CFP Fat Studies (NWSA Conference, Nov 11-14; Abstracts Due 2/20)

full name / name of organization: 
Joelle Ruby Ryan / Michaela Null

Please forward to anyone with an interest in Fat Studies. Thank You.

2 CFPs from the Fat Studies Interest Group; NWSA Conference Nov. 11-14, 2010 in Denver (Proposal Due Feb 20)

#1: Fatness, Gender and Popular Culture: Critical Interventions, Creative Resistances

This session seeks to utilize the conference sub-theme "the critical and the creative" to examine fat feminisms and their important work to challenge weightism, fatphobia and sizeism in dominant society and popular culture. This work, comprised of multiple activist strategies, seeks to utilize fat-positive feminisms to dislodge patriarchal notions of bodily "perfection" and thin-supremacy. In this session, we invite papers and speakers which speak about the work of the fat liberation movement, particularly social, political, artistic, performative, media and literary strategies of resistance to hegemonic ideologies of gender and weight. Topics might include:
* Fat positive performance troupes: burlesque, cheerleaders, dance squads, performance art, theatre etc.
* Fat positive media and new media, such as film, digital video, blogs, vlogs, zines, YouTube, websites etc.
* Fat Positive political activism, demonstrations, picketing, street theatre, conferences, e-activism etc.
* Fat positive creative writing and fat affirming literature
* Critical and creative pro-fat challenges to the hegemonic medical conceptualizations of "obesity"
* Creative/critical Fat Activist work as it intersects with race, ethnicity, sexuality, nation, queer/transgender, disability, age and religion

#2: Advancing Fat Feminisms

Fatness continues to be a contentious issue among feminists. Although Women's and Gender Studies scholars are comfortable critiquing the "cult of thinness," few are comfortable talking about fatness rather than "obesity." This is puzzling considering the longstanding feminist tradition which rejects the medicalization of women's bodies. Fat feminist scholarship is increasingly legitimized, yet seldomly recognized, integrated into texts and coursework, or utilized in scholarly conversation. Fatness within feminism remains largely invisible. We are currently seeking papers that address any of the following questions/topics:
* Why does fat feminism remain an "outsider" feminism?
* Why are feminists still so uncomfortable with fatness?
* How can we advance fat feminisms? What hurdles lay before us?
* Can fat feminists learn from and/or work with other outsider feminists?
* How do we teach feminist scholars and teachers to engage with and utilize critical discourses on fatness?
* The history/herstory of fat feminisms or the progress of fat feminisms within feminism.
* Analysis of fatness as treated in Women's and/or Gender Studies textbooks.

If you are interested in taking part in either of both of these sessions, please send the following info by February 20, 2010 to NWSA Fat Studies Interest Group Co-Chairs Joelle Ruby Ryan and Michaela Null: ( AND (
Name, Institutional Affiliation, Snail Mail, Email, Phone, Title for your talk, a one-page, double-spaced abstract in which you lay out your topic and its relevance to this session. Each person will speak for around 15 minutes, and we will leave time for Q&A.