. =20
These are some possible approaches. I welcome and look forward to =
considering others. If you would like to submit an abstract for =
consideration before the submission date for essays, please do, but send =
them only in the body of the e-mail.


Completed essays of 5000 to 7000 words by July 6, 2007. Send them by =
attachment to or by mail to Elena Levy-Navarro at the =
Program in English / University of Wisconsin, Whitewater / Whitewater, =
WI 53190. Direct all inquiries to Elena Levy-Navarro at =


Elena Levy-Navarro has published numerous essays on Renaissance studies, =
queer studies, and fat studies. Her book, The Culture of Obesity in =
Early and Late Modernity: Body Size in Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, =
and Skelton (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan), is a constructionist fat =
history. =20
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Received on Fri Apr 06 2007 - 16:59:58 EDT