Fat Masculinities, A Special Issue of Men and Masculinities

full name / name of organization: 
Daniel Farr, Randolph College

Fat Masculinities, A Special Issue of Men and Masculinities

As an interdisciplinary field, fat studies has drawn from significant roots of feminist and women's literature. The socio-historic norms and policing of women's embodiment and power continue to be important areas study, but the cultural influence upon and experience of men and masculine-identified individuals offers a rich opportunity for investigation and dialogue. This special issue seeks to establish an interdisciplinary academic discussion of fat manhood and masculinities.

Concerns about obesity and health have entered the national and cultural dialogue with Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative to help stave childhood obesity, reality programs such as Biggest Loser and Dance You're Ass Off, and the myriad of weight loss organizations marketing their services. The feminization of weight loss typical of recent decades is declining as obesity rates of both genders have increased. Today many weight loss organizations are including spokesmen, such as actors and sports legends, and establishing weight loss online sites explicitly for men. Clearly, the issues of men's obesity and body are emerging within a cultural dialogue of body, health, and beauty. While men may be less stigmatized for being overweight, in comparison to women, they too are experiencing the cultural pressures and issues of body.

This issue seeks to explore the myriad of topics and issues relevant to masculinity and the fat or obese body. We seek to include cross- and inter-disciplinary articles from a variety of perspectives, including theoretic, empirical, literary and cultural studies.
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
• Social and cultural construction of fat bodies and masculinities: what does it mean to be a fat man?, the degrees of acceptability across culture, subculture, or regionally, global or cross-culturally, the stigmas, stereotypes, and discriminations of the fat subject, fatphobia
• Masculinity and fat: does fat and the taking up of space serve to bolster masculinity? Does fat feminize?
• Spectrum of fathood: what does it mean to be fat, obese, up to super obese?
• Fat masculinities throughout the life course, or during various ages: boyhood, adolescent and teen, adult, elderly
• Media imagery: the portrayal of fat men and boys in television and film, fat men comedians, weight loss commercials and marketing, reality programs
• Fat as freak: the cultural or media construction of obese as subjects of ridicule, observation, critique, and as social others
• Fat and intimacy: the sexual fat body, how do fat men experience dating/romance/sexual expression
• Sexual and gender minority: how do gay or queer men experience fat? Does it differ from heterosexuals? Queer subcultures of bear men? How do transmen experience or use fat in their gender construction?
• Fat and Socio-economic diversity
• Fat and Racial-ethnic diversity
• Fat masculinity in literature and history
• Fat Politics: how if fat treated in social and public policy? Health care systems?
• Ethnographic pieces relevant to above mentioned topics or the intersections of topics

If interest and quality of articles/topics warrants, this project will be expanded from an initial special issue into an edited anthology.

Submission details: Manuscripts and inquiries are to be directed to Daniel Farr, guest editor, at DFarr@randolphcollege.edu or 434-947-8561. Authors may contact the editor in advance of submission with proposals and queries. Email submissions preferred.
Manuscripts should be under 30 double-spaced pages in length, including references. Papers ought use Chicago citation style. Please prepare manuscripts for blind-review with the removal of all self-identifying references. Include an abstract and title at the beginning of the paper. For further details authors may consult the journal website at: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsProdManSub.nav?prodId=Journal200971

Manuscripts should be submitted to Daniel Farr at dfarr@randolphcollege.edu by February 15, 2011 for full consideration.